While not quite a perfect beginner printer, the Sermoon V1 Pro nevertheless sets the bar very high for anyone claiming a beginner-friendly printer in the future. With a fully enclosed design, app connectivity, and even a webcam to view your prints remotely, it’s a great quality, safe, and neat desktop printer that’ll serve you well for any small-scale printing needs.
- Brand: Creality
- Build Volume: (w)175 x (d)175 x (h)165mm
- Connectivity: SD card, or Wi-Fi (app / website cloud printing)
- Heated Build Plate: Yes; removable PEI magnetic steel sheet
- Feed Type: “Sprite” Direct drive and tube
- Dimensions: (w) 400 x (d) 380 x (h)430mm
- Dual-Color Printing: No
- Enclosed design and auto-pause when door is opened
- Reliable printing with zero leveling needed out of the box
- The app can be used to get a model from the library, slice it, send to the printer, and mointor the print—all remotely
- Outstanding feature set for the price that sets a high bar for other manufacturers to beat
- The app is cluttered and notifications are noisy, which detracts from the core purpose
- No direct printing over Wi-Fi from desktop – needs to go via their cloud servers
- No auto-leveling; you will need to manually level at some point
3D printers aren’t the most user-friendly or safe at the best of times. They’re mechanical devices with no safety stops and a 200C hot metal tip jerking around, and they can cause serious injury to little fingers if left unattended.
The Sermoon V1 Pro from Creality is a fully-encosed design with acrylic windows, auto pause when the door is opened, and even a webcam to check on your prints remotely from a smartphone app. Is it the beginner-friendly 3D printer you’ve been waiting for? Maybe.
Set Up and Hardware Impressions
The Sermoon V1 Pro arrives well packaged and there’s very little construction to do; just cut the cable ties that hold the internals all together. The most tedious step is then peeling the protective plastic off the acrylic that encloses three sides of the printer. Also, there’s a blob of foam protecting the Z-axis inside which must be removed, but it’s not obvious.
Except for the filament spool that sits on a fold out arm to the side, the Sermoon V1 Pro is fully enclosed within a grey, white, and clear acrylic case measuring 40 x 38 x 43cm. It’s about as big as a laser printer, and will easily fit on a desktop or shelving unit. The downside to being this compact is the build volume suffers, with a total printable area of just 175mm square on the X/Y, and 165mm tall.
On the front right you’ll find a very simple to use touchscreen, along with an SD card slot.
The fully-enclosed design is not only much safer, it also helps to reduce noise levels and produce more reliable prints.
If the door on the front of the printer is opened, the print will pause—but the hotend remains hot. So while it can still pose a danger, the risk is minimimzed as it won’t be jerkily moving the hot end around.
While not exactly silent, I can comfortable work in the same room without the noise proving to be too loud. You won’t need to hide it away in a workshop.
But how does an enclosed design print more reliably? By minimizing air flow. Even the smallest of draughts can cause temperature fluctuations which can affect quality, and more importantly, cause prints to warp and come off the print bed. This is why many people build their own printer enclosure (often from an IKEA LACK table), or just put a large cardboard box over their printer.
Magnetic Print Bed, Wi-Fi, and Webcam
The Sermoon V1 Pro features a heated print bed with magnetic PEI-coated steel sheet to improve adhesion. It’s easiest to remove and snap off your print once cooled, and so far I’ve had no issues with adhesion, so clearly it works.
You’ll find Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can print from your the Creality Cloud smartphone app or website, and specifically on the Pro model, there’s also a built-in webcam. This allows you to remotely view your current print from the smartphone app, though bizarely not through the website. Internal lighting is automatically activated when viewing the camera feed, though you can also control it at any point from the touchscreen on the printer.
While viewing the built-in camera feed directly worked great—even when outside of my home—I found the previous recordings couldn’t be viewed. Supposedly, every print is automatically recorded and saved to the SD card, with older recordings overwritten when full (like a dashcam). Unfortunately, while I could view a list of recordings from the app, but I wasn’t able to play any of them, nor could I find any data files on the SD card. So I can’t tell you if these are recorded as timelapse or full video as they just didn’t work.
