New hobby: 3D printing

So… for the past 6 months I’ve acquired a new hobby: 3D printing!

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying and or building a 3D printer for over a year but I was putting it off as I was extremely resource constrained (time, space, money). Just before Christmas however, a seemingly random ad in my Facebook timeline spurred my interest. As for most things nowadays, you can find relatively cheap chinese clones of various open source 3D printer designs.

After a little research, I decided to buy an Anet A8. It’s based on the Prusa i3 open source design. The ad I saw in FaceBook was from GearBest. The price was good – around 170euros in mid-December 2016 – but you had to pay 40 more for delivery to Greece ¹. After some research, I ended up buying it on AliExpress from a seller with a Germany warehouse and free delivery. It cost me 180 euro and the package included 3 half-kilo rolls of filament.

The A8’s two main ways of cost-cutting are:
– It comes in kit form (consisting of a gazillion pieces you have to assemble yourself).
– It’s frame is made out of plexiglass.

The long assembly is actually a bonus for me. I enjoy building things as much as I enjoy using them!

The instability of the plexiglass frame can be mitigated by applying a great number of modifications – frame braces, belt tensioners etc. There is a big community of enthusiasts though which you can find (and 3d-print yourself) any number of improvements and modifications.

So, since I first assembled it, I have been doing some modifications and improvements myself, I though it is about time to document them, and at the same time, refresh up this blog a little! Here we go!

 

1. Prices have gone down a lot since then. Gearbest is currently selling it for 132euros with free shipping from China.