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Anet ET5 Pro FDM 3D printer in the test: good ex works

With the ET5 Pro, Anet promises an easy-to-assemble 3D printer with good equipment and a large installation space. TechStage tests whether the problems of the previous model have been resolved.

In the last few months we have mainly dealt with SLA printers such as the  Elegoo Mars (test report)  or the  Nova3d Elfin (test report)  . These harden resin with UV light and are particularly suitable for smaller objects with extremely high resolution.

Now it’s the turn of the classic FDM printers again. After the fully assembled Qidi X-Plus (test report) , the Anet ET5 Pro is another kit in the editorial office.

The specifications of the Anet printer sound tempting. At 300 [×] 300 [×] 400 mm, the printing space is significantly larger than that of the previous model ET4 (test report) . In addition to a filament sensor, there is now also a permanently installed proximity sensor for the bed calibration on board. A new mainboard and TMC2208 stepper motor driver should ensure low noise levels.

The scope of delivery of the ET5 Pro includes both a glass plate and a plastic pad for the heated print bed. This is pleasingly flat and enables correspondingly good adhesion. The integrated filament sensor detects if the filament breaks or runs out and then pauses the printing process. Aborted prints can then be continued. This works reliably in practice. Even after a power failure, the Anet printer continues to print.

The printer arrives neatly packaged and largely pre-assembled at the customer. There are significantly fewer individual parts in the box than, for example, in the kit of the Tronxy X5SA large capacity printer (test report) . In addition to the fully assembled lower part including power supply unit, touch screen and heated print bed, only two other components are ultimately included: the print head and the actual frame.

Otherwise, a bag with a dozen screws, tools, a USB card reader including a micro SD memory card and a roll of black PLA filament are included. A spool holder and the required power cord are also included. The short assembly instructions are neatly illustrated and easy to understand.

Thanks to the pre-assembled parts and proper instructions, assembly is done quickly.

The assembly is a real pleasure and absolutely unproblematic even for inexperienced persons. First you fasten the upper and lower part with 12 screws. This step can be done in less than ten minutes. Then the fully assembled print head comes on the x-axis. Now the installation of the toothed belt for the drive of the print head follows. In order to mount it properly and to adjust the tension, the four screws of the motor responsible for the x-axis must be loosened. A second person is helpful when tightening the screws. Retensioning works by moving the X-motor and the elongated holes in the bracket. At this point, we recommend retrofitting washers to keep the construction stable over the long term. What a shame,

The next step is to remove the transport locks on the y-axis and plug in the electronics. The assignment of plugs and sockets is straightforward because all parts are neatly labeled. We have seen it differently with other kits. Now the connections between the distribution board and the mainboard and the connection of the Bowden cable to guide the filament follow. The last steps are to attach the filament roll holder and plug in the power supply. Image 11 of 30

Anet ET5 Pro: Setup and first pressure tests

Now the components are connected to the distributor board.

It took just under fifteen to twenty minutes to build up to this point. Even inexperienced users should be able to assemble it in half an hour. The entire construction is very stable and leaves a positive overall impression.

After switching on, we let the automatic bed calibration run through and notice a strange noise when moving the y-axis. The problem is found quickly. A guide roller that is installed minimally too low ensures that the toothed belt does not run smoothly. With an Allen key, unfortunately not included in the scope of delivery, we loosened the roller, moved it up and then tightened it again. Now everything is running smoothly and almost noiselessly.

With the predecessor ET4, we invested almost ten hours in the printer after the actual assembly in order to find and correct all technical problems, such as a defective power switch and other little things. This is not the case with the ET5 Pro and only about 30 to 40 minutes pass between opening the box and starting the first printing process. Operation via touchscreen is uncomplicated thanks to the clear menu. It is not possible to switch to a German-language menu navigation.

The print products of the ET5 Pro are neat and usable out of the box. Only the minimal stringing is noticeable. As with all FDM printers, the following also applies here: For an all-round perfect result, the settings in the slicing software must be correct, then the stringing also disappears. We slice our test prints with the open source software Cura, which is included on the USB stick, and thus achieve good results. This applies both to the filament supplied by the manufacturer and to PLA from their own stock. 

Our first print looks good.

We like the printer’s low noise level very positively. When measuring the volume at a distance of two meters, the maximum volume is between 38 and 40 dBA. This is a very good value, especially for a device with an open installation space. If you want to change the speed or temperature while the printing process is running, you can do this directly on the touchscreen.

The second print also looks very neat.

With a current price of 390 euros, the Anet ET5 Pro is twice as expensive as its predecessor. In our view, however, the additional price is justified.

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