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Anet A8 is one of the cheapest 3D printers on the market. China-based major shopping sites such as Gearbest or Aliexpress sell it with the special discount prices these days, the price is around $ 130-150. Maybe you can investigate some discount codes to get it cheaper. When you order it comes in a kit and you have to assemble it yourself. It’s not too hard to assemble, so you can check out our article here.
To be honest, the stock version of the Anet A8 3D printer is not very safe 3D printer. If you want to have a safer and more capable printer, you have to upgrade and/or mod the printer. In this article we will describe how you will do this. After modifications it will convert your A8 into a higher level machine.
It may seem laborious and costly work. However, we should tell you that many of the modded parts will be produced by your own A8. That means it will upgrade itself 🙂 Moreover, at the end you will eventually become an expert in 3D printers and help many people.
Let’s get started. We will divide the mods and upgrades into three parts. Recommended, Optional and Eesthetic upgrades.
Note: The following “where to buy” online sites are just reference only and links are likely be affiliate links. AliExpress or similar sites are cheap but the arrival of the product can take 1 month or so.
A) Recommended Upgrades and Mods
The firmware that comes with Anet A8 will normally function well, but we recommend Marlin, one of the popular firmware to make your printer more secure and more functional. For example, this firmware is mandatory if you want to install a bed level sensor, such as BL Touch. This software also foresees a possible fire hazard from your printer and turns off the printer with “Thermal Runaway” feature. Thermal Runaway is a safety feature designed to prevent the printer from accidentally catching fire. If your printer’s thermistor would somehow dislodge itself, electronic parts would get a lower (incorrect) temperature reading. For more info about Thermal Protection check this.
At the time of writing the article, the current stable version was v126.96.36.199. You can download it from this site. http://marlinfw.org/meta/download/
It is helpful to have some Arduino knowledge to install Marlin. Normally Anet motherboard’s v1.5 and above do not have any bootloader installed. First it is necessary to install a bootloader on the card to flash a new firmware. Then it will be easy to install the Marlin on the mainboard using the Arduino IDE.
Replacing the Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Anet A8 is designed for PLA type filament which requires less heating. The stock PSU on the unit with 12V 20A could be insufficient for PETG, ABS +, Nylon type filament prints that require higher temperatures.
If you plan to print with such filaments which require high-temperature, we recommend you to replace your PSU with 12V/30A one. It is preferable to have a fan on it. If you are going to use a PLA type filament only, the PSU on it may be sufficient. We suggest Mean Well PSUs.
Where to buy?
We believe the MOSFET module is a mandatory upgrade for the Anet A8. The Anet A8 mainboard cannot handle the amount of power required by the default heat bed (hotbed), as well as the extruder-hotend, especially when printing with materials that require continuous heating for a long time. Power and current flow through the mainboard to power the extruder and the heatbed. Installing a MOSFET will unload the motherboard from this task.
If mainboard overloaded most likely its connectors or itself may burn. This means the danger of burning your printer and maybe your home. It is therefore recommended to install an external MOSFET as an A8 upgrade. By adding a MOSFET that is correctly rated and has a heatsink, there’s a much lower chance of anything overheating and, in the worst case scenario, catching fire.
In some support groups Mosfet is recommended for the heater table only as your printer’s extruder power well managed by the mainboard. However we recommend using two for both the heatbed and the extruder. Because Mosfet is not a very expensive piece, so it’s not worth of risking the Anet A8 mainboard that’s around $35-40. Maybe your entire printer.
Where to buy?
Howto install dual Mosfets?
Howto install single Mosfet?
To mount Mosfets on your printer, you can download and print STL files from the Thingiverse. Also there are many boxed versions of those electronics enclosure boxes in Thingiverse. Please consider the recommended print settings on the corresponding design page.
Dual Mosfets Mount Alternative-1 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2157909
Dual Mosfets Mount Alternative-2 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2086107
Single Mosfet mount https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2018906
If you decide installing a dual Mosfets as recommended, print the STL file and mount it as shown in the following pictures.
You can try this if you want to mount a protection cover on the mainboard and the Mosfets.
