The Anet A8 3D Printer Journey – Mods and plans

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I’ve decided. I’m going to make Anet A8 the best printer possible!

After finishing my 2nd YouTube livestream on building the Anet A8 3D Printer its now completed and works!

It took 6 hours of combined live streaming to make it work, and having you guys there really helped! But I still need your help on what should be modded! If you didn’t livestream I think it could be done in 1-3 hours to be honest. Specially if you’re a bit technical!

How to improve the Anet A8 3D printer

Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s perfect. As many already know the Anet A8 is a very popular cheap “let’s get into 3D printer” kit that is popular to tweak and mod.

I’ve put together a list of mods I’ve done and plan to do. Call it a list of recommendations for making the best possible Anet A8 3D printer.

I have yet to finish all the mods myself, but recommendations from friends and creators who spend more time tweaking the Anet A8 have generated the following.

Mechanics mods for Anet A8

Improving the mechanics of the Anet A8 can improve print quality, but mainly it will help getting a more stable printer that have better repetitive precision, reduce the time spend leveling and lower the noise.

  • IGUS quality bearings (X/Y) – Reduce sound and increase stability.
  • IGUS Z-nut-screw – increase precision.
  • Z-Brace (Partly 3D printed) – Increases the rigidity of the frame.
  • Front and Back braces (3D printed)
  • Y-cable chain (link) – Puts less strain on the heated bed cables, increasing security.
  • Dampening platform – Simple but effective to stop noise from transferring.

Anet A8 Electronics:

The electronics is OK on the Anet A8 but as most people I recommend taking the load of the motherboard with MOSFETs for both the heated bed and extruder. If you’re starting with one, please do so with the heated bed since it draws a lot of power.

When you’re doing mods on the heated bed you should (if you’re comfortable soldering) change the cables to stronger ones.

Extruder mods for Anet A8 3D Printer:

The Anet A8 extruder actually works very well stock. It uses PTFE lining, so make sure you have some ready when it (eventually) wear out. Higher printing temperatures can be achieved with a All-Metal hot end upgrade, something I might look into.

Just don’t do any super-mega-high all-metal 3D printing without using MOSFETs.

I won’t focus a lot (at least initially) on Extruder mods, but here’s what’s planned:

Firmware mods:

A lot of users like to upgrade their Anet A8 3D Printers with custom firmware, for example Skynet. I’m not sure I will want to explore this since I’m not sure it will be very beneficial. But its up to you!

I’m having issues finding stock firmware links, but 3D Printers Bay have some listed here.

Printed mods you can 3D print yourself

One of the great benefits of having a 3D Printer is that you can 3D Print your own mods!

There are plenty of awesome printed upgrades and mods for the Anet A8 so I’ll show you the ones I’m doing and what others recommend here:

Other strange mods

Why not go a bit crazy and try to make some really special mods? These probably require quite a lot of modding, construction and troubleshooting to get working. But hey, why not!

  • Making a Pastextruder (for clay and similar viscosity)
  • noctua cooling fans to lower noise even more.
  • LEDs. MORE LEDS. I will pimp the machine like Crazy.

 

The progress of modding my Anet A8 3D Printer

Obviously the weird mods will take a lot of time to finish, but I hope to include those in a series of videos when the’re all done. For you here, there’s plenty of progress listed via twitter and Facebook if you want to see what happens during the modding progress.

Finished mods are listed as separate posts in the blog. A collection will be made on this (coming soon) link.

 

If you wanna build and mod along with me, you can get the Anet A8 from this link: http://bit.ly/2r2Cqa7

(affiliate links cost you nothing more, usually less! and I get a small kickback from Gearbest)

If you want more of a build guide, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and keep an eye out for any videos on the Anet A8!

 

ENJOY AND HIT ME UP WITH MOD SUGGESTIONS!

Sound Dampening platform

One of the “accidental” mods I was proved to be super efficient. The sound dampening foam are usually put on walls to dampen sound but work perfect stopping vibrations to travel.

I used a spare piece of wood just under the 3D printer and then added the piece of foam underneath.

My scenario was probably the worst possible kind (large wooden unsupported beam) for letting sound travel and amplify. But with this mod it’s a crazy difference. I wished I could measure it, but believe me it’s worth doing!

The Anet A8 3D Printer Journey – Mods and plans

About The Author
- 3D-visionary enthusiast exploring the world of 3D-printing. With 12+ years of 3D experience from visualization, VFX and CAD-design and the industry itself, I tend to find interest and ideas from the world around me.

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