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  1. #11
    Skill Collector rockyboy's Avatar
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    I haven't heard much negative about the a8 - in fact I know of several people happy with theirs after the requisite tinkering and learning phase. But as Snarls mentioned, I prefer the increased stability and expand-ability of the 2020 aluminum frame which justified the extra expense for me.
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  2. #12
    The Geeky Pilot bhursey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyboy View Post
    I haven't heard much negative about the a8 - in fact I know of several people happy with theirs after the requisite tinkering and learning phase. But as Snarls mentioned, I prefer the increased stability and expand-ability of the 2020 aluminum frame which justified the extra expense for me.
    Yah from what I read thats why there are so many bracing mods for the a8. It mainly will be casual printing however I do want to print a cessna 152 or a mustang..

    If it became a big deal I could repalce the frame? http://orballoprinting.com/en/frame/...e-p3steel.html
    Just call me Brian.. AMA: 688510 : Flying since 1998 took a 12 year hiatus 2003-2015 : Hanger :FT Arrow FPV "Scrach", FT Tiny Trainer "Speed Build", FT Scout "Scratch" , Old school balsa trainer from the 90s, Old School Hotliner Glider from the 90s. , FPV Vapor.

  3. #13
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    My big concern about the a8 is that it sounds like they have some non-standard stuff with their electronics. I haven't looked at the details too closely but I know there's a separate fork of Marlin to support autolevel on them - which is in the process of being merged back into Marlin which is nice since for awhile it seemed like the guys managing the port were only releasing binaries from what I could tell which is against the license Marlin is released under.

    So I'm not sure what's non-standard on them that requires customized firmware...but it would give me pause if I was considering one and I'd research it a bit deeper to know just what's going on there.
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  4. #14

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    Happy with my Anet A8

    I've had my A8 for about a month or so and am very satisfied. I like the 220x220 table and other than an occasional clogged nozzle, have had no problems. Being my first and only 3d printer, there is a learning curve to get the settings right but that would be the case with most. I've been printing parts for my scratch builds like motor mounts, servo horns, pods, etc.
    Two of the guys I fly with also have the Anet A8 and are very happy with theirs. So far the print quality is good.

  5. #15
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    I've been watching the discussion on the Marlin github this week about merging in the skynet mods to Marlin that allow the A8 to do autoleveling.

    Apparently the big issue with the A8 is that it uses a custom controller board that is made just for it. The board is based on the older Melzi design so it's a bit dated - but still capable. However it is limited on it's I/O and adding a bltouch for autoleving will eat up the last of the available pins. So not a big deal if you're happy with it as designed and maybe adding autoleveling - but a bit limited if you want to do anything more than down the road. Though mechanically it's still basically a i3 design so you could always just replace the electronics with a more standard control board (RAMPS, rambo, smoothie...) and have a more capable and hackable machine.

    So the big limit on the A8 is that it's electronics are a bit dated and limited. To put it in Multirotor terms...most current printers run RAMPS which is kind of like a MegaWii board - 8bit but a beefer 2560 processor with lots of memory and I/O. Some higher end printers are starting to transition to 32bit boards like Smoothie/Duet/sbase but the extra power isn't really needed for cartesian printers - Deltas really benefit from it though - those are kind of like Naze32 level boards. The A8's Melzi board is more like a basic MultiWii board - an 8bit AVR processor but lacking the extra memory and I/O of the 2560 Mega AVR.

    In a way 3D printer electronics overall are somewhat behind multirotor electronics - but...that's mostly because they don't benefit as much from the upgrade as multirotors do. Multirotors need to do a lot of fast calculations and really push the limits of 8 bit processors - 3D printers do quite a bit of math - but they're much slowe than multirotors so the extra speed isn't a big deal...except on Deltas where the math is more complex and can reach the limits of the 8 bit processors. More important for printers is lots of I/O to control things like LCD's, SD Cards, Lights, Servos and sensors for auto-level, filament sensors and extra extruders. And the AVR 2560 is a much better deal if you need memory and I/O more than speed - 32 bit chips give you speed but get bigger and more expensive if you need the memory and I/O.
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  6. #16
    French's Avatar
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    Pinpoint, have you picked yet?

    I've had have the Monoprice Mini Select for a year now. Great printer for $200 and an amazing printer after some simple mods. The limited print size is the only downside.

  7. #17

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    I have had an anet a8 for about 5 months now and I love it. You can get amazing print quality out of it if your prepared to do a little tweaking and there is also a lot of support for it. For ~$150 you can't beat it.
    Currently Developing: FTCC'18 Supermarine Spiteful

  8. #18
    The Geeky Pilot bhursey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvdmaverick View Post
    I have had an anet a8 for about 5 months now and I love it. You can get amazing print quality out of it if your prepared to do a little tweaking and there is also a lot of support for it. For ~$150 you can't beat it.
    Good to here. Yah i plan on getting one i think, install a mosfed, sodder the wiers directly tp heat plate, maby auto level sensor, upgrade fw, print mods. Mabye upgrade to an atx psu. Got to see what psu i have in my old computers. Iv been researching it for about a month. Still have to convince wife.
    Just call me Brian.. AMA: 688510 : Flying since 1998 took a 12 year hiatus 2003-2015 : Hanger :FT Arrow FPV "Scrach", FT Tiny Trainer "Speed Build", FT Scout "Scratch" , Old school balsa trainer from the 90s, Old School Hotliner Glider from the 90s. , FPV Vapor.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhursey View Post
    Good to here. Yah i plan on getting one i think, install a mosfed, sodder the wiers directly tp heat plate, maby auto level sensor, upgrade fw, print mods. Mabye upgrade to an atx psu. Got to see what psu i have in my old computers. Iv been researching it for about a month. Still have to convince wife.
    I removed the connector on the heat plate and crimped some terminals on and hat seems to be working fine. I have also put an upgraded power supply on it. I installed a new heat block too because the stock one doesn't have a grub screw for the thermistor and mine popped out causing me to destroy my PTFE tube. There are loafers sitting on my desk as well as a power switch to solder on but I have gotten around to it yet. The printed upgrades are very nice too. Specifically the belt tensioners and fan duct.
    Currently Developing: FTCC'18 Supermarine Spiteful

  10. #20
    Printrbot offers some good, high-quality-yet-affordable printers. You can get kit or assembled versions on most of their printers. Their printers are a bit above your $250 price target, but they are well worth the investment, especially if you plan on printing more and bigger parts down the line.

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