Since they first became mainstream a decade ago, 3D printers have revolutionized the world. Whether it’s making artificial organs or crafting jewelry, the possibilities are endless. In our Anet A8 review, we’ll look at this affordable 3D printer that can be used in the comfort of your own home. While not tiny, it is small enough to fit on any standard desk yet still powerful enough to make some truly spectacular pieces.
Keep reading to find out how to use the Anet A8, what materials it is compatible with, and just how accurate it is. Overall, we’re convinced this is a real contender when it comes to home-use 3D printers.
The Anet A8 is the company’s most popular 3D printer and once you learn more about it, you’ll quickly discover why. Easy to use and yet still offering plenty of options, let’s dive into what makes the Anet A8 so popular.
First of all, you should be aware that you have to actually construct the Anet A8 yourself. Don’t panic but we want you to be aware that you won’t be able to simply open the box and start printing. Instead, when you open the box, you will find all the pieces you need for assembly.
Anet really boasts about their DIY kit. They seem proud of the fact that they are giving you a chance to really understand the inner mechanics of the machine. As well, assembling the printer will give you a great sense of accomplishment, not to mention a fun project to complete.
Some people, however, may balk at this challenge. It’s one thing to be able to use a 3D printer; it’s another thing to actually have to assemble it. The good news is that there are plenty of online tutorials that will walk you through all the steps. Furthermore, almost all reviews state that you get the necessary parts. There shouldn’t be a worry that you will be missing crucial parts for the set up.
There’s no sense purchasing a 3D printer if it doesn’t create accurate designs. Luckily, the Anet A8 is very reliable in this regard.
To start with, all the components are made from durable, sturdy materials. The moving components are made from stainless steel which keeps everything moving well.
As for the heat bed, it is an extra-large size that will accommodate your designs. The heat bed has super flat surface that won’t allow your designs to tip over or become altered. There is also a metal finishing technique in the heat bed so you don’t have to worry about warping in what you print.
When looking at accuracy numbers, the X and Y axis position is accurate to 0.012 mm while the Z axis position is accurate to 0.004m. These are solid, dependable numbers.
The only caveat is that you want to help the machine as much as possible. Always set your 3D printer up on a completely flat surface. When in doubt, take a level and test out your table. If it isn’t flat, try to prop up your table until it is so.
By far one of the best features of the Anet A8 is that it has an open filament system. This means that you can use just about any material with it. Options include PLA, ABS, woodfill, PP, PVA, and nylon. Basically, any material you hope to use can be used with the Anet A8.
For reference, the alternative with 3D printers is a closed filament system. In this option, you can only use specific types of filament. While this might not be an issue if you have found the medium you love to use, if you want to experiment and play around with your printer, having an open filament system is crucial.
When it comes to deciding what you can use your Anet A8 3D printer for, it’s all about the dimensions. Afterall, if you want to print something large, you will need a large printer.
The build volume of this 3D printer are 8.6 x 8.6 x 9.4 inches. This means that anything you print has to be smaller than these dimensions to fit inside the printing space.
The Anet A8 is most often used for small-scale projects. If you want to get into making your own jewelry, this is an excellent device. You can also make figurines and children’s toys. You may even be able to make small musical instruments, such as a flute.
If you are struggling with creative uses for your 3D printer, there are many online resources. For example, this article walks you through many practical designs.
There are two main reasons to create items with a 3D printer. Either you just want a crafting hobby or you are looking to start a business and sell your designs. Whichever route you decide, the Anet A8 is a good choice. It is large enough to create intricate designs while also practical and affordable that your profit margins won’t be affected.
Basically, if you have an idea, you can create it with the Anet A8 3D printer. There are few design specifications to be aware of.
The nozzle diameter is 4 mm and the filament diameter is 1.75 mm. These are fairly standard measurements and they won’t impede your designs.
Creating a design for your 3D printer is all about creativity. Start by thinking about what you want to make, whether it is a toy, jewelry, or something for your home. Then, simply sketch it on a paper so you can see what it may look like.
Once you have an idea of what the final object will look like, it’s time to take your 2D image and make it 3D. This is where printer software comes into play.
The Anet A8 uses Cura and Simplify 3D software. You can download these quite easily from the internet. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the software and play around with it a bit.
Once you have settled on your design you can then send it to your 3D printer and watch as the magic happens.
Just don’t be disheartened if your first try doesn’t work out. 3D printing is all about learning as you go ahead. You will probably have to try a few times to get the hang of it, but that’s where all the fun happens.
