Today’s versus article features two excellent entry-level printers for beginners and experts alike. Normally, we highly recommend both of these 3D printers, but there can be only one winner. Find out which printer comes out on top in this Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega vs HICTOP Creality CR-10 comparison.
Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega vs HICTOP Creality CR-10 In-depth Comparison
Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega Basics
The Anycubic i3 Mega delivers well beyond what you would expect for its price, making it one of the best values in 3D printing, period. Other printers at this price tend to be “mini”, but the i3 Mega sports an 8”x8”x8” print volume. This 3D printer is capable of reaching print speeds between 20-100mm/s, depending which resolution you choose. Resolution options range from 50-300 microns, which is again impressive for this price range.
The i3 Mega also includes a heated print bed that reaches temperatures of 110ºC, and a nozzle that reaches 260ºC. That means you can print with almost any filament using this 3D printer right out of the box. Read more about the Anycubic i3 Mega in our full review.
HICTOP Creality CR-10 Basics
The most obvious advantage in this comparison and any other is the CR-10’s massive print area. Measuring 11.8”x11.8”x15.7”, this massive print volume allows you to make models over a foot high in resolutions between 50-400 microns. This despite not being much larger or heavier than the Anycubic i3 Mega. The CR-10 makes relatively quick work of large models, too, printing at speeds between 50-80mm/s.
This 3D printer uses PLA beautifully, but we recommend an upgrade to the extruder nozzle and heated print bed before trying high-temp filaments like ABS. Although easy to install, these upgrades will run you between $50-100. Click here to read our full review of the Creality CR-10.
Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega vs HICTOP Creality CR-10 Comparison: Similarities
There are a lot of similarities that make these two prints such close contenders. First, both 3D printers are under $500, making them affordable for beginners who don’t want to break the bank. Their low price isn’t reflected in build quality, though, as both the i3 Mega and the CR-10 offer rugged full-metal construction. This adds stability to your prints and adds to the longevity of your printer.
Moving on, both of these machines prints with reliable accuracy, even at their highest resolution. Due to their open-frame design, these printers work best when used along with an enclosure, which you’ll need to supply yourself. We’re most impressed by the CR-10’s ability to retain print quality with tall models during hours- or even days-long printing sessions.
Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega vs HICTOP Creality CR-10 Comparison: Differences
These two 3D printers may be similar but there are plenty of features that set them apart. Most obvious is the build volume, with the CR-10 offering over four times the total volume of the i3 Mega (~512-cubic inches vs ~2150-cubic inches). In fact, the CR-10 has a larger build volume than almost any other printer in this price range, especially for a pre-built model of this quality.
The i3 Mega is still competitive, however. Unlike the CR-10, the i3 Mega includes user-friendly features like a touch-screen interface, assisted bed-leveling, non-stick Ultrabase print bed, and filament detection. Most importantly, the i3 Mega is also able to print high-temp filaments like ABS without upgrades. The downside is that Anycubic’s customer support and QC lag behind Creality’s. This isn’t surprising since Creality is a more established brand.
Anycubic Upgraded Full Metal i3 Mega vs HICTOP Creality CR-10 Comparison Verdict
Today’s competitors didn’t make it easy to choose a winner. In the end, our selection came down to price and functionality. Simply put, the Anycubic i3 Mega offers more filament options and user-friendly features than the CR-10 for less money.
That said, the i3 Mega’s rock-bottom price comes with the chance of quality control issues or subpar customer service. Still, any maintenance required for this printer is only a fraction of what it would take to bring the CR-10 up to the task of printing in multiple filaments. For that reason, we recommend the Anycubic i3 Mega over the Creality CR-10 unless you really need the extra build volume.