The Full Anet A6 vs Anet A8 Comparison

By | May 29, 2018

The Anet A6 and the Anet A8 are both DIY kits at an extremely low price. They are considered one of the best budget 3D printers online and have huge community support for fixes as well as upgrades and modifications. While it might look like Anet is a brand and they are just 2 different versions of the printer, that is not always the case. The Anet A6 and Anet A8 are Chinese no-name printers that greatly vary depending on where you buy them from, as they are based in an open source design and there are a lot of clones online.

In the following sections, we will list each 3D printers features as well as a comparison between the two, including a comparison of their features, their Pros and Cons. At the very end you will find the final summary and rating of each 3D printer respectively.

Core Features of the Anet A6 3D Printer

Print Volume: The Anet A6 features a very standard 8.6″ x 8.6″ x 9.8″ (220 x 220 x 250mm) print volume which is more than enough for most users, both new and experienced.

Resolution: While this is a very cheap 3D printer, because of its open source philosophy, any nozzle size can be used, and everything can be further upgraded. As standard, this printer is able to print at a resolution as high as 0.1mm layer height, making for some very detailed prints. This can be achieved using the included 0.4mm nozzle

Open source: This is probably its biggest advantage over other 3D printers on the market. Not only is the software open source, the hardware and all the control boards are also open sources, allowing experienced users to take advantage of any modification and upgrades. Being so cheap and so popular has also caused a huge community to emerge, with thousands of people sharing tips and tricks as well as troubleshooting in online forums, ensuring that no matter what problems(if any) you face, someone will be able to help you.

Material options: Again, being based on an open source design, and having a heated bed, almost any material can be printed using this printer. This is very important to note, as this is not a standard feature from budget 3D printers.

LCD screen: The Anet A6 includes an LCD screen with a torary knob that allows for very fast changes to the printer settings and parameters. The included screen can also display the current printing stats, as well as allow tweaking of the printer while it is printing.

Acrylic parts: Being a DIY kit, a lot of assembling has to be done. All the major parts and interconnects for the structural parts of the printer are based on black, pre-cut acrylic pieces, making for a stronger and slicker looking 3D printer.

Anet A6 Key Specifications

Printing Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
Nozzle temperature: Room temperature to 260 degree
Product forming size: 220 x 220 x 250mm
Layer thickness: 0.1-0.4mm
Memory card offline print: TF card
Print speed: 40 – 120mm/s
Supporting material: ABS, HIPS, PLA, PETG etc.
Material diameter: 1.75mm
Language: Chinese,English,French,German,Spanish
File format: G-code,STL
XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.012mm
Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.004mm
Working Power: 150W
Software: Cura
Packing Type: unassembled packing

Core Features of the Anet A8 3D Printer

Print Volume: The Anet A8 features a very standard 8.6″ x 8.6″ x 9.4″ (220 x 220 x 240mm) print volume which is more than enough for most users, both new and experienced.

Resolution: While this is a very cheap 3D printer, because of its open source philosophy, any nozzle size can be used, and everything can be further upgraded. As standard, this printer is able to print at a resolution as high as 0.1mm layer height, making for some very detailed prints. This can be achieved using the included 0.4mm nozzle

Open source: This is probably its biggest advantage over other 3D printers on the market. Not only is the software open source, the hardware and all the control boards are also open source, allowing experienced users to take advantage of any modification and upgrades. Being so cheap and so popular has also caused a huge community to emerge, with thousands of people sharing tips and tricks as well as troubleshooting in online forums, ensuring that no matter what problems(if any) you face, someone will be able to help you.

Material options: Again, being based on an open source design, and having a heated bed, almost any material can be printed using this printer. This is very important to note, as this is not a standard feature from budget 3D printers.

LCD screen: The Anet A8 includes an LCD screen with a keypad that allows for changes to the printer settings and parameters. The included screen can also display the current printing stats, as well as allow tweaking of the printer while it is printing.

3D printed parts: Being a DIY kit, a lot of assembling has to be done. All the major parts are black, pre-cut acrylic pieces and every interconnects and moving parts are 3D printed, meaning they printer can print replacements for itself.

Anet A8 Key Specifications

Printing Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
Nozzle temperature: Room temperature to 260 degree
Product forming size: 220 x 220 x 240mm
Layer thickness: 0.1-0.3mm
Memory card offline print: TF card
Print speed: 40 – 120mm/s
Supporting material: ABS, HIPS, PLA, PETG etc.
Material diameter: 1.75mm
Language: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
File format: G-code, STL
XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.012mm
Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.004mm
Working Power: 150W
Software: Cura
Packing Type: unassembled packing

Comparison Anet A6 vs Anet A8

Hardware: As you can tell, these printers are almost identical when compared spec to spec. And that’s mostly true, as they are both based on the same concept, and they use mostly the same hardware, including stepper motors, mainboards, screens, print heads, heated beds etc. One of the biggest differences is that on the A8, the extruder is mounted vertically on 2 rails while on the A6 is mounted in parallel to the X-axis. The A6 design is considered a more stable and reliable design.

Design: The design of the printers is also very similar but they differ in some small places. One of the biggest advantages of the A6 is that a lot of mounting brackets are actually 3D printed parts, meaning that replacement and upgrade parts can be 3D printed, while the A8 has laser cut acrylic pieces for everything. Other than that, the only other difference would be the total print volume of the A6 which is a little bit bigger on the Z axis.

Performance: Since the two printers are almost identical when it comes to their hardware, their performance and quality are almost identical.

Community: This is one of the strongest points that sets these Anet 3D printers apart from other DIY kit 3D printers. The community regarding the A8 is bigger compared to the A6, giving the A8 big advantage when it comes to troubleshooting, future upgrades, and modifications as well as general tips and tricks. This does not mean that there are no communities for the A6, as it is also a very popular 3D printer. It’s just that the A8 has been out longer and is used daily by more people, hence the larger community.

Assembly: Since these 3D printers come in parts and require an assembly, it is important to know that the A6 comes with more parts premade, and offers an easier assembly procedure than the A8. It is also important to note that since these are very low priced printers, the quality of the plastics are often cheap, making for some small incompatibilities from time to time.

Price: This is probably one of the strongest points of why these 3D printers are so popular. The Anet A8 costs just 169.99$ and the A6 costs just 195.99$. These prices vary a lot over time and really depends on where you buy them. The A8 is obviously a better deal at this point, but the A6 might be worth the small difference for the small improvements that it offers.

Conclusion

Both 3D printers are capable of producing very high-quality prints and can be a fun way for anyone to get into the DIY world by assembling a kit like these. There are no other printers on the market as such a low cost that offer so much. These are, of course not meant for the absolute beginner, and are more marketed towards people who have the time and the skill to assemble, troubleshoot and be willing to spend a lot of time on the printer itself before starting to actually print objects.

Anet A8 rating:
Speed:7.5/10
Build Area:8.5/10
Precision:7/10
Value:9.5/10

Anet A6 rating:
Speed:7.5/10
Build Area:8/10
Precision:7/10
Value:9.5/10

Author: Sam Westin

Sam Westin has been in the media printing space for over 5 years and is an early adopter of 3d printing technology. He is excited to be a mere peon among the 21st century printing revolution! When not thinking up new things to print in multiple dimensions, Sam shares his thoughts on the industry here.

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