Brought the Anet A8 cheapest variant without any mods. Took me 5-6 hours to figure out all the parts and assemble. Even though it comes with a simple manual for assembly, its more of a parts list that how-to instructions.
The main reason i choose Anet A8 -
- Cost Effective. I am studying in 3rd year Engineering, so I am not shelling even a single buck more than what is needed.
- Modular. Since it comes in bits and pieces, almost everything can be replaced in case of failure or for maintenance.
- Upgradable. Since its modular, it goes without saying, the components can be replaced with better ones.
- Community support. A lot for forums, discussions and groups have grown around this printer. Getting the best configs for printer, slicer etc.. is easy.
- OpenSource. All the details for the main controller are open source, including the firmware used (though I could not find it). Since it is based on Atmega 1284, which I am familiar with, I can make mods to code, or even flash better firmware like Marlin.
Mods that I have made -
Right now I am pretty new, so I want to enjoy the printer in its bare-bones, before destroying it. that being said I have made some changes -
- Changed from painters tape based heater bed to glass panel. This gives a clean and smooth surface at the bottom of the print. Also sticks pretty good too, never had bed adhesion problems.
- Filament spool holder changes. Added some 3D printed support structure so that the spool can turn smoothly. And also added some 3D printed filament guiders into the extruder.
- Added OctoPrint. I have connected the printer to my Raspberry Pi running OctoPi OS, so that i can make it wireless and easy to operate with. Just make the Gcode file with your fav slicer and just drag-n-drop onto OctoPi. As simple as printing documents.
Here's a funky timelapse of me assembling the printer -