Zero-Leveling, Not Auto-Leveling
Despite the confusingly named menu option for “auto-leveling” and various instances of the printer being marketed as auto-leveling on Amazon and elsewhere, the Sermoon V1 Pro does in fact require manual leveling. However, it should arrive pre-leveled, meaning you won’t to do so for your first few prints, and can start printing right away. In my case, this was accurate, but it’s easy to see how some rough handling during shipping could knock this out of alignment.
Leveling the Sermoon V1 Pro is a standard five-point affair, raising or lowering each point and using a piece of calibration card until you can feel it being slightly scratched. However, I did find the process to be erratic. For instance, I would raise the bed until it held too tightly at -1mm; then lower it down until it released; only to raise it up again beyond the original point when it grabbed before. This could be because I was unable to locate the calibration card in our package (along with the SD card that contained some software and sample files) so had to use a piece of paper instead.
The lack of auto-leveling is a real miss for a beginner-friendly printer, and esecially bizarre when you consider all the other smart features offered. Auto-leveling isn’t complex, or new.
Still, I experienced no issues with adhesion, so while the leveling process was unreliable, it didn’t seem to actually matter.
The Sermoon V1 Pro uses Creality’s own “Sprite” design of direct-drive dual-gear extruder, whihc feeds in filament more reliably, with less slipping. However, it also features a Bowden tube, through which the filament is fed from the external spool holder and a small hole. It’s an interesting hybrid design that ensures no snags on the top mechanisms, while still provinding the benefits of a direct-drive extruder system.
The extruder can be heated to 250C, making it suitable for other filament such as ABS or PETG, though since this designed for beginners, I only tested with PLA. Feeding and retracting the filament is done using a single button in the interface, where it heats to 240C then automatically retracts or pulls a little. The rest of the operation is done by hand, manually pushing or pulling the filament through the tube from the side of the machine.
In my testing so far, it’s worked well, with smooth filament feeding, and changing. The only quirk I’ve found is that the manual instructs you to remove the feed tube when inserting filament, but that doesn’t seem necessary and it feels like repeatedly doing it will wear down the tightness of the push-fit.
Creality Cloud App
From a hardware perspective, I really like the Sermoon V1 Pro. It’s sleek, friendly-looking, enclosed, and safe. It doesn’t look like it’s cobbled together from other 3D printed parts, as most printers tend to nowadays. Top marks there.
Unfortunately, first impressions on the software side of things were not so great. There was supposed to be an SD card included with some test prints and software, but that wasn’t in our package, so I went off in search of download links. I scanned the QR code provided in the manual to download the app, only to be informed it wasn’t available in my region. I needed to manually search for Creality Cloud in the app store to find it.
Meanwhile, when attempting to connect it my Wi-Fi, I found out it doesn’t support 5GHz networks, so I had to create a new 2.4GHz only network. It eventually connected and I upgraded the firmware. But I’m not confident someone less technically minded would have persevered.
The Creality Cloud app offers access to a huge range of free models in the library, but doesn’t differentiate between those designed for resin printers, and those for FDM filament printers. This could lead to disappointment if you try to print one of the highly detailed figurines on the Sermoon V1 Pro. The app is also, sadly, gamified. Every time you open it, you’ve awarded some Cuva coins, and there’s no way to make it shut up. You can also get them for pretty much any interaction.
Cuva coins can eventually be exchanged for another printer, but only once you’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of the wretched things, which you never will unless you’re a prolific uploader.
The app also offers notifications, so you can be pinged when your print is finished—which is genuinely cool. But if you enable notifications, you’ll also be bombarded by three or four pointless messages a day when a new blog is posted, or other promotional crap you don’t care about. At once point I got a message about a new firmware update. So I pulled out my phone, opened the message, only to find it wasn’t relevant to my model of printer. Thanks, Creality, super useful. Pretty soon you’ll want to disable them, which renders the useful messages pointless.
