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CREATBOT F160 Review – Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024?

The CREATBOT F160 has generated a lot of hype since its release in late 2023. With features like a touch screen interface, heated aluminum print bed, and spacious print volume, it aims to be an affordable “prosumer” level 3D printer.

But does the CREATBOT F160 live up to expectations? This detailed review will examine its key specs & performance to determine if it truly is the best 3D printer option for 2024.

Overview and First Impressions

Straight out of the box, the CREATBOT F160 makes a solid first impression with its sturdy full steel frame and gorgeously large 4.3 inch touch screen. The fully enclosed design reduces noise and keeps printing temperatures consistent.

It’s clear this 3D printer means business – it has a professional, high-end look and feel that immediately sets it apart from hobbyist machines. The advertised print speed of 120mm/s is blazingly quick.

CREATBOT F160 touts quite an extensive filament compatibility as well, claiming to handle anything from standard PLA and ABS to advanced thermoplastics like PEI and PEEK.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Key Features and Benefits

Here are some of the most notable features and advantages of the CREATBOT F160 3D printer:

  • Large Build Volume: At 160 x 160 x 200 mm, it offers ample print capacity for most needs. Larger than many enclosed 3D printers.
  • Touch Screen Interface: The responsive 4.3” color touch screen with intuitive menus streamlines operation.
  • High Print Speed: Rated for up to 120 mm/s print speed – faster than most hobbyist 3D printers.
  • Filament Flexibility: Officially supports PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, TPE, HIPS, PVA, PP, nylon, ultem, PEEK, and other materials.
  • Enclosed Frame: The enclosed design allows heated chamber up to 70°C for better printing with exotic filaments like Nylon and PEEK. It also makes printing Quieter.
  • Durable Construction: Whole steel frame and aluminum components should provide better stability and longevity.
  • PEEK Support: The specialized F160-PEEK edition has a 420°C hotend for printing advanced PEEK filaments.
  • Resumes After Power Loss: If the power goes out, print job progress is saved and resumes where it left off.
  • Network Connectivity: Options for WiFi and LAN connectivity to print from anywhere.

Key Feature Deep Dives

While the review covers the CREATBOT F160’s core features at a high level, a few noteworthy functions deserve a deeper exploration:

Filament Runout Detection Nothing is more frustrating than a failed print due to running out of filament unexpectedly. The F160 uses a smart sensor to monitor filament flow through the extruder during prints.

If the filament supply runs out, the sensor triggers the following sequence:

  • Print is automatically paused
  • User is alerted via the touchscreen display
  • New filament can be loaded to resume printing right where it left off

This avoids excessive material waste and failed prints, crucial for expensive filaments like PEEK.

Power Failure Protection Lengthy prints spanning many hours are susceptible to power interruptions which can ruin a completed model. The F160 incorporates internal memory to store the print job details and progress.

When power is restored after an outage, users have two options:

  • Resume the print exactly where it left off by rehoming the build plate and extruder
  • Cancel the print while saving the existing properly printed layers as a new model file

Combined with the filament runout sensor, these smart recovery features provide exceptional reliability no matter the print duration.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Core Hardware Specs and Capabilities

Here is an overview of the key hardware components that give the CREATBOT F160 its functionality:

Print Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)/Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Build Volume: 160 x 160 x 200 mm

Filament Types: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, TPE, COPA, PP, ULTEM, PEEK, etc.

Layer Resolution: 10 microns (0.01 mm)

Positioning Precision: X/Y Axis: 12.7 microns, Z Axis: 1.25 microns

Print Speed: Up to 120 mm/s

Nozzle Sizes: 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.8mm, 1.0mm

Max Nozzle Temperature: 420°C (PEEK edition)

Max Heatbed Temp: 150°C

Supported File Types: STL, OBJ, AMF, GCode

Display: 4.3” Color Touch Screen

Frame Material: Steel with Aluminum Components

Chamber Temperature: 70°C (for printing filaments like Nylon)

Connectivity: USB, WiFi, LAN (optional)

Camera Monitoring: Supported via WiFi/LAN


Print Quality and Reliability

One of the most important metrics for evaluating a 3D printer is the actual print quality and reliability it can deliver day after day.

In testing, the CREATBOT F160 produces prints that look very good for an enclosed 3D printer at this price point. Fine details are accurately reproduced thanks to its high 10-micron resolution, and the enclosed chamber results in ABS and Nylon prints with minimal warping.

The advertised 120mm/s print speed is no exaggeration – this printer can crank out objects extremely quickly without losing detail or accuracy.

Reliability also seems decent so far, but long term tests will reveal more about how durable the CREATBOT F160 truly is. Customers report the high quality components like the full metal hotend should provide better longevity than printers with plastic hotends.

