Due to a large fabrication project underway I have a lot of box steel to chop up on my vintage Rockwell Model 7V. Blades are not cheap, and I have them made for me. To this end, preservation of the blades is a priority. Designed a magnetic base with captive rare earth magnets, a combination of 6mm and 20mm rare earth units fit, is compact, and secures the mist solution very well. I use sta-lube water soluble oil diluted at roughly 10:1
If one were to build an Anet AM8 upgraded to my current configuration, this is the pieces, and costs for those pieces.
- Anet A8 kit (sometimes discounted to $129)
- AM8 upgrade frame ($90)
- Aluminum Y-Carriage ($16)
- Removable magnetic heatbed 24v kit ($47)
- 24 v power supply ($35)
- IEC sockets ($5)
- Titan extruder + E3Dv6 ($30)
- Hallon Auto bed level sensor ($25)
- Fiber GT2 Belts ($11)
- Mosfter (12v/24v capable) ($7)
Essentially $400 for the whole thing.
The Titan extruder is a geared 3:1 box.
- I used this mount printed in ABS on the Prusa
- screw the new mount to the existing linear bearing blocks in a pattern like you were screwing down head bolts on an engine
- The nozzle in the thingiverse link is incorrectly sized for my blower fan that came with my Anet, I will design a new one in the near future. As it is, I get great quality with no nozzle at all, and well, it’s less important than you would expect for PLA, which is all I’m printing on this machine at the moment.
- recompile marlin to set the extruder to operate inverse of stock
- I use a pre-customized version of Marlin 1.1.8 from Here
1.1.8 for use with my Hallon Auto-bed-leveling sensor, though certeinly moving to 1.1.9 in the near future is a thing that will happen.
- Download and install Arduino IDE from whereever
- Follow this guide to configure the titan extruder within Marlin
- I use a pre-customized version of Marlin 1.1.8 from Here
- M501 – Reads EEPROM data
- Install EEPROM editor within octoprint
- Calibrate steps per mm 418.50 is the magic number for the E3D-V6 on the 1.8degree Anet steppers
- PID bed calibration, enable PIDTEMPBED in marlin, disable BED_LIMIT_Switching
- Disable Thermal Runaway for the bed only for PID autotune to work
- m303 e-1 s60 c8 1 Autotune PID for the bed 8 count at 60 degrees
- resulting values for my bed (mk52 removable spring steel, using the prusa sheet) Kp: 99.41 Ki: 5.08 Kd: 486.61
- #define DEFAULT_bedKp 99.41
- #define DEFAULT_bedKi 5.08
- #define DEFAULT_bedKd 486.61
- THERMAL_PROTECTION_BED can be reenabled after PID autotune
- M303 E0 S210 C8 1 PID autotune extruder
- Resulting values for the E3d-v6 extruder
Kp: 20.73 Ki: 1.63 Kd: 65.81
- #define DEFAULT_Kp 20.73
- #define DEFAULT_Ki 1.63
- #define DEFAULT_Kd 65.81
- X-axis offset is wack compared to original, I think -50mm should get it closer to printing in the middle of the bed, will try this tonight
This project took way longer than it really should have. It starts with the Hallon ABL upgrade. I have been putting off upgrading the infamous Anet H-plate far too long, and finally committed to that upgrade.
- H- Plate Upgrade – I ordered this one. The plate itself is well made, and fits the standard hardware. I tapped the holes for the y-axis belt holder to m4. This seems to be working, though if my belt gets loose with some printing I will drill them out, and remount the bed with M5 screws and M5 lock nuts.
- Solid mount heatbed – Printed this spacer in ABS plastic. Printed all close together with a joined brim. ABS tends to shrink in a not perfect manner, so I then used calipers and a file to bring them all down to within .03mm of each other.
- Leveling of the X-carriage – I used a set of 3x2x1 blocks I had laying around to level the left and right sides of the x-carriage to the bed, which i think is more accurate than leveling to the top of the frame.
- Octoprint with ABL expert – Link to plugin repository It is easiest to find in the plugin manager. I set it to bilinear correction.
- AM8 modifications: ABL trigger mod (found this in the comments, haven’t tried it, made my own thing in freecad, though this looks much better than mine, so I am linking it)
- Frame extension: I made a simple spacer, though I saw a full height one somewhere, and will link it when I find it again.
To find roughly your offset, use this procedure:
- G28 – home position (which should show Z-10, safe nozzle position)
- G1 Z0 – this puts it at 0 to the bed, this should be right where paper grabs
- Once you have your offset determined, M851 Z-16.06
- The -16.06 above is specific to my setup, and yours will be different
- M500 to save eeprom
Initial Auto bed level controls added to machine settings in cura
G29 ; ABL hallon
Printing with Octoprint, I use the ABL expert plugin. I found the Z correction I found via the procedure to need some tweaking. Always Preheat at least the bed before ABL, not going to have a useful result any other way. Running .1 lower Z compared to paper to get good 1st layer. Expect to have some trial and error here, printing some first layer tests. I think it is a part of letting octoprint do the level correction.
Upgrade in progress
In the further evolution of the Anet AM8:
- Flashed to Marlin 1.1.8, print quality and ease of use and safety have all improved.
