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Thread: Anet A8 printer - Making it print the Bullet collator

  1. #1
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    Anet A8 printer - Making it print the Bullet collator

    I have had some questions asked to me so I thought I would post some upgrades that I recommend

    The printer in question is the 2017 Anet A8
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    They have a new model Anet A8M which has a metal frame and dual extruders (so you can print 2 colors at once)
    There are also different clones that have the popular upgrades already built in.


    We will talk about the A8 specifically

    Prior to assembly, I recommend that you source this item. It is 3d printed.
    A8 fan spacer
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1798669

    You can assembly your printer and print this but its just as easy to shoot me a PM and I will print one for you for just the cost of some first class stamps.
    I really don't know why they don't include it as you need it for assembly. If you want to print it later then use 2 spacers from the display and some washers.



    Hot Bed Mosfet
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    https://www.amazon.com/BIQU-Power-Mo...eywords=mosfet
    The problem with the A8 printer is that the connectors on the controller (motherboard) are of poor design and will fail over time. Plus there isn't a current limiter so it will cause another problem which I will mention in a minute.
    This item is VERY easy to install and easy to hook up.

    Hot bed connector
    It is recommended that you solder the hotbed wires directly to the hotbed.
    The connector will fail and it is easier to just do it now during assembly vs doing it later once it has failed.
    I just screwed mine directly to the frame (frame is acrylic anyway). If you get the Anet A8m then you will have a metal frame and will have to use spacers.
    You can assembly the printer without it but it is such a inexpensive safety feature.

    Install a basic on/off toggle switch.
    Get something that is rated for 10 amps. Any auto parts store sells them.
    Use 14ga wire. Buttsplice the incoming power wire and run it to the switch and then back to the power supply.
    This allows you to turn off the power via switch vs just pulling the plug.

    Micro SD extension
    https://www.amazon.com/LANMU-Extensi...dp/B01D9JIUU0/
    This is a MUST HAVE. Cost is $7 shipped.
    I stuck mine on the top left z axis support using double side tape.

    Purchase some filament tubes for spares
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    They aren't expensive but if you are like me you might need one the first time you try to switch filiment and get it stuck in the tube.

    Build plate - Blue tape or Glass or ????

    Well this will be a long discussion.
    I was recommended this mat - Mamorubot build plate
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075JKCMRV
    Basically it is suppose to allow PLA to stick really good when warm (60-70C) and then be very easy to release when cold.
    I haven't had much luck with this.

    Blue tape - this is just painters tape. Your printer comes with standard beige masking tape on the bed. It works well and will last several prints.

    Glass - this is the best that I have heard about. It does require a glue on the glass each time you print but the glue can be removed after each print with a alcohol wipe.
    People use either glue sticks or common hair spray.

    Filament -
    I have used this >https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MUBEAD9
    And it works great. Its cheap and I have successfully printed the Collator base and the 9mm collator plate.
    There are other choices and for the most part they are about the same.
    There is a company in NC that makes and sells -> http://www.makeshaper.com/
    They sell the larger 5kg spools as well as the typical 2.2kg and 1kg spools as well.


    There will be more stuff added later.

    Download your files -> https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2504314
    Make sure you always have the latest files.
    The designer (AmmoMike83) is a member on here. He is in Germany so its +6 hrs to EST
    He is a great guy to work with and seems to be very knowledgeable.

    Download Cura
    https://ultimaker.com/en/products/ul...-cura-software

    The default settings are for a Ultimaker.
    But you can change the printer in the software
    You need to make sure that you have the correct setting for the diameter of your filament (1.75). The default setting for me was 2.85
    I had issues printing.
    Well this post is long enough. Will add to it later
    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    For me it's reading like...

    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    bla bla bla bla.....
    The designer (AmmoMike83) is a member on here. He is in Germany so its +6 hrs to EST
    He is a great guy to work with and seems to be very knowledgeable.

    bla bla bla bla bla
    hehe. Just kidding. So. Very well written article. Thank you, Charles!

    Build plate - Blue tape or Glass or ????

    Well this will be a long discussion.
    I was recommended this mat - Mamorubot build plate
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075JKCMRV
    Basically it is suppose to allow PLA to stick really good when warm (60-70C) and then be very easy to release when cold.
    I haven't had much luck with this.

    Blue tape - this is just painters tape. Your printer comes with standard beige masking tape on the bed. It works well and will last several prints.

