There are more than plenty of FDM printers to try, especially for beginners who are interested in additive manufacturing. Some of them such as Elegoo Neptune 2 Vs Ender 3 are very affordable to start with and they do have everything we need to print right out of the box. However, not all machines are exactly the same despite the many similarities and for those who wonder about which of these two will be the better choice, let’s see what they can offer below.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What to Know About 3D Printers
- What are Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
- How are the Design of Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
- How are the Build Volume of Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
- How are the Building Bed in Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
- How are the Experience with Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
- Elegoo Neptune 2 Vs Ender 3
3D printing was quite a niche hobby back then, just like flying a drone but today, they are more common and more familiar for many people. For the 3D Printer case, they are extremely useful and this is why the system or machine is not only beneficial for hobbyists or people who are interested about additive manufacturing but also in the practical field where the machine is required to make products or tools and parts for certain purposes. Since the mechanism is pretty simple, it is also quick to start with.
Your machine, whether it is an FDM like Flashforge Finder vs Ender 3 or an MSLA printer like Elegoo Mars, will work based on the design. While the two types of machine are using different materials, their process is quite similar or building the model and object layer by layer. It is a long process of detailed work. In FDM, the filament whether it is an ABS or PLA, they will need to be heated to a certain degree and then stacked on the heating bed layer by layer.
The layer and details are depending on the design and how you command the machine to finish the processing. The machine needs to be accurate to create the model properly and they are prone to errors so you will need to troubleshoot them from time to time. For example the bed is not completely flat or the distance between the nozzle to the bed is too close or far from each other. Sometimes there is not enough material coming out the extruder or sometimes it can exceed the supposed amount.
To start with 3D printing means to work with their software as well and the basics is 3D modeling where you will create the object or anything that you want to build. We can make it or download the design from numerous sources for free but even after obtaining the design, we will still have to work with the slicer. This is because your 3D printer understands G-code and to transform the file into this format, we will need a slicer software.
The purpose of slicer is to provide the necessary information for the printer to make the object, in a language that they understand. It creates path and instructions for geometry including all specs and speed at various points or what layer thickness to use. We need to use the software to make the process of 3D printing work and there are lots to choose as well depending on which seems to fit right for you as each slicer may have their own quality.
|Elegoo Neptune 2||Ender 3|
|Product Dimensions||21.5 x 15 x 8 inches||8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches|
|Shipping Weight||16 Pounds||17.64 Pounds|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
About Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3
If you are ready to start with 3D printing, it is time to see what machine to buy. The thing with 3D printers is that most of them are similar and getting a popular machine is probably the most convenient way to start the journey because the more people using it, the easier it is to find information related to the printer whether it is for troubleshooting or for upgrading it later if you will want to. While quite popular, many of them are also very affordable.
Talking about affordable 3D printers, there are also more than a couple of brands coming to our mind and some of the most promising options are Elegoo and Creality. Especially for Creality, we do think they are still the one that carry the best affordable 3D printers out there with a few names like Geeetech also doing a great job at optimizing the cost and quality of their products. Personally we are more familiar with Elegoo’s resin printers but it seems their entry-level FDM is worth considering as well.
Limiting the budget up to $200, this price range is very interesting because it is very limited yet also safe to spend on, especially for beginners and new enthusiasts who can’t spend a lot yet. This includes Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 that are about the same to each other in terms of price point. When first available, the Neptune 2 was also at the same price point with Ender 3 but lately we see the price increase so when this comparison is made, it is actually more expensive than Ender 3.
Both share the same DNA and as the foundation as Ender 3 is copied by so many different printers. Some do it amazingly and some not so much. Side by side the Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 are coming with the same abilities, the same capacity, and the same system. However, they are not exactly the same and it seems that most people still like the Ender 3 for its convenience.
Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 Design
When they first come, both are ready to assemble and this is probably no brainer for experienced users but we will still read into the manual carefully to find which screws to attach. They are almost done and the best thing for beginners is that we can learn how to assemble a simple machine. It may differ but we heard about some owners finding their Neptune to come out not rock steady or with some loose parts which are not supposed to be as loose. This is probably due to poor quality control and not the machine itself.
Just like most FDM printers around this price point, both Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 are very similar or almost identical. The housing is all metal but note that the hot end is not full metal meaning we have to mind the temperature which also affects the range of material to use. What’s noticeably different is their control panel since we think the Neptune is trying to mimic Elegoo’s MSLA printers by using this similar touch sensitive screen for the control panel.
Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 Build Volume
Now for the most important part, let’s see what Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 can offer starting from the capacity. We always mention capacity because it is a crucial part of any 3D printer and it is decided by the machine’s form. We do think the two are medium sized capable for typical home use because we can make a maximum print size of 220 x 220 x 250 mm on both machines. But, if you can spend a little more, Ender has an Extender to increase the X and Y axis to 400 x 400 mm.
Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 Building Bed
Next is on the build plate and as you can see, the Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 are also the same here. Both use this Build-Tak like material to layer the heating element on the bed and if you spend on the more expensive Ender 3 V2, the layer is made of glass. The layer is secured using paper clips and removable from the bed just like most affordable FDM printers. The adhesion is good on both machines and they are easy to use as well.
To level the bed, since we don’t have any automation here the thing you need is by adjusting it through the large knobs below the heating bed. These machines have large knobs for fine adjustment and you can find plenty of troubleshooting for bed levelling or initial setup in case this is a problem later in your version of the machine.
Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 Experience
Lastly we want to talk about the overall performance of Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 which are also pretty similar. Due to the limitations, the type of materials they can use are quite limited, not too soft but not ideal as well for materials that need high temperature to work with. Chances are there will be some issues that require you to look into what’s not properly adjusted after test printing but they will work well once we can figure it out.
The original Ender UI is so simple that it looks ancient and in comparison Neptune 2 is more modern for an entry-level machine. The issue is that Elegoo probably oversimplified the interface so that it becomes confusing for many users. Besides the system that doesn’t tell the machine’s status, the symbols they use are not as clear for the first owner yet, it seems they plan to upgrade or fix this issue on the newer machines so yours may be shipped with the new UI already.
Elegoo Neptune 2 vs Ender 3
Both machines are very reliable and are great for beginners or anyone who wants to save the budget. They are not perfect but with time we can learn how to handle the issues before spending on the more capable machines in the future. We do think the Elegoo Neptune 2 and Ender 3 are about the same as they can do the same tasks. Neptune 2’s touch screen is very convenient if they have upgraded the interface.
There is no bad option between the two but as of the current price, Ender 3 is actually cheaper to afford and this machine already comes with everything you need to get started as well as also upgradeable too which is why we think it is still the best choice for the price point.