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Creality Sermoon V1 Pro review: A quirky consumer 3D printer

The small, fully-enclosed 3D printer has some tangible strengths, but it's not without issues.
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Creality Sermoon V1 Pro

7 / 10
Very good

pros and cons

Pros
  • Enclosed
  • Supports multiple filaments
  • Great webcam
Cons
  • Too many notifications
  • Noisy
  • Comparably high price for small build area

The Creality Sermoon V1 Pro is a filament-based 3D printer from one of the most popular makers of consumer-level 3D printers. For the uninitiated, 3D printers build up objects layer-by-layer, melting plastic filament about the thickness of a piece of spaghetti and extruding it onto a build plate. As the layers are added to the plate, the object grows and takes form.

There are a wide range of 3D printer technologies, brands, and capabilities, but filament-based printers are among the most common and cost-effective. Another common 3D printer type builds up layers of resin by exposing each layer to light. Those resin printers are of a comparable cost, but are often used for making smaller models with a greater degree of detail. They're super-popular in the miniature gaming world, for example.

Printers like the Sermoon V1 Pro are capable of making small statue-like objects as well. In fact, I use some for my tests. But the real benefit of 3D printers is that, in addition to the types of objects you can download from sites like Thingiverse or Printables, you can design your own objects that solve specific problems. I'll link to a few practical 3D printing projects below to give you an example.

See:

These devices range from a few hundred dollars well up into the thousands. The price is determined by features, speed, robustness, and size of printer, among other things. This printer is more expensive than some, but less expensive than others. It's at an interesting price point, but it's small. That said, let's look into the details.

Many people are familiar with the Ender name when it comes to Creality, a hugely popular line of open bed filament printers. The Sermoon v1 Pro I'm examining in this review can be either partially or fully enclosed, and offers a range of features that Creality hopes will justify its moderately hefty $500-plus price tag.

If you like all of the Sermoon's features, the price might be just fine. But if you don't need them, that price might seem pretty up there.

Specifications

Max. Build Dimensions

175*175*165 mm

Machine Dimensions

400*380*430 mm

Machine Weight

11.5kg

Max. Nozzle Temperature

≤250°C

Max. Heated Bed Temperature

≤80°

Supported Filament

PLA/ABS/PETG/TPU

Filament Diameter

1.75mm


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Very simple setup.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Setting it up 

Setup of the printer was relatively simple. The company touts out-of-the-box operation and that's pretty much true. Once I got it working, I didn't even have to level the bed. It ran perfectly.

The control console is nicely embedded in the chassis of the machine. The Sermoon V1 Pro has a relatively small build area of 175x175x165 mm. That's pretty tiny for a printer that's priced above $500. Some of my test models had to be scaled down for this printer, because they were just too tall. That said, it's not so small that you can't get anything done.

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David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Features 

At a little above $500 (the price fluctuates a bit), the Sermoon V1 Pro offers a laundry list of helpful features, right out of the box. First, as mentioned before, it can be fully enclosed. You can take the top off to allow for some heat release, but you can also keep the full enclosure on, which allows for a wide range of filament types, including ABS.

The printer also has a front door that can be set to pause the print when opened. I found this annoying, especially when trying to film the printer. But for situations with kids and classrooms, I can definitely see the value.

The printer also has a flexible steel magnetic plate with a coating that works amazingly well for bed adhesion. I had no problems whatsoever with any prints sticking to the plate, and they removed fairly easily.

Another feature is built-in Wi-Fi and a camera that can help you see your print's progress from a smartphone. I found this feature to work quite well, and I liked it.

The app itself is annoying. Rather than get alerts just when a print finishes, the app seems content to provide alerts for everything, including when new designs are on sale in the Creality store and when you earn Cuvacoins. What are Cuvacoins, you ask? Creality seems to be trying some sort of gamification, but all it turned out to be was an annoyance.

cuvacoins

Cuvacoins. Seriously. Seriously?

This machine has no USB ports.You can load prints in either of two ways: via a full sized SD card or over Wi-Fi using CrealityCloud. But if you want to hook up a Raspberry Pi and control the printer directly over USB, you can't -- although there is a work-around. Creality has instructions for hacking together direct links from Creality Cloud to both Cura and OctoPrint.

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David Gewirtz/ZDNET

The Core-XY Sermoon V1 Pro sports an all-metal hot end with a dual-geared direct extruder that heats up to 250 degrees. What that means is that the extruder pulls filament through to the hot end. Bowden tube extruders have the gear mechanism quite a ways away from the hot end, and while they're a bit lighter, filament can get jammed. The direct extruder also allows for a wider range of filament types.

That brings us to the Sermoon's touted feature of silent printing. Once the printer gets started, it's not terribly noisy, but it gets pretty loud when it starts up. There's also noticeable ambient fan noise.

The Sermoon V1 Pro doesn't have automatic bed leveling. Instead, you have to do the typical paper-slide action to get the tram just right, but you make your adjustments by tapping on the control panel and adjusting the Z-offset in five separate areas of the bed.

The Sermoon V1 Pro does have two must-have features: a filament runout sensor and a power-fail resume feature.

Bottom line

So, do I recommend you buy this? 

The price is a lot more than other printers with bigger build areas. That said, you do get a lot with this product, including the webcam.

Also, the entire frame is made from plastic, so I'm not sure how long it will last. Another concern about product life is the build platform. It's supported on only one side, so whenever you remove and snap on the magnetic plate, you're applying stress to the platform.

If this is intended for schools or kids, I'm not sure it's robust enough to handle the inevitable abuse. For hobbyist use, it might hold up, but only time will tell.

What do you think? Is this a printer you'd like to use? Let us know in the comments below.

Alternatives to consider 

This version has most of the features of the V1 Pro except the camera and door sensor.

This is an open-bed "bed slinger" printer. It's one of the most popular models of 3D printer ever sold.

We quite liked the Anycubic Vyper when we reviewed it


You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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