3d printing review

Ender5 S1 – what’s new

Creality’s Ender-5 line of printers features a stable cubic frame, however, neither the original Ender 5, nor the next versions Ender-5 Plus and Ender-5 Pro are CoreXY. Those were cartesian machines, where the gantry is moving on XY. They had improved stability because of the cubic frame, and that is it. Ender5 users created a multitude of mods to improve the printer and now with the latest Ender-5 S1 Creality claims they had upgraded this lineup on all fronts.

Ender-5 S1 is the Ender series’ latest flagship model. This powerful machine will feature high-speed and high-temperature printing, providing unparalleled performance for 3d printing professionals and small to middle-scale businesses. 


When I first read this statement I thought finally Ender-5 S1 will offer CoreXY arrangement and probably a direct toolhead with high-temperature hotend. Details are already known. Ender-5 S1 brings numerous improvements related to the frame/gantry rigidity and the toolhead, but stays firmly a cartesian machine.

Ender-5 S1 – 3d printer specifications

Build Volume: 220x220x280mm

Extruder Type: “Sprite” dual gear direct extruder

Hotend: All-metal up to 300°C, supplied with 0.4mm brass nozzle

ABL: CR Touch Auto Bed Leveling

Control board: 32-bit, silent stepper drivers

Display: 4.3″ color touchscreen

Print speed: up to 250 mm/s

Acceleration: up to 2000 mm/s2

Heatbed: up to 110°C

Build platform: PC spring steel sheet

Supported filaments: PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, ASA, HIPS, PC

Printer type: FDM, cartesian

Ender-5 S1 – frame & motion

Ender5 S1 has the same arrangement as previous Ender-5 machines. it is still a cartesian 3d printer and motion is relying again on V-wheels. On the bright side, everything seems more solid. The gantry carriages are robust, with 4 v-wheels moving on 2040 extrusions. As the printer is cartesian and not CoreXY, the gantry is relatively heavy because of the large X-axis stepper motor it has to carry on top. The build platform is on cantilevered bed with one Z stepper but on larger 12mm sliding rods. Despite the heavy gantry and the cantilevered bed design, Creality says its upgraded motion system allows it to achieve up to 250 mm/s print speed with up to 2000 mm/s2 acceleration. They recommend though the typical speed of 120 mm/s.

Ender-5 S1 design

The design is modular. Ender-5 S1 comes pre-assembled and it takes less than 30 min to get it running.

Vertical aluminum profiles are also 2040, reinforced with brackets to further dump vibrations.

All stepper motors are 42-48 mm with enough torque for reliable motion on all axis.

Ender-5 S1 – direct toolhead

Ender-5 S1 Sprite toolhead with direct extruder
Ender-5 S1 “Sprite” toolhead with dual drive direct extruder
and all-metal hotend with titanium heatbreak

The Ender5 S1 is equipped with a direct extruder. Its design is similar to the Sprite Extruder Pro for Ender3. Electrical connections to the toolhead are made with shielded ribbon cable ending on a rubber strain relief. Compared to the original Sprite extruder, here the heater block is larger, the nozzle is longer and the heater cartridge is more powerful. It should help achieve stability at high temperatures up to 300°C. The all-metal hotend is equipped with a titanium heatbreak, which is OK, but inferior to the performance of modern bi-metal heatbreaks.

Supported filaments include PC at 270C print temperature. It is strange because I never printed polycarbonate below 280C and printer enclosure is mandatory. BTW, Creality will sell an acrylic enclosure for this printer separately.

Front view of Ender5 S1 toolhead
Ender-5 S1 features direct printhead with ribbon cable connection and CR touch probe for ABL.
The part cooling 5015 blower fan is mounted on the rear and is blowing through Y-shaped 3d printed ducts.
Ender-5 S1 dual drive extruder

The Sprite direct extruder features dual gears with a ratio 1:3.5 and an extrusion force of 80N.
Creality says printing flexible filaments improved dramatically.

Ender-5 S1 – build platform

Like the Ender3 S1, the new Ender-5 S1 is equipped with a flexible spring steel sheet with PC coating. Using polycarbonate sheet for the build plate is something I was experimenting with for years and I am happy finally someone decided to industrialize it. The PC coating assures excellent adhesion for most filaments, including ABS and PC.

Ender5 S1 flexible spring steel sheet with PC coating

Ender-5 S1 – what’s in the box

Unboxing Ender-5 S1 3d printer
Ender5 S1 has nicely designed packaging. The pre-assembled components are securely fixed on 4 levels.
1. (top level) – Z axis assembly including 12mm rods, z-stepper and lead-screw, various tools, manual and material guide;
2. top frame assembly with gantry and direct printhead;
3. build platform assembly;
4. control box and vertical 2040 aluminum profiles.

Ender5 S1 – print quality

I couldn’t yet test the printer myself, however, it seems Creality sent a number of printers to YouTube vloggers before the launch and there are already a few published video reviews. It seems the S1 performs quite well for PLA, producing clean prints at lower speeds and introducing tons of artifacts at high speeds. The new Sprite toolhead apparently underperforms when printing TPU and other flexibles (speeds up to 30mm/s only). Still, it seems an impressive machine for the bucks.

Ender-5 S1 – conclusion

The E5 S1 offers all modern features – a large touch screen, ABL with CR Touch, filament runout sensor, print resume, direct extruder. It allows being enclosed with a separately sold acrylic enclosure, which makes it possible to print ABS/PC filaments.

Ender-5 S1 features a robust cube frame and reinforced mechanics. The cantilevered bed and the relatively heavy gantry are the weak elements, that limit the printer to reach a higher speed/print quality ratio. I believe that this design choice would limit the maximum speed (without quality compromise) to 80-100 mm/s and acceleration to 1000 mm/s2. On other hand, this construction is simpler and easier to maintain.

At $559 MSRP it is a good value printer and probably the best choice among the current Ender line of 3d printers.

So, overall, the Creality Ender 5 S1 is a reliable and versatile FDM 3D printer that offers a large build volume, auto bed leveling, and other useful features at an affordable price. If you are looking for a printer that can handle larger prints and offers room for customization and upgrades, the Ender 5 S1 is definitely worth considering.

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