Many builders and creative-minds are excited at the idea of 3D printing technology. When these printers first became popular, every creator thought they were the next big thing. But, at a price tag of around $$$$, not everyone could afford one.
The market has advanced quite a bit since the invention of 3D printers a few years ago. You can not get a 3D printer for under $200 that works like those in the $$$$ range. That printer is the Anet A8 3D Printer produced by Anet, a company based in China.
We saw dazzling reviews of this printer on the internet and wanted to give it a try for ourselves. In this Anet A8 3D Printer review, we’ll discuss what makes this printer so attractive to buyers and whether or not you should invest in one for own 3D printing needs.
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Tech Specs and Special Features
Because this is a budget-friendly 3D printer, it doesn’t come with a ton of special features. In fact, the design is so basic that the earlier models don’t even have a power switch. The only way to turn it on and off means you have to plug and unplug it in the wall. However, this doesn’t mean that Anet A8 doesn’t have distinguishing features that separate it from the competition.
Before we get into the weeds of what specific features this printer offers, let’s take a look at the Anet A8 specs:
Now that we’re familiar with some of the basics of the Anet A8 let’s get into some of the features we enjoyed most when doing this Anet A8 3D Printer review.
Large Build Volume
The Anet A8 is more generous than other 3D printers in a similar price range when it comes to build volume. This extra space means that you can print more complicated models without running into errors. The build volume was even more impressive when you consider the build volume of other 3D printers in the same price range. We found the build volume competed with 3D printers in the $1000 price range.
Open Filament System
The Anet A8 also features an open filament system, which means it’s able to accept filament from different types of sellers and not just Anet filament. As long as the filament is 1.75 millimeters in diameter, it will work with this printer. We enjoyed that Anet allows you to choose any filament on the market that works for you. You’ll be sure you won’t be limited to a certain brand with this printer.
Multiple Connection Options
When it comes to connectivity, the Anet A8 offers a few different options. The first is the typical one-two combo of a USB connection with the ability to print without an SD card inserted. With the Anet A8, it’s also possible to print via a Wi-Fi connection, although it does require additional steps. We found the Wi-Fi connection option wasn’t as common in budget options but was with the A8.
Improved Safety Features
3D printing isn’t always a safe job. In the 2019 update, Anet made a number of safety changes that improved various issues with the previous version of the Anet A8. The most notable is an added fuse to the mainboard. This will get rid of any possible danger for the user -- a primary concern for Anet and the whole 3D printing community.
The new version also features a power switch and a protective cover. Anet also placed the Z-axis rod directly on the mounting plate which makes printing a lot more stable. Overall, we felt a lot more comfortable and safe using the updated 2019 version of the Anet A8 3D Printer.
3D printing can be endlessly complicated. It’s nice to have something that is easy to navigate for new users. Being a budget option, we, unfortunately, found that the Anet A8 is not super user-friendly. The screen can be complicated to navigate, and the features aren’t clearly laid out. Even after months of use, users are still a little confused on how to make the most out of their Anet A8.
While the lack of a user-friendly interface is definitely a downside to this printer, it’s common with printers in this price range. Admittedly, perhaps some of the errors we encountered with the A8 were because of ignorance of 3D printing in general. As with any new technology, there is a learning curve associated with it, and your first couple of tries won’t be perfect.
Is this still a good option for a beginner looking for a good 3D printer? Definitely. However, when you purchase this printer, be ready to take some time learning the ins and outs of how to make the most of your Anet A8 3D printing experience.
Probably what attracted you to this Anet printer in the first place is the price tag. At most retailers, the Anet A8 is available for less than $200. Given the printing quality and the special features, this makes the Anet A8 3D printer a strong competitor both in its price range and in the overall 3D printer market.
The Anet A8 breaks barriers in 3D printing. Previously, you could only break into the 3D printing world if you were willing to pay $800-$1,000 or more for a printer. As the market becomes more populated and more competitive, prices are going down.
However, you should be aware that to get the highest quality of prints, you’ll need to buy some upgrades for your A8 printer. To get pristine 3D prints, there are various upgrades you can buy from a few dollars up to $100. Of course, this will only add to the price of your budget printer.
What we did like about these upgrades, however, is that they make the printer completely customizable. At its lowest level, the Anet A8 is a pretty standard 3D printer, but with some upgrades, it can print some pretty high-quality prints.
How it Compares
The primary printer the Anet A8 3D Printer is compared to is the Prusa i3 MK2. We found that when comparing side by side, the Prusa i3 MK2 does outperform the Anet A8 as far as print quality and usability does. However, if you’re between the two, know that the Anet A8 is able to perform at the same level as the Prusa i3 MK2 with a few customizations.
If you’re willing to put in a little extra work, purchasing the Anet A8 and making a few customization changes can save you a lot of money over buying the Prusa i3 MK2.
Pros and Cons
Overall, we found that this printer is great for those wanting to build their skills in 3D printing. It’s a great budget option that can grow with you as you get better at 3D printing.
Although the Anet A8 does have a few flaws, we found that all in all it’s a super good deal for the price tag. More than that, it also has great performance. In this Anet A8 3D Printer review, we found that the A8 is best suited for those just starting out in 3D printing and hoping to make the process their own.
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Before you buy this 3D printer, ask yourself what you’re really looking for. If you want a printer that does a lot of the work for you, this is probably not the best choice. This 3D printer is really for people who want to customize their own process and are patient enough to take on the heavy learning curve.
We give the Anet A8 3D Printer 4 out of 5 stars. While it didn’t deliver in every area, like usability and user network, you can’t beat the quality of the Anet A8 3D Printer at the price. If you’re looking for an affordable starter 3D printer, this is a great printer to start your 3D printing adventure.
Featured Image via Pixabay