Does Creality Offer Too Many 3D Printers?  « Fabbaloo

Only a few of the many Creality 3D printers (Source: Fabbaloo)

A question I’m hearing more frequently goes something like this: “Does Creality sell too many models of 3D printers?”

At first, I thought this might be the case, as the company has released so many models that it’s actually hard to keep track of them. Creality has a habit of releasing new machines every few months, leading to quite a long equipment list.

How long, exactly, is that list? Honestly, I don’t know, and it’s nearly impossible to figure that out unless one digs through the secret paperwork at Creality HQ. The nearest source I found that seems close would be the machines listed on the company’s “Support” page.

Here is the list of 50 (!) machines on those pages:

  • K1 Max
  • K1
  • Ender-3 V3 KE
  • Ender-3 V3 SE
  • Ender-5 S1
  • Ender-3 V2 Neo
  • Ender-3 Max Neo
  • Ender-3 Neo
  • Ender-3 S1 Plus
  • Ender-3 S1 Pro
  • Ender-3 S1
  • Ender-3 V2
  • Ender-3 Pro
  • Ender-3 E
  • Ender-3
  • Ender-2 Pro
  • Ender-7
  • Ender-6
  • Ender-3 Max
  • Ender-5 Plus
  • Ender-5 Pro
  • HALOT-MAGE
  • HALOT-MAGE PRO
  • HALOT-ONE PLUS
  • HALOT-ONE PRO
  • HALOT-LITE
  • HALOT-ONE
  • HALOT-SKY
  • LD-006 Resin
  • CR-10 SE
  • CR-M4
  • CR-10 Smart Pro
  • CR-10 Smart
  • CR-30
  • CR-6 SE
  • CR-6 MAX
  • CR-10S Pro V2
  • CP-01
  • CR-X Pro
  • Sermoon M500
  • Sermoon D3
  • Sermoon V1
  • Sermoon V1 Pro
  • CR-5 Pro
  • Sermoon D1
  • CR-5 Pro_H
  • CR-200B
  • CR-200B Pro
  • CR-3040 Pro
  • CR-5060 Pro

As you can see, the company basically has five main product lines: Ender, Sermoon, CR, HALOT, and the latest K1 series. These model names are numbered, versioned and branded with some combination of SE, Neo, Pro, Plus or KE.

I don’t believe this list is actually complete, either. For example, the base Ender-2 doesn’t appear, nor does an Ender-1.

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It’s no wonder it’s hard to keep track of all of Creality’s equipment!

However, most of the long list above is historical, as many of those machines are obsolete and no longer available. What about current equipment?

From Creality’s website, we see the following 18 machines listed:

  • K1 Max
  • K1
  • Sermoon D3
  • Sermoon D3 Pro
  • Sermoon V1
  • Sermoon V1 Pro
  • Ender-3 V3 KE
  • Ender-3 V3 SE
  • Ender-5 S1
  • Ender-3 S1 Pro
  • HALOT-MAGE PRO
  • HALOT-MAGE
  • HALOT-ONE PLUS
  • HALOT-ONE PRO
  • CR-10 SE
  • CR-M4
  • CR-10 Smart Pro
  • CR-6 SE

That’s a much smaller number, but still far larger than the product portfolio from most other 3D printer manufacturers.

It’s important to remember that Creality is trying to address quite a few different market segments here. For example, the buyer of an Ender-3 V3 SE isn’t likely interested in a HALOT-ONE PLUS or a Sermoon D3. Creality targets more markets than most 3D printer manufacturers.

But what about the company’s online store? What models are for sale? Here’s the list from their store as of this writing:

  • Ender-3 V3 SE
  • Ender-3 S1 Plus
  • Ender-3 S1 Pro
  • Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro
  • Ender-3 S1
  • Ender-3 V2 Neo
  • Ender-3 Max Neo
  • Ender-3
  • Ender-3 V2
  • Ender-3 Neo
  • Ender-3 V3 KE
  • Ender-5 S1
  • Ender-5 Plus
  • CR-10 SE
  • CR-M4
  • CR-10 Smart Pro
  • CR-30
  • HALOT-MAGE PRO 8K Resin
  • HALOT-MAGE 8K Resin

One would assume all the current models are for sale, and they are. But curiously, there are several older models still for sale. Astoundingly, it’s still possible to purchase the ancient base Ender-3 model at the rock-bottom price of US$169.

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Why sell older models? Most companies tend to flush out older equipment to make room for new models. That’s not only physical room in warehouses and production lines, but also “room” in the minds of the customer: Behavioral Economics says that if there are too many choices, the customer just might not choose anything.

While there are some older models, there are plenty from the list of 50 above that are not currently being sold, as they have really and truly been retired. The older models that are being sold likely fall into two categories.

The first would be recent models that they are in fact clearing out by lowering prices. The second would be cases like the base Ender-3 that is probably there simply to be an option for people that want the absolutely least expensive competent 3D printer on the market.

At US$169 there is not a lot of margin, and Creality is likely able to make a few bucks by still making and selling those units.

Back to the original question: does Creality have too many models?

Probably. Other manufacturers get the job done with fewer models, so Creality could do the same.

I think the issue lies with Creality’s product strategy, in which they make relatively small incremental design changes and quickly release a new model. This is why we see multiple models released every few months, and also why the product names seem so cryptic — they do have to name all products, even if there’s only a slight design change.

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For a moment I considered making a chart of how these models evolved from version to version, but by the time I would finish the chart, it would be out of date. Sigh.

Via Creality

منبع: https://www.fabbaloo.com/news/does-creality-offer-too-many-3d-printers

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