Adventures in tuning my Anet-A8 3D Printer.
About a year ago, I purchased a rather inexpensive “DIY” 3D printer kit directly from the country that sells everything; China. My model of choice was the “Anet-A8” printer, due to its low price and big online support community.
Not only the price and support led to my decision, but also the potential extensibility inherent to any DIY kit. I have compiled a list of changes concerning my printer, in the hope that someone find then useful. My main optimization targets are usability, quality of prints and reduction of fire hazards.
- Anet-A8 DIY Kit (~ 150€) https://www.gearbest.com/goods/pp_009480493719.html
- Filament holder (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1764285
- Extruder button (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1935151
- Fan duct (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1620630
- T-corners (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1672959
- Z-screw holder (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1859663
- Power supply cover (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2320216
- SD Card extension holder (self-printed, self-designed)
- Spool holder bearings (self-printed, self-designed) (~2€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07CJ86XJ9
- Raspberry Pi camera holder (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2199829
- Bed levelling sensor holder (self-printed) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1874774
- SD Card extension (~6€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01C84YKVA
- Power supply fuse & switch (~8€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01FQVM9EM
- Dual MOSFETs (~14€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B077HP7XX9
- Bed levelling sensor (~3€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01GNVU05Y
- Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint (~15€ – ~35€) https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/
- Raspberry Pi camera (~20€) https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/camera-module-v2/
- Buck step-down DC converter for RPi (~3€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01GJ0SC2C
- Heatsinks for RPi due to overclocking (~5€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B073QLMZJS
- Frankenstein Micro-USB cable for RPi, soldered to converter (~3€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B016BFFV6K
- Short USB A-B cable (~4€) https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00369CFQE
- Soldered heated bed connector cables directly to PCB
- Optocoupling PCB for bed levelling sensor & Z-axis limit switch (self-designed, self-made) (~3€)
- Marlin Firmware with support for auto-bed levelling and thermal protection http://marlinfw.org/
- Raspberry Pi runs OctoPrint with various plugins https://octoprint.org/
In conclusion, the Anet A8 is a great entrance-level 3D printer considering its low price, but some upgrades are definitely needed – especially the fire hazard reduction ones, like installing MOSFETs and a PSU fuse, soldering the heatbed wires and upgrading the firmware. The Raspberry Pi provides a convenient way of accessing the printer, but I do recommend choosing a recent and fast model.
Image source: banggood.com