I have purchased an Anet A8 3D printer in order to progress some of my projects. Over the last few days I have tried to learn as much as I can about the Anet A8 3D Printer and the uppgrades that are recommended. The following will list the cheapest Anet A8 printer I could find, as well as all of the upgrades I have purchased or plan on printing. As of this writing, my printer hasn’t arrived yet so I will update as I make progress.
Anet A8 Printer for $139 from GearBest – It seems that the price for this on the site fluctuates, it’s $143 today. The shipping was delayed due to a snow storm, but it should get here on 1/17/18, 14 days after I submitted the order.
After I made the purchase I started looking for information about the Anet A8 3D Printer to figure out how best to use it, what filaments to use, etc. First I’ll list the printable upgrades, and then I’ll list the upgrades that will most likely cost additional money.
Quite a few printable upgrades are available from Thingiverse. This seems to be one of the more popular sites to obtain and share 3D printable files as well as other suggestions.
Anet A8 Fan Duct Spaceship edition – (I am using the spaceship v3 file) this is an adapter that replaces the fan duct. The purpose is to cool the filament once it’s a part of the print.
Anet A8 Ergonomic Retained Extruder Release Button – the original release hurts your finger when pressing, this makes it easier and painless
Linear Wire Chain X Axis – Holds the wires on the X axis from the board to the extruder
* Filament Guide 1 – Help to keep filament from getting chafed
* Filament Guide 2 – Help to keep filament from getting chafed
* Anet A8 T corner – Since the Anet A8 has an acrylic frame, it isn’t completely sturdy, these T corners help to strengthen it.
* Anet A8 Front Frame Brace – This is another upgrade to help strengthen the stability
Anet A8 Improved X-Belt Tensioner – Tightens the belt on the x axis for smoother prints
* Y Belt Tensioner – Tightens the belt on the y axid for smoother prints
Wing Nut Bed Level – easier way to turn the bed leveling wingnuts
Anet A8 Fan Shroud for Power Supply – Hold an 80mm fan against the PSU to help cool it
* = Items for the base A8 that I will not be using because I am using the metal frame from AM8 Metal Frame for Anet A8
Additional prints related to the AM8 Metal Frame or Purchased items
2040 Aluminum Extrusion Top Spool Holder – moving the spool to the top of the Anet A8 helps to get your filament to the extruder to feed smoother.
Anet A8 Power Switch Cover – To mount the power switch and give it a more pleasing look.
Anet A8 Mosfet Holder – used to mount the mosfet to the board.
I am upgrading the frame to the AM8 Metal Frame for Anet A8. There is a BOM and Build Instructions at that link and the BOM contains links where to buy all of the parts and there’s also a list of additional printed items needed for the upgrade. While the prices in the BOM were spot on to what I found them for, the shipping increased the total price from $54, to $85.
Y Axis Wire Chain Holder compatible with the metal frame – I need to build this as I couldn’t find one.
Linear Rail Slot Covers – Used to hide wires within the slots of the aluminum extrusions
Now for the upgrades that may cost money
Auto Level Sensor – the bed for the Anet A8 needs to be adjusted ever so often for random reasons such as vibration or moving around the printer, or maybe your bed just isn’t perfectly flat. The auto sensor basically checks the distance between the nozzel and the bed and will auto adjust based on the print file z axis. It is recommended to use the paper method initially to make sure the bed is as flat as possible. Also with the linked product, users say the blue and brown wire are switched and can be easily corrected by swapping the pins.
Fiberglass belts the stock Anet A8 belts and rubber belts can stretch over time. While I’m not convinced that the fiberglass ones won’t either, I do believe they’ll last a lot longer and allow you to add more tension to the belts.
– $4.64 x 2
I am using 2 of these fans, 1 for the board and one for the power supply
Due to the current supplied to the heating bed, it can cause wear and burn up the board. Using a mosfet will regulate the current so that the higher current requirement of the heatbed is routed properly. Instructions for installing can be found here… How to Connect Your Hotbed to a Mosfet
Surprisingly, glass is more expensive than I would have thought. Apparently you can use glass from picture frames, but it is recommended to use Boso glass. The glass bed allows for a more even heating, better sticking and release of 3D printed object, and a couple other benefits I can’t think of at the moment lol.
Silicone conductive pads to place under the glass to prevent movement, yet still transfer the heat to the glass.
While you probably don’t need 4 power switches, the price can’t be beat since buying 1 generally costs only a couple dollars less. The power switch is needed for safety since once the Anet A8 is plugged in, it’s always on. You can probably also just use a power strip.
And finally, parts that you will just need for the functioning of the printer
This filament by 3D Mars seems to be cheaper than most and has great reviews, so I will be starting off with it.
Replacement parts for the extruder. This group has to be the best anywhere. It comes with tips, screws, blocks and tubes… 5 of each!