    Glass - this is the best that I have heard about. It does require a glue on the glass each time you print but the glue can be removed after each print with a alcohol wipe.
    People use either glue sticks or common hair spray.
    I am 3D printing for more than seven years now. And after a few month I switched to a heated glass bed. I wrote heated, because in the beginning of 3D printing, they were not. I am doing so until today. Just glass and a glue stick. I use glue stick because my bronchia are sensitive to hair spray, but go and try yourself how heated hair spray tastes like

    We should publish a do and don't list here, maybe with pictures to prevent others from Tony-ing (printing ****).

    Mike

  3. #3
    The recommend on the green build plate is 100%

    I use it and it works like magic, no glue! no Hairspray! and no tape !

    Highly recommended from me that is for sure.

    Also recommend as your firsts builds from Thingiverse to print out an air nozzle first ( I did the half circle ) and Belt tensioners of some sort, as loose belts are one of the printers challenges.

    Some sort of spool handling device that puts the filament spool above with a filament guide helps quite a bit and reduces footprint.

    There is an Anet A8 group in Thingiverse that will show you plenty of projects to improve your printer, oh yeah a Filament release button will help tremendously to save your thumb..

    CHeers

    Gerry G

  4. #4
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    Handloader109's Avatar
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    Gerry, How thick is the build plate? Appears to be a polypropylene sheet, but is it thin and flexible or fairly rigid?
    Thanks

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Older people like myself need pictures to go along with links.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I don’t know much at this point but with the filimant it comes with tape works great. With Shaxon PLA it wouldn’t stick at all.

    I had a mirror I taped to the bed and sprayed with Elmer’s spray adhesive at lunch and that did the trick.

    When you open the box there is a leaflet that shows what fasteners to use where and I have a bunch leftover from the build. After I put it together and went to load my first print file, I discovered there is an instruction file on the SD card, that I’ll read someday after I clean up the wiring and make it look pretty.

    Anyhow here is a picture for the less than young.

    Oh, and the spool holder is a lot smoother when the spool is centered, I am sure there are printable attachments but I just turned some 3” plastic to 2.925” OD and drilled a 5/16 hole down the center and looped the filimant over the light fixture over the dining table. Works until my wife sees what I am doing and makes me move it out to the shop.

    I would have already done so but I don’t know how environmentally controlled these need to be. Anyone have one in a non HVAC shop or garage?
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    Last edited by jmorris; 03-09-2018 at 10:20 PM.

  7. #7
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    I am not sure it matters to be honest about be in a CC building.
    You are controlling the extruder and the bed with a PID program.

    I have learned a bunch over the past few weeks.
    Lost a bunch of hair for sure.

    (1) LEVEL THE BED - this is critical. 1/2 your issues come from your bed being not level.
    (2) Check the default settings in Cura - For me the default settings were 2.85 filament size. Cause major voids in the print. It should be 1.75
    (3) Not all PLA uses the same temp settings - One each roll there is a recommended temp range. Generally speaking 190-210 on E and 50-60 on B

    Now for the bed mat.

    I installed auto level on my printer. It required flashing the firmware to Marlin and then installing the Anet style sensor.
    Problem with the non-contact sensor is that you can not use a thick bed mat or glass. The green mat was too thick for the sensor range.
    I ended up going back with blue painters tape.

    I level the center of the bed with a piece of paper.
    Once its centered then I go do each of the corners twice.
    You have to do it twice because when you make adjustments on one corner, the other corner on the same Z axis will shift slightly.

    Something I have learned with the auto level sensor.
    No matter how level you think your bed is, its not.
    The auto level program starts at the center of the bed.
    Then it moves and checks 9 points.
    3 points across and 3 points deep.
    it displays on the screen what the Z axis measurement is for the sensor at each point.
    On my printer its a 1/4 mil across the entire bed.
    The problem is the bed itself isn't a perfectly flat piece


    I am printing a Z- axis upgrade piece. I have already done the upgrade on my machine but I am putting together a little care package for those who get a A8 printer.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2436455
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    It requires 2 bearings -> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009Y9IRNA
    There are other bearings being sold that will work for cheaper but these are what I purchased and they work. Plus they are cheap.

    Now for my care package

    Fan spacer
    Z-wobble upgrade (you need to order bearings)
    toggle switch with 14ga tffn wire
    Filament tube (spare)

    I sent one to Jmorris (minus switch and zwobble)
    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
    The rules are simple to follow.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I sent one to Jmorris
    And thank you again for your help!

