Anet ET4 3D Printer Review
The Anet ET4 is a budget 3D printer. It arrived extremely well-packaged in a semi-kit that took about 30 minutes to assemble. It included a slew of different accessories, and my Anet ET4 review unit even came bundled with a couple spools of filament. Performance is solid and the feature set, particularly in consideration with the price, is absolutely mind-blowing. Unfortunately, firmware updates can be hazardous, and slicing 3D prints requires a bit of fiddling. Still, for the cost, the ET4 is an amazing printer. Check out why in this Anet ET4 3D printer review!
- Cheap as chips
- Easy to assemble
- Auto bed-leveling
- Good quality prints
- Quiet operation
- High-quality components: metal frame, glass print bed
- Low-quality microSD card
- Easy to brick if you're not careful with firmware updates
- Difficult to find CURA profile/settings
- Some features didn't work properly out of the box
Anet ET4 3D Printer Review Verdict
The Anet ET4, like many other Anet 3D printers such as the Anet A8, is a budget 3D printer option. Clocking in under $300 USD, it's an affordable 3D printer that performs surprisingly well. Assembly was incredibly simple. Directions are clear and laid out in an IKEA style with pictures rather than written descriptions of the setup steps. There's an included microSD card with a copy of CURA and a few test files pre-loaded including a dog, piggy bank, and a cat.
What you'll find in the Anet ET4 is a budget-priced printer that doesn't skimp on features. There's a glass print bed, ultra-silent TMC2208 stepper driver, print resume functionality, a filament detection sensor, 2.8-inch touchscreen, and a premium-feeling metal frame. The mainboard touts thermal runaway protection, a handy inclusion particularly in light of past Anet A8 issues.
Adhesion to the print bed is superb while printing, yet prints miraculously come off the build plate with little effort. Considering how easy it was to remove a print from the build platform, I was shocked that the print stayed in place so well.
Print quality is great. The test files printed just fine. But slicing files is a bit tricky. Although there's a version of CURA on the microSD card, it's an older iteration. So if, like me, you're using a newer CURA release or a different 3D printer slicer, you'll need to create a custom profile. There is an INI file you can import, but you won't (at the time of writing) find a profile on any slicer that you can easily use. Still, that's a minor complaint when considering the premium features that the Anet ET4 packs with its budget price point.
Unfortunately, I hit a kink early on. I figured I'd upgrade the firmware and what should have been a pretty simple process resulted in a bricked printer. Although the firmware update completed successfully, upon rebooting my ET4 was stuck on the Anet loading screen. From what I can tell, likely due to a poor-quality microSD card or something related to the microSD card cloning process. Although I don't expect a 1TB SanDisk microSD card included, it's typical to assume that the SD card or flash drive bundled with a printer is suitable for firmware updates. Learn from my mistake: use a high-quality microSD card when updating the Anet ET4's firmware.
Thankfully, I was able to use a pretty inexpensive ST-Link device to recover from being bricked, and re-flashed the Anet ET4 firmware with ease. After re-flashing and using a newer firmware version I was able to get started printing.
Check Anet ET4 prices online:
Features of the Anet ET4
You'll find a slew of high-end features on the Anet ET4, making it a shockingly good budget 3D printer.
1. Auto-bed leveling: Manually level the bed, then use the included sensor for an auto-leveling offset.
2. Glass print bed: Easy to remove prints from the build platform, heats up well.
3. All-metal frame: High-quality construction.
4. Thermal runaway detection: Increased safety in printing.
5. Filament detection sensor: Detect filament when it runs out, auto stop printing if filament is finished.
6. Ultra-silent TMC2208 stepper driver: Incredibly quiet operation.
Anet ET4 Specs
- Brand: Anet
- Model: ET4
- Printing technology: FDM
- Material (frames): All-metal
- Platform board: Glass
- Nozzle quantity: Single
- Standard nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
- Nozzle temperature: Room temperature to 250 degrees Celcius
- Product forming size: 220x220x250mm
- Layer thickness: 0.1-0.3mm
- Memory card offline print: MicroSD/TF card
- LCD screen: Yes, 2.8-inch touchscreen
- Print speed: 150mm/s (recommended 30-60mm/s)
- Platform temperature: Room temperature to 100 degree
- Supporting material: ABS, PLA, HIPs
- Recommended filament: PLA
- Filament diameter: 1.75mm
- Languages: English, Chinese, French
- File format: G-code, OBJ, STL
- Voltage: US 110 AC 240W, EU 220V AC 240W
- Packaging type: Semi-kit
- Connector type: USB
- Dimensions: 440X420X480mm
- Weight: 7.2Kg
- Slicer: Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier
Anet ET4 Test Prints
First up, I printed the three different test prints that came pre-loaded on the included microSD card. There's a dog, a cat, and a piggy bank. I used three different spools of 1.75mm PLA, orange, black, and blue. Anet was kind enough to provide two of the spools with my ET4 review unit.
The dog came out extremely well. While some minimal stringing was present, it was minimal and rubbed off easily. Adhesion to the build platform was superb while printing, so much so that I was shocked at how easily prints detached from the print plate.
Likewise, another test print that came pre-loaded on the flash drive, a piggy bank, printed pretty well. Layer density was phenomenal, and there were just a few minor imperfections. Out-of-the-box performance with minimal to no tweaking, I'm happy to report, results in excellent quality.
The glass bed heats up glowingly, and removing prints from the bed is a breeze. But I did encounter an issue of prints becoming dislodged during printing. Oddly, this occurred near the end of printing, so I doubt it's an issue of an unlevel print bed. Applying the included 3M sticker to the glass bed drastically improved adhesion. It's best to either use this or rub a glue stick on the glass bed prior to printing.
Should You Buy the Anet ET4 3D Printer?
If you're in the market for a budget 3D printer, the Anet ET4 punches well above its weight class. Assembly is fairly easy, although some steps are a bit fiddly such as attaching the X cable. Lack of a profile in major slicers like Cura and Simplify3D is slightly disappointing, though it's easy to import a Cura profile made available by Anet or plugin various settings for a custom ET4 slicer profile.
It's performance and ease of use, coupled with an ultra-affordable price point, that make the Anet ET4 arguably the best 3D printer under $200. The auto-leveling functionality was simple to use, and resulted in excellent extrusion onto the built platform. Layer density is superb, with absolutely stunning print quality. The printer itself is comprised of premium materials, from an entirely metal frame to the glass print bed. You can certainly find more expensive printers, but for a budget or even mid-range 3D printer, the ET4 is a fantastic option that won't break the bank. It's replaced my Elegoo Neptune as my FDM printer of choice.
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