- Printed a Raspberry pi 3 case
- Now operating an Octoprint running on a Ras-pi-3
- Printed a holder and Anet A8 mount for the Logitech webcam I had laying around. Some disassembly required.
- Timelapse shennagins have commenced
- Original Prusa i3 MK3 has been added to the fleet
- printing of the MK3 enclosure is current priority over further AM8 upgrades
- AM8 works great, often bed-leveling process is 🙁
- noisey AM8 drove me nuts, started ‘blipping’, replaced with Noctua fancy ass thing
- All four(4) of the nuts on the left side z-axis ball-nut carrier fell out, 20 minute fix
- I’ve been printing for the past couple weeks now with this machine, without any problems other than re-leveling the bed every couple days. It appears that the micro-switch is bending and not springing back instantly. So, the bed ends up a bit out of correct. I understand the desire for auto-leveling, and will upgrade to Marlin and a bed-level sensor after printing the enclosure risers, accessories for the MK3.
- The spring nuts on the ball-screw for the Z-axis rattled themselves apart, which required putting that back together, and a re-leveling.
- The Noctura fan makes this printer very quiet, and the linear bearings run smoothly. When/if this one gets noisey I will rebuild it using MGN12 rails.
Project Goal: Cheapest Badass Printer
- Anet A8 off GearBest for $150
- AM8 frame upgrade $50
- mosfet bed heater $8.59
- fiber GT2 belts $10
- Decent Tap
- JST XHP crimp pins and connectors Also, JST Crimp tool
- JST VH pins for the heatbed power upgrade
- Screws assortments are a lifesaver. this and This and This
- microsd-slot extender $10
- PEI sheet for the bed $15
It begins, finally received the AM8 parts.
For ease and cheapness of build, anything that isn’t really under a lot of stress and is a good distance from a heat source, I printed in PLA. Anything important I printed in ABS. Some pieces of the system I will remove from any proximity to the frame anyways, as it’s final home is figured out. So, for 1st assembly, PLA is fine for a lot of this stuff, is what I am figuring. All the 3d printed pieces of this project were printed with a Prusa I3 MK2, I have been printing with the Prusa for a year or so. The Prusa is enclosed, and well sorted machine, easily prints ABS, PETG, PLA whatever.
base frame assembled, still waiting on feet, some minor dissassembly to come, nothing squared up, nothing locked down.
- Y-axis motor mounted
- Y-axis rods and bearings seem ‘good enough’ for now. For a proof of concept, is good enough. Upgrade to H-bed and bearings here
- H carriage mounted, finally found a good and adjustable y-belt holder.
- Frame is squared up
- Feet are mounted, X-axis tomorrow
- Z-axis extrusions have been tapped and mounted
- Z-axis aligned and squared to frame
- Heatbed strain relief printed
- Fan gaurd for the mainboard fan (used an old 80mm computer fan I had laying around)
Why do I have these entries labeled by day?
- Assembled and installed X-axis
- lcd and control mounted
- Power supply switch upgrade
- printed Power supply switch cover
A Week Later:
- Power Supply housing printed for the AM8 frame, switch mounted and wired
- Dual Mosfet Holder for the AM8 frame printed, mosfet mounted and wired
- Wiring and routing has been roughly figured out at this point, at least for calibration phase. A lot of unsupported sharp bends that need solved to become a real printer. Printed wire clips for AM8 frame
- Hotend mounted on X-axis and X-axis belt tensioner printed for Anet A8
- microsd-slot extender ordered
- PEI sheet for the bed ordered
- Power wires added to heat-bed. As pictured here. Crimp connector used. Crimp tool used
- Spade connectors used for the board connections of power wires.
- Ikea Lack table ordered for an enclosure
- Printer moved to it’s permanent home
This is basically the step where I think we have exceeded our $250 price target, but given the effort to this point, now this printer is a test mule for upgrades. Yes, linear rails are being figured out. Now. No real hurry due to New Year’s.
- Printed Y-axis belt holder, works great, good geometry.
- mounted x-axis belt tensioner
- Everything works, mosfet for the heatbed works perfect, bed goes to 100, no problem.
- Printing risers for lack enclosure, will be typical perspex stuff, but solving it with 18mmx3mm neodymium magnets for closure. printing new filarment guide and spool holder, hopefully first print wednesday night?
Setup and First Print
- Bed leveled using the method Here
- 1st print achieved on the packing tape the bed came with, good ahesion
- 2nd print, did a benchy, good adhesion, finally tore the packing tape.
- PEI surface applied
1st benchy (2nd print on packing tape)
2nd benchy same .gcode (1st print on PEI)
- Ikea Lack Table
- Lack Table Risers
- Lack Table Filament Guide
- RGB Light Strip kit
- Light strip clips
- Spool holder (Best one I have found)
- Hardiebacker for the floor
- Rubbery spacers between cabinet and hardiebacker floor
Many people have had fires for various reasons with these Anet A8 printers. As a precaution, I have placed beneath my printer on top of some hardiebacker (tile floor underlayment) to provide ‘some’ fire protection. Especially since it is on a wood cabinet. The cabinet itself was previously used to hold a 100 Gallon aquarium. It is basically a 2×4 frame structure lag bolted together. Beneath it is enough space for a CR-10 printer and a couple of 5 gallon buckets for filament storage.