    The problem is the bed itself isn't a perfectly flat piece
    That was one reason I tried the glass, it didn’t seem to matter printing small parts but I swapped before I printed the bullet plate that takes up most of the bed.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Handloader109 View Post
    Gerry, How thick is the build plate? Appears to be a polypropylene sheet, but is it thin and flexible or fairly rigid?
    Thanks
    It seems about 1/16th (calipers say .09 or lil over 2mm) of an inch or so , fairly rigid, smooth as glass but when hot the PLA likes to stick to it.

    GG

  10. #10
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Those that have had success, what does this photo tell you?

    I made an assumption that I needed more heat.

    Maybe a list of parameters for the different parts you have successfully printed would be a good idea?

    This is what I used on the attached photo, that didn’t work.


    v2 base plate mrbullet feeder

    layer height .1
    Shell thickness .8 for Wall and bottom/top
    Infill 80%
    Printing temp 190
    Plate temp 45
    Diameter 1.75
    Flow 100
    Speed print 50
    Travel 120
    Cooling enabled
    No support
    Adhesion brim, 8mm
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  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Why did you abort the print?

    I find the most crucial part of the entire print is the first layer. I aborted many first layers trying to figure out my printer. The key is perfectly level and getting the right gap. On mine I set it with a piece of paper, the paper is tight under the nozzle but can be pushed and pulled in and out. Set your initial layer to .09 to get it to squish onto the plate. I run my temps at 200 and 70, other than that the same settings as you. I'm printing onto glass sprayed with aqua net.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I stopped it because the “feet, ears or legs” began pulling off the bed, narrow one was worse and started to close the screw hole (that locks the turn plate in position), figured I would stop wasting time at that point as I didn’t see any way to make things get any better. FWIW I had to pry the rest off, why I thought I might have been too cold on the bed at 45, because the remaining seemed adhered pretty well. I raised it to 70 and took the hot side to 210 and printing the turner now.

    I have my gap set at .0035” or .0889mm they didn’t have aqua net at the Walgreens I stopped into today will check in a larger store when I get a chance. How would you describe your application of the hair spray on the glass?

    Also when I printed my first few parts with the supplied filament I could take the first layer brim and fold it over on itself (with the “grain”) and it wouldn’t break, had to trim it off. With the new filament that looked too cool or not melted together enough, cracks or separates when bent. How pliable or not should it be?
    Last edited by jmorris; 03-14-2018 at 09:57 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I spray across the glass about 4 or 5 times, making different rows as I go, holding the can about a foot way. Just like you would spray paint. Try not to overlap the rows too much so you don't get any puddles, just a light coat, when the bed heats up it should all look uniform. In between small parts I'll scrape off the brim and part and just give it a quick shot to touch up the spots I scraped. If I'm starting a long big part I'll clean the glass with windex and apply a new coat of aqua net.

    Also, from what I've read it really does matter that you get aqua net. Apparently it has a certain chemical that causes it to work so well. I picked mine up at wal-mart.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Thanks, I’ll try and find it tomorrow.

    I printed the rather small turn plate and could see the change in color in the brim, when it began lifting, the top is flat but that means the edges are thinner than the center.

    Might not matter on this part but didn’t want to waste a day on the body.
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    Last edited by jmorris; 03-14-2018 at 10:33 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    You said you printed with a brim. Did the brim lift too or did the part separate from the brim? Are the parts all lifting from the same place on the bed?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    On the turn plate, the outer part of the brim was still stuck to the glass (printed in grey and darker in color) and part but I could see near the edge of the part, in the brim, it was lighter in color because of a gap. All the way around the edges to some extent but more in the corners.

    On the body (printed it in black) I couldn’t see it was pulling off until it lifted the brim too, on the legs not on the round portion.

    Added: see photo attached:

    Then something that I figured would be pretty simple to print still doesn’t come out right. What causes some random layer in the middle to not stick? Not like anything could get on the material between the extruder and reel. I am guessing this should be a 100% part vs 80% fill?
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    Last edited by jmorris; 03-14-2018 at 11:25 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    I did all my parts at 80%. What brand PLA are you using? Are you using Cura? If you are, make sure your printer settings for nozzle and material size are correct.

  18. #18
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    Sarcasm: the ability to insult idiots without them realize it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Plate temp 45
    Why!? Recommended bed temp for PLA is 65-70 °C.
    Sarcasm: the ability to insult idiots without them realize it.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy gsdelong's Avatar
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    I am getting ready to take the plunge, does anyone know if the 8-M is worth the extra $100 and the wait from china, or is it just the 8 with the metal parts that can be purchased separately already installed?

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