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Month: January 2020

Anet A8 Plus Review

Hey Guys!

So it’s been what, 2 months since I introduced myself to 3D Printing here, and I have another review for you… The Anet A8 Plus.

Now I’d like to preface this with the note that I know about all the issues with the original Anet A8 and I have steered clear and I came into this expecting things to be negative.

So I got the DIY version of the Anet A8 Plus, found HERE, as it’s a bit cheaper and lets be honest if you want to learn about a printer and how to look after it, building it might be a good idea. I will note though that you need to know what you’re doing to some degree when building a printer or you will have issues, small things like adding pre-tension etc make a big difference. Let’s get started.

The Anet A8 Plus, came in a box of similar size to my Ender 3 Pro, except there was almost nothing pre-assembled, it was basically a box of parts:

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It was at this point that I realised……

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So after a few days I brought myself to having a crack at assembling this guy, I made a tidy area and pulled out a few things I thought I needed. I decided to attempt full assembly using only the included instruction book, which was a paper copy in comparison to the ender 3’s PDF on the SD card which was nice. I have steps of the assembly photographed, so I will list them out and then do a general speel on assembly.

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So overall the assembly was uneventful, but very time consuming, I did this over 3 evenings after work, totaling in the neighbourhood of 10 hours. There are just a lot of little things that take as much time to figure out as they do to actually do. I found the general quality of the parts to be acceptable, and i can tell there is a noticeable improvement in the quality of the 3D printed parts from other people online that have received this printer. The one thing I might say is that the linear roller bearings are not smooth and they have a little play against the guide rod, but I may be able to fix this by packing them with some more grease.

Some important notes about the assembly, the x axis belt retention setup is 3D printed and i found that the belt would slip in one half of it when it got to tension and lose tension, so I got the belt set at the right length and super glued it into the 3d printed part, this has fixed the issue but will mean i’ll need to re-print the part if I replace the belt.

The y axis linear rods should be installed with some pre-tension, this means installing them, loosening the top retention screws 1/4 turn, raising the locking collars and then re-tightening the retention screws to that the rails are tight. This will have an effect on the finished product of your 3d printed parts and it’s good to keep this mindset of putting extra effort into maintaining pre-tension and reducing tolerances throughout the assembly process as you will get a better finished result (often better than a factory assembled printer.

I must say I was pleased to find that this is a factory 24V model, meaning that you could easily upgrade to a 24v silent driver board and everything else wouldn’t need changing, it also means the hot end and bed heat up quickly. 

I found the instructions to be suprisingly good and unlike 99% of chinese instructions I have used, the only place they are lacking is in the hot end installation. They should be much clearer about how to install the hot end and thermistor as this is critical for avoiding damage (and fire).

The wiring was a little complex but everything was relatively well labelled and I was able to figure it out, it was definitely challenging though and cable managing that many wires is not far short of a nightmare. The included wire wrap is not great and I would recommend ordering some plastic conduit much like what comes on the creality printers, or just printing the wire guides right off the bat.

Now to the results part, Bed levelling worked well, and from the get go I actually installed some of the larger levelling knobs i had lying around, and the included glass bed seems to be quite flat. I did level the x axis rail by measuring the height both sides and turning the y-axis steppers to the same height before turning on the printer, this makes the bed levelling work better and reduces natural layer shift. 

Here is my “perfect” first layer with the included roll of white PLA:

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And here are some of my small prints, all of these were done on the ender 3 pro except for 1, I challenge you to figure out which one is from the Anet A8 Plus (note the one on the Anet was printed at 70mm/s as I was testing the speed capabilities):

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Finally, here are some roller guides and rollers i printed for my ender 3 enclosure on the Anet A8 Plus:

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So final thoughts, would I purchase the Anet A8 Plus myself? Definitely yes, it has surpassed my expectations and I feel it is like a CR10 Competitor with some Pro features and close to an Ender 3 pro price point.

