The CR-100 by Chinese manufacturer Creality is a compact nugget of a printer designed to make 3D printing accessible for kids.
It boasts a fun design and easy-to-use features like automatic bed leveling and a touchpad and it’s priced at under $200. It’s affordable but has a very small build volume in comparison to most other printers geared towards children and education.
So, does the CR-100 offer the perfect printing solution for kiddos or does it leave a lot to be desired? We haven’t gotten a chance to use it yet, but we’ve studied its specs to see whether it’s worth investing in. Read on to find out what we make of this kid-friendly 3D printer.
Besides the marketing spin of giving your child the freedom to design and create and the quirky truck design of this 3D printer’s exterior, it’s not immediately clear what makes it more kid-friendly than, say, a slightly more expensive but much larger Creality Ender 3.
That being said, let’s take a look at the features this printer offers.
A particularly useful feature, especially for children, this 3D printer features automatic bed leveling, which will save you the trouble of messing about, while also (hopefully) keeping little fingers out of harm’s way.
In fact, in general, it looks like a pretty easy to use plug-and-play printer — which is good for adults and kids alike.
While customizations and being able to really get into the nitty-gritty of what your 3D printer can do are great, when you’re a kid just trying to print a toy it can be confusing. Creality tried to make this as simple for young learners as possible with a clear and straightforward touchpad. It has three buttons: One to start and pause prints, another to go back to the main menu and a final one for controlling the temperature.
The flipside to this is you — and your child — may outgrow this printer very quickly and start to want one that offers more options and menu selections than this simple touchpad can handle.
Creality says the machine boasts a flame retardant fuselage, high-quality electrical component and is “safer and more secure,” but it’s not clear what it’s comparing the printer to.
Regardless, the printer doesn’t have any exposed wires and its tiny build makes it a lot harder for a kid to burn themselves on the nozzle than an Ender 3, for example.
It looks like a truck, which, if you’re a kid, may be more exciting than a normal looking printer. The printer also comes in four colors: Red, yellow, orange and blue.
Because of the punchy design and enclosure though, it’s a bit harder to see prints from all angles when they’re being made.
Though Creality markets the CR-100’s tiny size as a feature — and perhaps if you don’t have a lot of extra room in your home it is — when it comes to letting your kid create whatever they want, they’ll definitely be limited by the small build size. Its total size is 241 x 183 x 255 mm and its build volume is 100 x 100 x 80 mm.
In fact, for a little more money, you can be happily printing with an Ender 3, which offers a larger print volume, more features (like a heated build plate and the ability to print with more than PLA) and more customizability. It also means you can enjoy the printer along with your kid and print more than just trinkets.
To be fair though, by limiting the size of the build space, it also means prints there will be less waiting for prints to be completed.
To make it as easy as possible to remove and pop off prints, this printer comes equipped with a magnetic bed. It snaps on and off the build plate and with a gentle bend releases prints. Unfortunately, this is not a heated bed though.
Whether this is marketing or reality is tough to say, but Creality says the CR-100 won’t be irritatingly loud thanks to German bearings.
Here’s a rundown of the CR-100’s technical specifications:
You can purchase the CR-100 from the following online retailers:
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