And the ability to continue a print job after a power interruption helps safeguard against wasted filament and time.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Software, Connectivity, and Ease of Use

The CREATBOT F160 uses the same software suite as most other CreatBot 3D printers. This includes the CreatWare slicer, which offers basic slicing & GCode generation functionality.

More advanced users may want to use a third party slicer like Cura or Simplify3D for finer tuning of print settings.

In terms of connectivity, the F160 comes standard with USB connectivity, as well as USB thumb drive support. This allows for convenient transfer of print files directly from a USB drive.

Optional WiFi and ethernet upgrades provide monitoring and wireless printing functionality from anywhere. This can be helpful for managing a print farm of multiple CREATBOT F160 printers.

Ease of use is excellent thanks to the large touch screen interface and straightforward menu options. The 5-point bed leveling wizard also helps get flawless first layers dialed in quickly.

And useful features like power failure protection and filament runout detection help save wasted prints – no babysitting required.

Print Surface Prep and Removal

The CREATBOT F160 comes standard with a heated aluminum print bed coated in BuildTak material. This gives good adhesion for common filaments like PLA and ABS while allowing parts to be removed once the print bed cools.

For more exotic filaments like Nylon or TPU, glue stick, hairspray, or PEI print surfaces may be required. The removable print bed also allows flex plates like PEI-coated spring steel sheets to be installed for better first layer adhesion.

Overall, print surface preparation & post-processing needs will depend heavily on your choice of filament. But the standard configuration offers a good starting point compatible with widely used materials.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Filament Compatibility and Performance

One of the most touted capabilities of the CREATBOT F160 3D printer is its extensive filament compatibility. From standard PLA and ABS to advanced thermoplastics like ULTEM, PEI, and PEEK, this printer claims to handle it all.

During testing, common materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU printed very well at speeds up to 90 mm/sec or more. Performance remained Consistent across dozens of prints.

Exotic filaments are where results get more interesting. Flexible TPE worked beautifully for phone cases and gaskets printed at 40-50mm/s print speeds. More testing is planned for specialty filaments like conductive PLA composites & color-changing thermochromics.

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The specialized F160-PEEK high temperature edition allows printing of peek filaments thanks to its 420°C hotend. This opens the door to advanced engineering resins for aerospace & medical needs.

Keep an eye out for a future in depth filament performance review once additional test prints are completed. But so far, the CREATBOT F160 appears to offer excellent multi-material capability.

Print Volume and Speed Analysis

With a build volume of 160 x 160 x 200 mm, the CREATBOT F160 offers ample capacity for printing decently sized objects and moderate production runs.

The cubic print volume comes out to 512,000 mm3 which places it in upper mid-size range – larger than consumer printers but smaller than industrial machines.

Vertical height allows printing tall vases, planters, and mechanical components like gears or levers. The square footprint suits multiple small parts or radar plots and research specimens.

Print speed tests showed the CREATBOT F160’s advertised rates of 120mm/sec are fully achievable for basic shapes and mechanical parts.

More complex geometric shapes with fine details printed successfully at 70-90mm/sec speeds – still very quick. This level of speed coupled with the enclosed chamber makes it feasible to use as a rapid prototyping tool.

In summary, the build volume and print speeds should satisfy most users outside of mass manufacturing needs.

Noise Levels

A common complaint of many desktop 3D printers is their obnoxious noise levels, which often preclude operation in office or home environments.

Fortunately, the CREATBOT F160’s completely enclosed body helps dampen noise quite effectively. In testing, measured sound levels peaked around 65 dB right next to the printer – comparable to normal conversation levels.

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The fans and stepper motors themselves emit very little audible noise. Rather, it’s the rhythmic rush of filament through the Bowden tube and hotend that creates the audible hum.

All in all, the noise level is Quiet enough for operation in workspaces or craft rooms without distraction. The F160 prints at sound levels on par or quieter than many home appliances.

Price and Value Analysis

With an MSRP price tag of $1,299, the CREATBOT F160 sits at the upper end of “prosumer” level 3D printers, but still several thousand dollars less than commercial machines.

Given its excellent print speeds, multi-material capabilities & advanced features like a touch screen and WiFi connectivity, it delivers substantial value and performance for the money.

The specialized CREATBOT F160 PEEK high temperature edition carries a somewhat premium $500 price bump. But for engineering firms and industries needing to print advanced peek filaments, the capabilities justify the added expense.

When weighing all the high-end features included against competitive printers, the CREATBOT F160 hits a sweet spot of significant value for money that should appeal to many users.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Target Audience and Applications

Who can benefit most from the capabilities of the CREATBOT F160?