Let’s look more closely at the features includes with your Anet A8 purchase.
Printing speed refers to how long a 3D object can be printed. While obviously larger objects will take longer than smaller objects, printing speed breaks this time down into millimeters per second. For reference, the average printing speed of a 3D printer is 100 mm/s.
For the Anet A8, the printing speed ranges from 40 mm/s to 120 mm/s. This fits nicely into the average range. The fluctuation in speed results from what type of material you are using.
Build volume is all about how large of an object you can print. At-home 3D printers are constricted by their product size. If you want to be able to keep a 3D printer in your home office, it will only be able to print smaller objects.
The Anet A8 has a build volume if 220 x 220 x 240 mm. When converted to inches, this equals 8.6 x 8.6 x 9.4 inches. While not overly large dimensions, you can still craft quite a few projects.
With all the technology surrounding us, the noise level can become quite loud. Without even realizing it, devices give off sound and this noise pollution can become both irritating and dangerous.
The Anet A8 seems to have tackled this problem, however, as the company describes its product at have a virtually silent operation. Yes, even while constructing your prized designs, you don’t have to worry about distracting noises.
The biggest noise issue will actually come with the fans. While the printing process is silent, the dual fan ventilation will kick on to keep the actual machine cool. Although this is not too loud, it is a factor to consider.
Even though the Anet A8 is not an overly expensive 3D printer, you still want to make the most of it and have it last as long as you need it to. The one-year warranty will allow for parts replacement, which is a nice feature.
Once that year is up, you will want to pay attention to any changes in production. Listen for new sounds the machine makes while in use or any mistakes that may happen during printing. If these arrive, it’s best to try to troubleshoot before major issues pop up.
Anet has good customer service but what really makes the company shine is its online presence. There are multiple forums through social media and other websites that allow you to connect with the Anet community. If you have an issue, there is a good chance that somebody else has found a solution to it.
One of the features that makes the Anet A8 so durable is its construction. The pulley system, which includes rods, bearings, connectors, and bearings, are all made from stainless steel. This material is highly durable and won’t easily fall apart or break.
Another element of its construction that makes the Anet A8 do durable is its dual fan ventilation. Any machine with moving parts will need a fan to keep things cool. The dual fan ventilation means nothing will become overheated, ensuring the lifespan of the Anet A8 will be quite long. Just make sure the printer isn’t in close corners so the fans don’t have to work too hard.
In order to program all your designs, the Anet A8 comes with a handy LCD screen. While relatively simple, the display screen is easy to use. There are five buttons to help you navigate your options and perhaps its simplicity is actually a bonus because it means anyone can quickly figure out how to use the display.
The Anet A8 is compatible with Windows XP or later, Linux, and Mac operating systems. This wide range of connectivity means you don’t have to worry about matching your computer with your printer. Simply plug in and get started.
As for software, the Anet A8 uses Cura, which is pretty standard. While you can download software from the internet, there is also a software CD included in your purchase.
The problem with some 3D printers is that they are just too bulky or heavy to place in a regular office. However, the Anet A8 really shines in this department. It weighs just 18 pounds. This is a nice weight as it means a single person can easily pick it up and move it, if you need to get it out of the way.
As for the dimensions, the Anet A8 measures 19.6 x 15.7 x 17.7 inches. You can definitely keep this 3D printer on your desk or even move it to a shelf when not in use. Because the height is just 17.7 inches, you don’t have to worry about finding a separate place to store it. Most shelving units will be able to accommodate the height.
The Anet A8 comes with a one-year warranty. While this is standard, it would be nice if there was a longer warranty attached. However, Anet as a company has pretty good customer service. You can contact them via their website, social media, or email. The one downside is that their website doesn’t seem to have a phone number to reach them. This can be a bit annoying as it is always nice to have someone you can talk to for troubleshooting.
While the warranty is only good for one year, because the Anet A8 is affordable, it really isn’t too surprising. This is not an overly expensive 3D printer so if something were to break down in a few years, there’s a good chance you will be able to afford a new printer without breaking the bank.
Those looking for a fun new hobby or a way to monetize their creative abilities will want to look at a new 3D printer. With the Anet A8, you get quality craftsmanship and enough room to really showcase your creativity. While the entire printer is small enough to keep in a home office, the building area is an efficient use of space. As we wrap up our Anet A8 review, we hope we’ve included enough information to help you decide if this is the right 3D printer for your needs.