Renew Headbed Cable or Solder
In fact, the heatbed cable, which is the stock connector type, is a solution for easy assembly. However, if you want to heat the hotbed to 220 degrees and over and get long prints, these connectors are not durable. Therefore this connector can be lit as shown in the following picture. This is a risky situation for your printer.
We recommend soldering the heating plate connections and mounting the cables backwards.
The process is simply to cut the white connector cables and solder them directly. Solder cables from the bottom of the table, not from the front side.
Before disconnecting the connector, mark which cable is connected to which end or take a picture. The video below shows how to do it.
Note: Using Mosfet reduces the occurrence of this problem relatively but does not prevent 100%.
B) Optional Upgrades and Mods
Replacing the belts
You may think why you will need to replace the stock belts. So they look quite rigit. However, the stock belts that come with the printer can quickly get tense and wear easily over time. These situations definitely affect your print quality. Investing in moving parts in 3D printers will always be profitable. Belts made of fiber-glass reinforced material are definitely recommended as GT2 belts in 3D printers.
Where to buy?
We recommend the Gates brand. For Anet A8, 2 meters is enough but if you want a little spare, you can get 4 meters. AliExpress Trianglelab shop has quality 3D printer parts, you can get it from there.
A little affordable but if you say the quality is above average, you can look at this.
The proper tension of the Y Axis belt is very important for the movement of the heater table. If it is not tense, it is likely that there are pressure slips and quality defects. We strongly recommend this upgrade.
If you want to buy this as an aluminum kit click here.
Just like the Y Axis, the proper tension of the X axis belt is essential for the smooth movement of the hotend. If it is not tense, it is likely that there are pressure slips and quality defects. We strongly recommend this upgrade.
If you want to buy this as a kit click here.
This upgrade may actually count into the mandatory group, but normally your printer can be used with tapes that come on the heating table, but in some cases you may find that what you are printing is not fully adhered to the tray. In this case, we recommend you to improve your printing heating table with the following materials.
Glass or Mirror
The glass will be 220x220mm in size and can be 3-4mm thick so that it does not break easily. Secure the glass on the hotbed with 4 clips. In this case, the prints will not stick to the glass again. You may need hari sprey or similar things.
Where to buy?
Almost every experienced 3D printers users will say its “PEI”, whatever the material will be put on the table and will ensure the best adhesion of the filament. Yes, it is really very useful and will give the best result. However, it is a somewhat costly solution. It has various thickness types. Usage with direct bonding to the table, those that can be attached with a latch and spring steel which has become very popular recently.
Buildtak / Sticker
It is a thin, long-life plastic paper that allows your ffirst layer prints to adhere to the tray. It provides clean and easily removable prints while providing the best production surface for production. There is no need for spray or additional bonding material when you apply it on the hotbed. You will need it 220x220mm in size.
Where to buy?
Also known as masking tape on the market. One advantage of using tape is that when you remove prints, you re-appy it, even if they are deformed. 3M brand blue tapes are preferred in 3D printers.
How do you adapt the tape to the surface? See the video below.
Where to buy?
Igus DryLin Mil Yatakları Kullanmak
The stock metal shaft bearings that come with Anet A8 certainly work, but unfortunately they work very noisy. This noise can be reduced considerably with the plastic shaft bearings of the Igus company. If you say what is the bearing noise, take a look at the video here or here.
Your Anet A8 printer has 7 bearings to replace. As can be seen in the picture above, Igus bearing bearings are mounted in the relevant bearing supports. Of course, you must first remove the supports. Since Igus brand stem bearings are very expensive, of course, you can get quality equivalent clone.
The video below helps on how to replace these bearings.
Where to buy?
If you need an inner ring removal pliers to remove the bearing inside.
It is obvious that the fan cooler duck on the existing hotend is not very effective. The alternative is that there are many different designs available on the internet but you can choose one of the following.
Hotbed leveling knob and spring bushing
You can use these two parts if the hotbed is difficult to calibrate with the existing butterfly nuts. Adjusting the bed level is relatively easier.