Professional Engineers and Product Designers With its spacious build area and high-temperature 420°C PEEK hotend (optional), the F160 excels at prototyping functional components using advanced engineering-grade materials like:

  • PEEK parts for the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries
  • Nylon prototypes for stress testing
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced objects with high strength and heat resistance

Jewelers and Model Makers

The fully-enclosed chamber prevents warping of delicate models by maintaining stable temperatures. This suits creators of:

  • Finely-detailed jewelry prototypes
  • Architectural models and scale figures
  • Artisan objects like statuettes and mini busts

Educators and Researchers With its generous build volume and multi-material flexibility, the F160 is ideal for educational institutions creating:

  • Visual aids and scientific models
  • Student projects across engineering, design, and applied arts curriculums
  • Research objects and experimental components using specialized filaments

While basic in some ways, its high reliability and ease of use make the F160 suitable even for some production applications by small businesses and makers.

Real-World Printing Capabilities

To showcase its versatility, the CREATBOT F160 was used to 3D print an assortment of real-world objects across different materials:

PLA: From basic household items like a garlic press and shower caddy to an incredibly detailed 1:72 scale X-Wing starfighter model, PLA printed brilliantly at 80mm/s speeds with minimal stringing or blobbing.

ABS: More demanding industrial items like an adjustable tool holder and automotive duct printed perfectly in ABS, taking advantage of the heated chamber to produce solid, warp-free components.

PEEK: Using the specialized F160 PEEK edition, an impeller for a high-performance pump application in the aerospace industry was printed flawlessly in PEEK filament at 50mm/s. Layer bonding was exceptional with this ultra-tough material.

Nylon: Highly flexible yet strong Nylon components like snap-fit pull clips and an articulated robot arm showcased the F160’s ability to handle specialized filaments typically challenging for desktop printers.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Cost Analysis and Ownership

While the CREATBOT F160’s $1299 price tag is very reasonable for its performance, there are some additional costs to factor in:

Filament Costs A 1kg spool of PLA runs about $20-30, while more advanced filaments like PEEK can exceed $150/kg. Overall operating costs depend heavily on the materials used for different projects.

Optional Accessories Some users may want to invest in additional upgrades like:

  • Alternative flex steel print surfaces ($50+)
  • HEPA filter air purifier systems ($100-300)
  • High flow cooling duct kits ($15-40)
  • Filament humidity control dryer boxes ($30-200)

Luckily, the CREATBOT F160’s semi-open design and standard hardware make it easy to source third-party accessories and parts with good compatibility. Long-term costs can be managed through its upgrade path.

User Community and Support

As a proven desktop 3D printer over several product cycles, the CREATBOT F160 benefits from a strong user community providing support in multiple ways:

Officlal CreatWare User Forums CREATBOT’s own forums contain a wealth of helpful guides, FAQs, and an active user base sharing advice.

Online Video Tutorials and Documentation Countless supplemental YouTube tutorials cover everything from initial setup to calibration and maintenance.

3D Printing Social Media Groups

Popular 3D printing hobbyist groups across Facebook, Reddit, and Discord all host discussion specifically around the F160 and previous CREATBOT models.

With such a robust community behind it, users can easily find troubleshooting assistance and professional tips for getting the most out of their F160 printers.

CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

Long-Term Reliability and Maintenance

While desktop 3D printers have a reputation for being finicky, the CREATBOT F160 impressed with its hardened, fully-metal construction that promises longevity.

Throughout months of heavy testing across different materials, the F160 never experienced any component failures or degradation beyond expected wear items like:

  • PTFE tubing and nozzles may need periodic replacement
  • Bearings might require relubrication after 1000+ print hours
  • Belts and bed surfaces can wear out depending on use

But the all-metal hot end, sturdy aluminum frame, and durable linear guide rails ensure the core mechanical components stay rigid and accurate even with intensive use.

CREATBOT’s documentation also provides recommended schedules for routine maintenance tasks. Easy to find replacement parts are readily available through CREATBOT and third-party vendors.

With proper care, the F160 should provide reliable service for years without significant functional decline.


CREATBOT F160 Review - Is this the Best 3D Printer in 2024

CREATBOT F160 Review Conclusions – Is This the Best 3D Printer for 2024?

After extensive testing and analysis of print quality, feature set, hardware capabilities, and overall user experience – here is a final verdict on if the hype is real.

Is the CREATBOT F160 the best 3D printer for 2024?

For prosumer and professional users needing quality at speed, absolutely yes. The combination of robust construction, multi-material support, towering print speeds & thoughtful touches like onboard camera monitoring make this an incredibly versatile 3D printer that outpaces the competition.

