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Anet A8 vs Ender 3: Two Super Popular Printers Compared

The world of 3D printing today is becoming increasingly dominated by low price models that pack a lot of functions that had only been seen by their more expensive counterparts.

This has made them accessible to a whole new world of budget-conscious consumers and hobbyists who now want a 3D printer for their home for both educational and recreational purposes. In fact, the sheer availability and affordability of these 3D printers have successes in ushering in a whole new world where such printers are now fast becoming the norm rather than the exception in the modern home.

Let us take a quick look at two of the most popular 3D printers currently available today and compare them to see which one comes out on top in the vs game.

Ender 3 vs Anet A8

Creality Ender 3

Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume Printing All Metal Frame FDM DIY Printers 220x220x250mm

We should consider universally better affordability as one of the key reasons because of which 3D printing technology has made its way from the science lab into the mainstream. The home 3D printer does not cost a fortune today and yet it is still jam-packed with features.

Here, we have to think about the Creality Ender 3 3D printer when we mention affordable yet reliable printers. Many people like it for its great performance.

There are several key points that make the Creality Ender 3 3D printer stand out from the rest of the printers available today. First and foremost, is its really low price: The Ender 3 retails for less than $200.

Add to that the fact that it is highly upgradeable and with a bit of tweaking and fine-tuning you can get this 3D printer to perform excellently indeed, with a wide variety of filament materials that can perform in a vast temperature range.

Creality’s Ender 3 printer entered the market only a few short years back and it quickly surged to the top of the list of the budget 3D printer rankings. As sales went through the roof, it quickly became a household name in the FDM printing world.

The 3 quickly garnered a dedicated fan following and as more and more people hopped into the Ender 3 bandwagon, many fresh mods started to pop up all over the place as people started to buy this printer. As of now, there are plenty of YouTube videos and forums that showcase the massive number of modifications and assembly videos that are available for this specific model.

Both of these printers have a truly massive number of online model repositories such as Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory that have printable upgrades for these printers. Let us see how they compare in the Ander 3 vs Anet A8 debate in the assembly department.

Check out the full Ender 3 review here

Anet A8

Auto Levelling Anet A8 with Included Filament - Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer w/Self Levelling Sensor|

The Anet A8 printer kit is arguably one of the most well-known DIY (Do it yourself) unassembled printers currently used by both professionals and hobbyists alike.

Its DIY nature makes it an extremely flexible machine amongst similar 3D printers in its class. The ability to fine-tune this machine is one of the main reasons due to which the Anet A8 has such a massive fan following. If you want any advice, you have to just simply tap onto this online A8 community to resolve your issues.

Since its price is very moderate and it can be attained under the $200 bracket, there are now many hobbyists and do it yourself (DIY) enthusiasts who purchase it as their first 3D printer of choice.

As a matter of fact, the very low price level and its innate hackability combine to make it a very attractive proposition for many, if not most first time users. Not to mention the printer’s awesome compatibility with a wide range of printing filament materials including PLA and other filament materials.

And all of this on a shoestring budget combines to make it a really popular option, these days. Both the Anet printer and the Ender printer boast of a universally strong extruder and a sturdy frame. In these two respects, they are very like each other.

Check out the full Anet A8 review here

Assembly

Ender 3

The Anet A8 is just about as DIY as any 3D printer kit can possibly get. Once you open the shipment package, you will see three Styrofoam trays, each with its own set of components and they all need to be put in their place to create a really neat and functional A8. You will like the arrangement of this printer kit.

The different parts and components are grouped together while every part is clearly labeled and they are all protected with the help of thick sticky tape. Apart from the main components, the 3D printer kit has lots of assorted screws and nuts, and they are also all grouped together and properly labeled for ease.

However, there is no physical instruction manual and you will have to use the digital manual provided on the SD card.

If you are the type of person that loves to follow video instructions, it is all good and it won’t take you much time to assemble the Anet 8. However, there is a lack of clarity to the whole process and you might be hard put to follow the instructions properly, unless you use an online resource.

Creality Ender 3

This is not the case with the 3 since unlike many of its competitors; the Creality Ender 3 is shipped in a semi-assembled state. If you are an ardent do it yourself (DIY) hobbyist, you will be able to assemble it and tweak it to your own exacting specifications.

On unboxing, you will find that the Creality Ender 3 3D printer very neatly has been packaged and it comes suitably well equipped with a wide selection of tools that you will went when you assemble the 3.

There are detailed and step by step instructions on how to get the printer up and running. The good people at Creality HQ have provided a detailed and well-explained assembling as well as an initial set up manual. In case, that is not enough it is also possible to utilize any one of the highly detailed and painstakingly thorough audio-visual guides that you will find online on YouTube and other internet based resources. The older Ender 3 machines were hsipped with very basic operating manuals. However, the current ones are much better.

A great advantage of the 3 is that it is a really flexible machine once you assemble it just the way you want it.

However, it is pertinent to note that both if these 3D printers will require detailed assembly of at least a few hours before you start churning out your first prints. But if you love DIY work you will like both.

