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About two years ago, I became extremely interested in the world of 3D printing. I watched countless hours of YouTube videos and read up on many articles. I came to a conclusion: I was going with the Anet A8 (which I had to assemble myself).
My decision, though, was made more on the grounds of cost rather than what I knew about the printer. The Anet A8 sells on Amazon for $180 (view it here). Although it is not a bad machine, it is definitely not the best 3D printer out there for someone just beginning at 3D printing. If you’re brand-new to the scene, I would more than definitely recommend the MonoPrice Select Mini v2 3D Printer. It goes for $190 on Amazon (view it here). It is only $10 more and it is well worth it. More on that later.
You will love the Anet A8 3D printer if you want to learn how a 3D printer works and enjoy putting things together. Though it may become a bit of a pain trying to put together a machine that you have no clue what to do with at first. It comes with a numerous amount of parts that you will have to assemble. Personally, I used YouTube videos to help put it together correctly along with online guides.
The Anet A8 took well over a few hours for me to assemble and many modifications before it would even begin to print at all. This may be discouraging to some who have a low tolerance when it comes to stress and hassles. My first print was a pyramid that came pre-installed on an included SD card that I got with mine.
- Not too expensive
- Allows you to learn how a 3D printer works
- Easy to modify
- Assembly can be time-consuming and stressful
- Requires a lot of trial and error
- Not the best quality prints
MonoPrice Select Mini v2
This is my current 3D printer and also my favorite. It came pre-assembled and ready to print straight out of the box. This is perfect for beginners and those who want something simple that just works. All you have to do is load in your filament, select one of the pre-loaded 3D models on the included SD card, or save one of your own to it.
The design of the MonoPrice Select Mini v2 is just gorgeous in my opinion as well. It has a PEI sheet included on the heated bed and has a bowden extruder which is better to use (it helps the prints stick better). It has a beautiful screen and a knob-like-dial that makes navigation seamless and easy.
Another important thing to note is that I can print ABS filament on this printer but never could get anything to print in ABS on the Anet A8- but maybe that was just me not knowing how to properly configure and setup the machine itself. The prints on the MonoPrice Select Mini v2 were also significantly better over those I printed on the Anet A8.
- Ready to use, straight out of the box
- High quality and intuitive design
- High quality prints
- Hard to repair or modify the 3D printer itself
I would have to pick the MonoPrice Select Mini v2 as the best 3D printer. It is ready to print as soon as you get it which is very exciting to someone who is just entering the 3D printing world. It prints better, looks better, and in my opinion, is better in every way. I wish I would have bought this printer over the Anet A8 when I first started out. It would have saved a lot of time and stress. I was always having to mess around with the Anet A8 to get it to work.
However, if you are interested in learning about 3D printing and don’t mind putting it together, the Anet A8 is a fairly good machine in itself. I just did not have the patience to deal with modifying the machine to make it work so I settled for the easier of the two options.
Food for Thought
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