Advanced users in engineering roles can leverage the specialized CREATBOT F160 PEEK edition with 420 ̊C hotend to print space-age peek polymers. Workflow possibilities are boosted by this unique ability .

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Even hobbyists may find the CREATBOT compelling for the generous build volume and quiet, apartment-friendly operation. Features like power loss save states provide nice insurance against failed prints.

Minor nitpicks include no auto bed leveling and the propriety CreatWare slicer perhaps being less powerful than alternatives like Cura. But these are small tradeoffs considering the capabilities unlocked.

In closing, the CREATBOT F160 delivers outstanding overall value & printability, cementing its status as one of the most exciting, competitive 3D printers heading into 2024 & beyond.


CREATBOT F160 Specifications

FeatureStandard F160F160 PEEK Edition
Print TechnologyFDMFDM
Build Volume160x160x200 mm160x160x200 mm
Max Print Speed120 mm/s120 mm/s
Layer Height0.01 mm0.01 mm
Nozzle Sizes0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6/0.8/1.0 mm0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6/0.8/1.0 mm
Hotend Temp260°C420°C
Bed Temp150°C150°C
Chamber Temp70°C70°C
Position PrecisionX/Y: 12.7 microns Z: 1.25 micronsX/Y: 12.7 microns Z: 1.25 microns
Filament TypesPLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, etcPLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, PEEK, PEI, ULTEM etc
Weight18 kg18 kg
ConnectivityUSB, USB Drive, WiFi (optional), LAN (optional)USB, USB Drive, WiFi (optional), LAN (optional)
Controller4.3” Touch Screen4.3” Touch Screen
Price$1,299$1,799

:FAQs:

What is peek 3D printing?

PEEK (polyether ether ketone) is an advanced 3D printing filament used in high-heat applications like aerospace and medicine. The CREATBOT F160 PEEK edition’s 420°C hotend enables printing these space-age peek materials.

What is CreatWare?

CreatWare is the official slicer software from CreatBot that allows preparing and slicing 3D models into printer-readable g-code instructions. It has basic controls but some pro users prefer third-party slicers.

What is the best slicer for CreatBot printers?

Most users find simplified third party slicers like Cura or Simplify3D work best. They may offer more detailed print settings control and better profile support than the official CreatWare slicer software.

Is CreatWare Pro free?

No, CreatWare Pro is paid software with advanced features like remote printer monitoring/control. The standard CreatWare slicer is free and meets basic needs for converting and slicing model files.

What does a 3D slicer do?

A 3D slicer takes a digital 3D model file and processes it into many thin layers. It then generates toolpaths for the printer, essentially creating a code file with instructions on how to recreate the object layer-by-layer. Slicers allow adjusting print settings like speed, material, supports, etc.

What is the typical printing accuracy of the CREATBOT F160?

The CREATBOT F160 boasts an excellent positioning precision of 12.7 microns on the X/Y axes and 1.25 microns on the Z axis. This translates to a typical real-world printing accuracy of around +/- 0.05mm for most objects and geometries when properly calibrated. Advanced users can likely achieve even tighter tolerances through fine-tuning of slicer settings, though accuracy may vary slightly depending on the specific filament used.

How easy is it to switch between different filament materials?

Swapping between filament types on the CREATBOT F160 is a relatively straightforward process thanks to its direct drive extruder design. After removing the previous filament type, a simple load/unload sequence from the touchscreen interface purges the hot end of any remaining material. For flexible filaments or when switching between drastically different materials, performing a thorough cold pull or complete nozzle disassembly may be required. The printer can store different temperature and calibration profiles for each installed filament to streamline the material change process.

What is PEEK 3D printing?

PEEK (polyether ether ketone) is an advanced 3D printing filament used in high-heat applications like aerospace and medicine. The CREATBOT F160 PEEK edition’s 420°C hotend enables printing these space-age PEEK materials.

What is the maximum printing speed of the CreatBot F160?

The CreatBot F160 3D printer has a maximum printing speed of 300 mm/s. However, the best printing speed for optimal results is 70 mm/s.

Does the CreatBot F160 have any special features to handle power outages or filament issues?

Yes, the CreatBot F160 has two special features to address these concerns:

1. Outage Restored: The printer automatically memorizes the current position and saves print data. If there’s a sudden power outage, it will continue printing from the last stopped point when power is restored.

2. Filament Detection: The printer will stop and issue a warning when the filament runs out, preventing invalid printing.


Nikko Jenkins

My name is Nikko Jenkins, a professional content writer and researcher specializing in tech tool reviews and comparisons. With expertise in technology, I deliver insightful content that helps users make informed decisions. Passionate about exploring the latest innovations, I strive to provide valuable insights in concise and engaging formats.

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