I like that it has a direct drive extruder too, although it does look to be a less advanced extruder it seems to work just fine, I will be getting to printing TPU on it this week so I look forward to the results of that. I will be able to compare results to the Bowden TPU prints I have been doing on the Ender 3 Pro.

Please let me know what questions you guys may have and what your thoughts on this printer are.

Cheers,

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Creality Ender 3 XS Pro 3D Printer Review

Alright! I’ve had the Ender 3 XS Pro from banggood for a bit over a month now. Here’s a link to the item: Ender 3 XS Pro

So I’ll make it clear, Banggood supplied this for my review, but I’m no noob in the 3D printing space, I’ll give a brief history:
I started out with a XYZ Davinci V1.0, and printed mostly ABS, then got an UpBox, and in the last 3 or 4 years i was running a farm of a few ultimaker 2’s, but I nolonger have any of these and wanted to try out the creality side as a friend has had a CR10 for a long while now and I helped him with it and liked it. I also currently have a CR10 S5 I picked up second hand for cheap, it has been mistreated and took some work but is now doing perfect prints.

Now, onto the Ender 3 XS Pro, technically Creality only offers the Ender 3 XS and the Ender 3 Pro as individual printers, but what Banggood does is take an Ender 3 Pro and do all of the XS mods to it (or vice versa) so you’re basically getting the best of both worlds.
Here’s how it came in the box, pretty standard for an ender 3:

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Setup time was about 2 hours of fluffing around, I purposely only used the included instructions (on the SD card) and not a youtube video to see if I had any issues. Even the cables were clearly marked and I didn’t have any real issues with assembly of the unit. If I was to do it again, I’m pretty sure i could assemble it and be doing the first benchy in under an hour. Here’s the assembled printer:

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So levelling the bed was easy, and I was able to use the included instructions for this too. I just used the paper method, and since the bed was already set up with the large adjustment knobs it was very easy to do and i was suprised how sturdy the structure was. For an adhesive for every print i’ve done so far I have just used a medium coat of my wifes hairspray, re-applicating each print and then cleaning off with metho and paper towel every 5 or so prints. I started printing with the included PLA, and I used CURA, with the settings on this webpage: http://www.emcu.eu/configure-ultimaker-c…l-ender-3/
This is how the first print came out:

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After all my filament came in…. here’s the filament tower next to my wife:

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Oh yeah, so after the filament came in I decided to give the Saintsmart 95A TPU a go, and it took some tuning of the settings but at a print speed of 35-40mm/s and keeping retraction on I was able to get some really beautiful TPU results, here’s a XT60E-M and SMA mount I modelled in solidworks and printed on the Ender 3 XS-pro:

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Overall, I like the ender 3 very much, and if I was to buy another one I’d get this pre-modified one from Banggood again as it saved a lot of time and hassle, and to be honest this thing works better than the Ultimakers i was using….. but that might upset some people. Let me know what you’d like to see me print on the ender 3, and if you guys would be interested in my dry box project:

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As far as modifications are concerned, I’d recommend an updated fan duct, I went for the Hero me, and I printed it in Esun ABS+ on the ender 3 as well, I had some warping issues, but a warmer room or enclosure would’ve fixed this.I found that the upgraded duct helped significantly with big overhangs without supports, I found I could go even up to 65-70 degrees with this duct! Anyhow here’s the finished result of that fan duct:

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Also, here’s a comparison pic between my ender and my cr10 s5…. biiiig size difference!

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Please let me know any questions you guys may have that i haven’t covered in this review, I’ll be sure to make a video in the near future, but that’ll probably be a comparison between the ender and the CR10 S5, while they are polar opposites it still seems there are people trying to figure out which one to get!

Banggood has asked me to mention their black friday sales from November 27th-30th. If you’re interested in this printer it’ll be a good time to pick one up at a cheap price. Here’s the link to the main page for the black friday sales: Banggood black Friday sale

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