Managing your printer can also be unresponsive. Most times I’ll click on the printer icon, only for it to do nothing. So I’ll click again, thinking I didn’t click properly. Is my finger broken, I’ll wonder? Best click again. And then the page loads. And refreshes five times. I suspect this is due to being a cloud app, rather than running natively.
The actual printing aspect of the app works well. It’s super convenient to import a model from the Creality library; slice it within the app; then send it directly to the printer. This alone is leagues above anything offered by competitors, but my enthusiasm for this is tempered by the sheer amount of other noise.
Desktop Slicing (Mac)
Next I wanted to try slicing from my Mac. The first download link I found on the Creality website refused to run at all; it just opened and crashed again. After contacting suppot I obtained a Google Drive link with the contents of what would have been on the bundled SD card, which had a working copy of Creality Slicer (albeit an older version). It’s a branded version of Cura, so that’s nice—but a profile to just import into a vanilla Cura would have been appreciated.
The benefit of using the Creality version of Cura is that it has cloud integration built-in, so you can upload your slice directly to your free cloud account, without needing to touch an SD card. But for some reason, you can’t send the sliced file directly to a printer. Instead, you’ll need to login to the Creality Cloud website and remotely send your print, or use the smartphone app. It’s still easier than having to physically an SD card and choose the print file, but it’s a bizarre decision given it’s obviously possible to send it over Wi-Fi. Cynical me would think it’s trying to drum up revenue for increased cloud storage options.
I started with a couple of pre-sliced Gcode files that would have been included on the SD card; a flexible dinosaur, and whistle. These both included a raft for adhesion, which was completely uneccessary and created a nasty texture on the underside. Otherwise, both printed beautifully: the whistle … well, whistles, and the flexible dinosaur does indeed flex.
I also used the smartphone app exclusively to browse the Creality Cloud library, grab a compact version of a printer test, slice, and wirelessly transfer it to the printer. No button presses on the printer were needed at any point—everything was possible within the app. As for the print quality test: great. Overhangs printed fine, bridging was good, and there’s only a little stringing, with overall very accurate output.
Next, I went bigger, and did a 23-hour high-resolution baby Groot planter print. Unfortunately it may have been a little too fast, and one of the arms was knocked off, though I was able to glue it back and use modelling clay to fix the holes.
While some prefer to print this kind of thing in actual wood PLA, you should know that they’re very abrasive and reduce the lifetime of the model. Personally I prefer to do a quick ten minute paint job which can give better results, with a layer of primer to smooth out the layer lines.
Lastly, I changed out filaments for some silk rainbow PLA and printed a simple vase. Again, this may have a been a little too fast, so the overhang on the base has a rough, uneven texture.
The rest of it is superb, and holds water without leaking. I should note that I didn’t print this in “vase mode”, because it’s a gimmick. You’ll end up with a thin, weak structure that’s non-functional.
Finally, I printed out a small avocado boat. It floats!
Of course, many of the issues I mentioned can be fixed by tweaking the print settings. But this isn’t something most users will do, so I only test using the default profiles provided by the manufacturer.
Creality Sermoon V1 Pro: The Perfect Beginner Device?
The print quality that you get right out of the box is great. It’s by no means perfect, but it does give you a solid foundation upon which to improve as you learn. A lot of beginners can stumble at the first print, then be left frustrated and confused as to whether they’re at fault, or the hardware. 3D printing is an epic learning journey, and a reliable printer like the Sermoon V1 Pro will be of immense help.
There are definitely areas that Creality could improve upon. The smartphone app is cluttered with annoying features and notifications you’ll want to disable immediately. The fact that you can grab a model, slice it, and print, all from within the app, is incredible though—and well above anything offered by competitors at this price point. It just needs a little streamlining.
Experienced users will likely be frustrated with the lack of autoleveling and small print volume, as well as the simplified touchscreen UI. They’re also more likely to use a desktop slicer, which requires the intermediate step of uploading to the cloud if you want to use the wireless printing feature.
So while not quite a perfect beginner printer, the Sermoon V1 Pro nevertheless sets the bar very high for anyone claiming a beginner-friendly printer in the future. It’s a great quality, safe, and neat desktop printer that’ll serve you well for any small-scale printing needs.