Starting your First Print

Anet 8

Let us be very clear about one thing. $200 and below 3D printer would not be able to give the kind of speed and quality that you may expect from a machine far more expensive than this one. However, the good thing about the print quality of the Anet A8 is that it can be fine-tuned to a great extent with several add-ons and upgrades.

Creality Ender 3

Once you finish assembling this machine, you will find out that the first prints are rudimentary at best. However, the beauty of the Ender 8 is that it can be fine-tuned to such a high degree that you will be able to get some really superior prints that are a whole lot better than many, if not most 3D printers in its class.

Both of these machines will require a lot of calibration and tweaking before you can get the desired quality prints. While the Anet A8 can hit 100 mms, but quality will suffer drastically. You will also have to make sure that all the pulleys, wires and everything else is in its proper place, before you start the print process and pla material starts exuding from the nozzle. In time, both of these machines can give excellent quality prints for their price. However, you will have to be careful about the X axis regarding both the Anet A8 printer as well as the Ender 3 counterpart printer.

Features

Anet A8

  • Excellent all-metal pulleys for both top-notch performance and enhanced functionality
  • Super quick-release feed gears for efficient and fast filament extrusion
  • Stainless rail rods, steel bearings, gears and connectors
  • Attractive acrylic frame finish of this printer
  • High printing speed
  • Open source

Creality Ender 3

  • Higher build volume at 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Sturdy Aluminum frame
  • Excellent print quality
  • Heated bed(learn about aluminum beds)
  • Ender 3 can easily handle ABS, PLA, PETG, flexible, and several exotic filaments
  • Auto recovery function in case of a power outage
  • Open source design strong extruder

Mods and Add-ons

Anet A8

Fan Duct

The original fan duct leaves a lot to be desired. However, you can simply make your own. This way the new fan will help distribute the ambient air to the nozzle as well as all around it in a 360-degree angle. And thereby increase print quality.

MOSFET

The Anet A8 community highly recommends mounting a MOSFET device onto your machine. This component is very important for anyone who prioritizes fire safety. It will reduce fire hazard-related risks and provide excellent voltage to your printer’s motors.

Creality Ender 3

Glass Print Bed

This glass print bed is a great upgrade if you are interested in replacing the original aluminum print bed of your Ender 3 machine. It will improve and increase the range of print filament materials you can use with your 3 printer. Your prints will have a much more uniformly smoother surface. Finally, it is much easier to clean as well.

E3D Titan Aero Extruder

This is another really great way to improve your Ender 3 printer’s overall performance and quality. The state of the art E3D Titan Aero extruder package includes the extruder, as well as the V6 Hot End. This printer’s extremely tight filament path also ensures that this upgrade is picture-perfect for both flexible and specialty filaments. Furthermore, it also greatly reduces the impact that knocks and hard bumps may have on the overall print quality of the 3D object.

Ease of Use

Anet A8

Once constructed, the Anet A8 PLA printer is not that difficult to use. However, it is not as easy as most other printers in its range. This is why many beginners tend to struggle with it a bit. This is one of the main differences between the two.

Creality Ender 3

The Creality Ender 3 has been specifically designed as a PLA printer for the newbie and once you have managed to assemble it, you can dive right in and start churning out your 3D prints.

Aesthetics

Anet A8

The A8 pla and abs printer has a highly attractive acrylic coloring that visually appeals to its counterpart printers. It is still used by many experts who like it for its many qualities.

Creality Ender 3

The bare bones Creality Ender 3 requires a few aesthetic upgrades in order to appear attractive. However, that does not affect its functionality, even if you don’t put any upgrades to make it look more pleasing to the eye.

Tech Specs

Anet A8

  • Print Area: 220 x 220 x 240mm
  • Frame material : Acrylic plate
  • Offline print with SD card
  • Platform board: Aluminum Base
  • Print speed: up to 100mm/s
  • Nozzle quantity: Single
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
  • Layer thickness: 0.1-0.3mm
  • XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.012mm
  • Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.004mm
  • LCD Screen: Yes
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Material diameter: 1.75mm
  • File format: G-code, OBJ, STL

Creality Ender 3

  • Modeling Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
  • Filament: 1.75mmPLA, TPU, ABS and other materials
  • Net Weight of the package: 8kg
  • Printing Speed:180mm/s
  • Output:24V 15A 360W
  • Printing Size: 220*220*250mm
  • Power Supply: 100-265V 50-60HZ
  • Machine Size: 440*410*465mm
  • Layer Thickness: 0.1-0.4mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • Printing Accuracy: ±0.1mm

Conclusion

For most aspiring 3D printer enthusiasts, the Creality Ender 3 is easier to set up, easier to use, and slightly less noisy than the Anet A8. Albeit having said that, the Anet A8 is a rock-solid option. Especially, if you enjoy customizations and upgrades. There are differences between the two, but very little and both can serve you well. Finally, both of them have good customer support systems in place and they will reply to your queries.

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