Anet A8 3D Printer

Rusty Tue, 04/18/2017 - 14:09

I have been looking for an affordable 3D printer for a few years now, and almost bought the parts to DIY a printer two years ago, but decided to hold off due to time constraints. Late in 2016 I stumbled across the Anet A8, I wasn't currently looking for a 3D printer, but the price was intriguing. It was on "Flash Sale" from Gearbest for <$170, but I dismissed it as "cheap" because what I was originally looking for was going to cost at least $700 - $800 minimum, or so I thought. So when I saw the A8 was on sale again, I decided, for better or worse, to get it.

What is the Anet A8?

The Anet A8 is a 'clone' of a Prusa i3. I say 'clone' as the Prusa i3 design is an open source design, and the A8 is Anet's version of this design. It is capable of printing in PLA, ABS, and probably any other material that comes in a 1.75mm filament. It comes as an un-assembled kit, so be forewarned, assembly is required. Assembly is pretty easy, as the directions are surprisingly easy to follow. The hardest part is peeling the protective film off the laser cut acrylic frame parts. Speaking of Acrylic parts... One of the acrylic parts was cracked when I opened the box, luckily it was not a major structural part. I have heard some distributors are better than others with missing or broken parts, but I am just going to use some acrylic cement to repair the part.

Do I really need a 3D printer?

The question should be, "How I have gone this long without one?" Seriously though, if you have a friend or access to some Maker Space, then you probably don't "need" a 3D printer, but I think once you start printing you will realize how handy they can be. Just in my FPV and drone hobby there are dozens of things that it can print, from camera mounts to flight controller mounts to entire FPV pods. I'll post some up as I get them printed .

Where can you get one?

I believe the Anet A8 is available from several online retailers such as Amazon and Gearbest, even several sellers  on eBay. I bought mine from Gearbest when they were running a "Flash Sale", it was less than $170 shipped from the West Coast US warehouse.