Voxelab Aquila vs ender 3. When we first ordered our Voxelab Aquila I couldn’t find very many reviews on which printed was better for smooth flat surface prints. I wish someone would have reviewed the features that I am particular about in my 3D printing. I needed some more 3D printers for my business. We already owned the Ender 3 so we decided to go with the Voxelab Aquila. (Opinions are my own, but this article does contain affiliate links! Please read my Privacy Policy)

Why we chose the Voxelab Aquila over another Ender 3

  1. Price point. Significantly cheaper than the Ender.
  2. Newer user interface.
  3. Automatic Load and Automatic Unload.
  4. Glass build plate already installed.
  5. Great reviews.

To compare I want to share what we upgraded on both printers prior to making this comparison.

What we upgraded on the Ender 3

  1. Bed Springs (below the glass bed)
  2. Glass Build Plate
  3. Metal Extruter
  4. Capricorn tubing

What we upgraded on the Voxelab Aquila

  1. Bed Springs (below the glass bed)
  2. Metal Extruter
  3. Capricorn tubing

The 3D Print Comparison voxelab aquila vs ender 3

We printed our first design on the Aquila using similar settings in Cura as the Ender. It is a lid. I print many lids. They are used for Oui Yogurt jars. Quality is very important to me so I like to have lids that are perfect and consistent looking. As “perfect” as a 3D printer can print. I like the top of the lid to be smooth, with almost no layer lines and I like the underside to be smooth. I print them upside down so that the top of the lid is on the build plate.

The Results for flat surface prints

Sizing: The sizing was slightly off. The design printed too small. The calibration cube printed fine. We really didn’t have time to figure out the root cause so I just resized my prints in Cura to compensate.

Bottom Surface Smoothness: When I remove prints from my Ender I find the bottoms are almost reflective, it is that smooth. The surface of the Aquila build plate does have some texture and that would account for not a shiny surface on the bottom, but it’s not just that. It’s the inconsistency with the bottom layer not looking smooth. The reason I notice is that I make lids, where the bottom of the print is highly visible.

Ironing: The biggest difference we noticed with the ironing feature. It was near impossible to fine-tune the ironing feature. I read every article about getting the best results in the Cura setting. I can summarize my results as “the Aquila’s iron feature is difficult and inconsistent. Once I would think I nailed down the settings I would print 2 lids and the top surface on each look different.

Conclusion Voxelab Aquila vs Ender 3

The results comparing Voxelab Aquila vs ender 3. This comparison really came down to the top and bottom surface of the print. My conclusion is that the Ender surpasses the Aquila in this arena. If flat surfaces are important to you, I would choose the Ender. As stated the ENder prints a much more smooth finish, top, and bottom. All my lids are printed on my Ender.

Last words

I actually have 2 Aquila printers. As much as I love the ender and I use the Ender solely for my lids and caps, the Aquila has a great price point and it does a good job on other 3D prints. I will say my 2nd Aqulla had the same issue as my first and that is what prompted me to write this review.

I hope this helps you decide which printer would be best for your needs. If you want to check out some other tutorials please check out the 3D printing section in my blog!

Below you can see a comparison of both prints. The fact that I had to mark the lid with a black sharpie on the one printed by Ender shows how smooth the Ironing is. My camera wouldn’t focus (cameras need contrast to grab ba focal point) so I had to mark it with a sharpie!

Close up Comparison of Ironin results after much work on the Aquila. LId with “1” on it is printed on Ender
Close up of ironing on Aquila Printer after setting nailed down. Still some bumps to the touch as you can see here
Close up of ironing on Aquila Printer when we first started. Z-Axis was adjusted after this and seemed to somewhat solve the issue
Close up Aquila Prints when we first started. The top was before the Z-Axis was adjusted after is below. Somewhat solved this issue