Beginner's 3D printer ($300 CAD all in) Anet A8 Prusa i3: tips and tricks
I just got it from ********, 7 days shipping (DHL), just under $300 CAD all in. See my hot deals thread:
This seems to be the cheapest decent specs 3D printer available, so sure will be popular with people new to 3D printing like myself. Hence the need to have a discussion thread here where we could exchange tips and tricks about the printer.
- Heated bed (allows for printing many kinds of plastics, not just PLA: ABS, Nylon PVA / PP etc.)
- Large printing volume (much larger than other cheap printers like Mini from MonoPrice): 220 x 220 x 240mm
- Open Source software and hardware (meaning lots of support online).
- (?) seems to have Pause and Stop features;
- Anet A8 3D Printer Help & Discussion Facebook group.
- OFFICIAL Anet 3D printer Support Group Facebook group
- Anet A8 page on 3dprint.wiki
- Anet A8 Prusa i3 group on ThingiVerse
- Anet A8 forum
Upgrades and improvements:
- Power socket connector ($1.07 US): a must have safety feature, to be used with a DIY printed enclosure for the power unit (something like this).
- Auto-leveling sensor for A8 ($19 US; occasionally this ebay deal for 10$ is available). This requires alternative firmware (like SkyNet3d v2). The sensor's installation instructions can be found in the SkyNet v2 package. Also check here.
- Separate power module for the heated bed ($5.50 US). Apparently the printer's motherboard's handling of power for the heated bed is somewhat limited (users report molten screw terminals and even failed MOSFET). This will likely be more critical for printing on ABS, where you need ~100C temperature for the bed. The installation instructions: https://3dprint.wiki/reprap/electronics/heatbed_mosfet
- The most up-to-date youtube instructions for this printer (by David Dan), in multiple parts:
-- 3D Printer Instruction-- Pre-Test All Electronic Parts before Assembly A8
-- 3D Printer Instruction--The Newest Anet 3D Printer A8 Assembly Video 1
-- 3D Printer Instruction--The Newest Anet 3D Printer A8 Assembly Video 2
-- 3D Printer Instruction--Anet 3D Printer A8 Debugging Video
-- Adding auto-leveling sensor to Anet A8 printer
-- Short review
-- Longer review
It looks like SkyNet v2 (open source Arduino code) is significantly better than the stock firmware on this printer, at least for the two following reasons:
- It supports auto-leveling . (One needs to install a proximity sensor for this to work)
- It has advanced thermal protection code (for cases when the hot end thermistor falls off; this has caused fire in the past, due to thermal runaway).
I think I'll switch to SkyNet v2 right away.
I just tested all electronics in my kit - everything works well. It's time to start assembling the mechanics...