You can select one of the following things;
Power supply (PSU) cover and on/off switch with fuse
Anet A8 comes standard with a cable connection to the mains directly. Although this does not seem to be a problem normally, it would be a good idea to have an on/off switch on the device or even an overcurrent fuse.
Where to buy?
The only thing you need to provide is the power button which has fuse on it.
As you know, there is a button made of screws on the extruder. It is necessary to press this button to insert and remove the filament, but your finger hurts when you need to press a little longer, right? Let’s make a beautiful button on the screw and let’s stop this pain. You have alternatives in various ways. Choose one.
It will be good for your filaments to enter the extruder properly upright from the top. There are improvements made for this. We said, let’s put some examples here.
X Axis – Front Frame Brace
It will take some time to print this, but it will be useful to keep your printer’s front assembly intact.
There is an introduction video here.
X Axis – Rear Frame Brace
Replacing the stock HotEnd module with “E3D v6 HotEnd”
With this upgrade, you can get more reliable high temperature 3D printing. It also reduces print quality problems and clogging.
Where to buy?
Buying genuine E3D hotend system is quite expensive. There are clones. We will recommend the best quality Trianglelab products again. There are also very cheap ones but don’t buy them.
Bed Leveling Sensor
After setting up your printer, I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t suffer from print quality at first. Either it does not stick to the printing plate, the first printed layer may not be of good quality, etc. When you encounter such things each time you advise to tighten the belts, the z-axis bed leveling as the distance or closeness of the nozzle to the hotbed. Each time you need to take a piece of paper in your hand and make a nozzle height adjustment calibration. It is annoying to repeat this continuously over time. For this reason, the auto level sensor is a must have device for every 3d printer.
When it comes to the automatic level sensor, the BL-Touch type, which works very well, is recommended. However, if we get Anet A8, as a budget 3d printer, we may get its cheap cloned version 3D Touch or so. Of course it is your own risk getting the cheaper one.
How to install ned leveling sensor on the Anet A8 check this article.
Where to buy?
BL Touch / Genuine Sensor
3D Touch / Cloned Sensor – Updated new version
C) Aesthetic Upgrades and Mods
LCD & Button Frame
Do you notice the gaps around the LCD screen when you look at it? You can print the following modes to fill gaps and for a stylish view.
If you want a simple frame, try this
Print the following thing for the LCD button frame
microSD Extension Module
If it feels hard to reach out the SD memory on the motherboard each time, print this thing.
Surely microSD extension tool required.
Where to buy?
Sağ ve sol kenarlardaki vidaları ve somunların üzerini kapatmak istiyorsanız bu modu uygulayın. Aşağıdaki favori sitemiz olan Thingiverse’den STL dosyamızı indirip bastıralım. Önde sağlı sollu 2 tane lazım. Arkalara da isterseniz 4 tane bastırın. Eğer mil vidadan sonra fazla çıkıksa bu kapak boyu yüksekliğini dilimleme programından 15 birime getirmenizi tavsiye ederim.
Print this thing if you want to cover the screws and nuts. Let’s download and print the STL file from our favorite site Thingiverse. You will need two for front nuts. If you want to cover back side nuts too, print 4 pcs.
Cooler Fan Cover
In fact, I thought it would be good to get this into the suggested group. Because the Anet A8 filament holder is not very functional, especially in PETG filament printing, the problems of turning on the flat shaft are discussed. In this way, a filament holder is both pleasing to the eye and more functional. Also you will get more space available on your desk.
Print the Chamfered one. One part should be printed as a mirror image.
We definitely recommend the spool holder roll (seen in the picture). Print the following thing. You will need two 608zz bearings. If you have a spare stress wheel, the bearings are of this type, you can remove them and use here.
60mm LED Ring Holder
You can use this mode if you want to illuminate hotbed while the job being printed. We are going to use a 60mm circular 12V led light module, originally designed for cars. Print the specially designed holder and connect cables to the left side fan cable (not on 5015 fan). Illuminates when the fan is running. You can extend the cable to the power supply by adding a switch that you can manually turn it on or off.
Download and print the frame from the link below
Where to buy?
If you have suggestions on Anet A8 improvements using upgrades and mods, please leave a message in comment section or drop an email firstname.lastname@example.org