In this article, I’m going to outline my thoughts on the Anet A8 3D printer. I picked up my Anet A8 about a year ago, and it’s definitely been a wild ride owning and troubleshooting a 3D printer. If you’re in the same boat, and want some insight into the life as an Anet A8 owner, continue reading.
And, if you already own an Anet A8, and maybe you’re ready to chuck it out the window, be sure to subscribe to my blog and my YouTube Channel to receive the latest articles on Anet A8 troubleshooting (and more)! I’ll be publishing another article this week on three ways to get your Anet A8 working properly.
Let’s dive in!
Why I bought an Anet A8
Like you, I wanted to learn how to 3D print stuff. So naturally, I decided I wanted a 3D printer. Then I did a bunch of research online to determine which one to buy. The Anet A8 was moved to the top of my list because of its low cost. (Plus, I was new to 3D printing, and didn’t know if I’d like it or use it, so spending a ton of money on it wasn’t something I was ready to do.
You can get a feel for my thoughts on the Anet A8 in the video below:
Pros & Cons to Buying an Anet A8
Becoming a 3D printer owner is actually a pretty big deal. Most (normal) people don’t own 3D printers, so congrats on taking the leap into becoming a nerd 😉
Before you jump into purchasing your Anet A8, I recommend reading through these pros & cons:
Go ahead, buy that Anet A8
I’ve seen the Anet A8 as low as $135 USD on GearBest. Here’s a link if you’d like to buy it on Amazon. (I’d really appreciate you purchasing through my link, as it helps support my blog and the work that I do. Plus, it doesn’t cost you extra to purchase on Amazon using my links! :))
The Anet A8 is definitely an affordable printer! If you’re tight on budget, don’t mind assembling a kit, and want to learn how a 3D printer works, then the Anet A8 is a great starting point.
Lastly, the Anet A8 is also a very recognized 3D printer for makers because of its affordability. Therefore, if you have to troubleshoot issues or you have questions about the printer, you can easily find relevant information online.
…but you shouldn’t buy an Anet A8 because of this…
If you plan on printing every single day and have high volumes of things you have to print (aka you’re setting up a 3D print shop to fulfill other people’s orders), then this is NOT the printer. You’d never be able to keep up with your printing orders due to maintenance on the Anet A8. (Sorry, if you were looking to be on 3D Hubs with your $150 printer!) I personally think it’s great for hobbyists making stuff for fun, but not for consistency or parts that must meet a 100% quality standard.
(Lots of) Assembly Required
If you don’t like putting things together, or you’re in a time crunch for when you need to start 3D printing, I wouldn’t recommend getting the Anet A8. Plus, just because you assemble it, doesn’t guarantee the printer will be working on the first try. It took me months to get my Anet A8 working properly.
You also shouldn’t buy an Anet A8 if you want a 3D printer that is already assembled and working out of the box. The Anet A8 takes about 8 hours to assemble. I found that building it over a weekend works best. I wouldn’t expect to be printing after 8 hours either. Learning how to level and setup the extruder is the most difficult part of this 3D printer, so expect another 4-5 hours of learning nuances and troubleshooting.
Now, with all of that to consider, here’s the big question:
Would I buy another Anet A8?
Short answer: Nope.
I wouldn’t buy another Anet A8 if my intent was to have something printing everyday. I think for the amount of troubleshooting and babysitting you’d need to do with this printer, it’d be worth buying a 3D printer like the FlashForge or the Dremel. As I get into building my own robot kits for my classes, and selling larger volumes of them, I’ll definitely consider upgrading my Anet A8 to a more integrated model!
However, if I had a lower printing volume (like I do now), then this printer is fine. I think that it’s been a great experience learning how to put together the Anet A8 and understand, fix, and troubleshoot a 3D printer. There’s really nothing like being able to guess what the issue is, try something out, and then it works. If your goal is to have a full understanding of 3D printing, the Anet A8 is also an affordable way to learn.
What do you think? Do you have a 3D printer? Did you pick up an Anet A8? Why’d you choose it? Leave a comment below!