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Building the Anet A8 - my experience

Discussion in '3D Printing' started by SixDegreesOfFlight, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    With regard to the Vertex mat, I found that you still need to keep the mat clean of finger prints by using alcohol - I use methylated spirits - not sure what it is called in other parts of the world but it is nearly 100% alcohol with some additive to prevent it being consumed. The other thing I noticed is that for parts with very low surface area in contact with the bed you should heat the bed (60 deg C) to help with adhesion otherwise the parts tend to come off. For larger parts leave the bed unheated.

    Edit: this is particularly important for PETG not so much for PLA. I have since raised the bed temp to 70 deg and I am getting good adhesion without it being too difficult to remove once complete.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  2. Ned

    Ned Member

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    Hello Six degrees, I am looking at purchasing the same 3D printer you have Anet A8, also through Gearbest, is there anything I have to specify to this company in regards to voltages in Australia also the Australian 240 cable and plug? Would you advise to purchase the plastic PLA filament reels at same time? You clearly are very knowledgeable and being you have already purchased one I thought you could advise myself if you don't mind. Any help would be appreciated Regards Ned
  3. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @Ned
    When I ordered mine from Gearbest I contacted their helpdesk immediately after submitting the order and told them it was for Aus. They replied by saying they would include an adapter which worked but frankly you wouldn't want to use it because it makes the plug really stick out from the wall and is not very secure. I had a spare cable from an old monitor - I chopped off the socket end and stripped the wires and screwed them into the power supply terminals. Much better.

    As for filament, I would not recommend Anet brand filament - the PLA is extremely brittle and it will drive you mad having to re-thread it into the extruder. Go to eBay and buy eSun filament which is local to you and the cost is about the same.

    The image below is the cable they supply

    Attached Files:

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  4. Ned

    Ned Member

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    Thankyou 6 degrees much appreciate your input, now just have to wait for it to arrive. I also just went to the Gearbest help desk and informed them or tried to make it clear to them it is for use in Australia I will wait for their reply. Can you post a picture of some good and if any bad parts you have printed??
  5. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @Ned
    I initially started printing with a roll of Anet PLA but it was so frustrating having it break all the time that I threw out the remaining half roll a few days ago. Actually it went into recycling. When I switched to PETG I did have some failed prints mainly because the printer started to go into Thermal Runaway. That was because of my inexperience with getting the settings right for it. Have a look at the attached images for the quality of printing. The one showing the printer bed shows the extruder fan (the fan sitting on top of the carriage near the yellow cable tie) pulled away from the funnel. That was an easy fix for the thermal runaway problem which happens when the extruder temp falls 10 degrees or more below the set temperature for more than one minute. The parts printed in yellow are Anet PLA and the orange translucent parts are eSun PETG.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Ned

    Ned Member

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    Thankyou 6 they all look good to me on the computer and you have done well, when I zoom in on the orange parts I can see vertical lines running up the sides, will these need to be put into a lathe and rounded or is it just a photo illusion?? Regards Ned
  7. Ned

    Ned Member

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    I have downloaded Skynet 3d trying to be prepared for when the printer arrives, do you have any tips to work this program? And I must say again your cleanliness of your work area is amazing, your vacuum cleaner must hate you.
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  8. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @Ned
    The vertical lines you see on the parts vary with how much in-fill you set. If it is say 20% you will see fewer of them. The ones in the images are 60% so the lines are closer together. What you are seeing is the internal fill matrix. However, if you run your finger over them you can feel them. I think it has something to do with my belt adjustment or stepper alignment - not sure - I haven't had the time to figure it out. It doesn't bother me but it might if I were printing figurines.
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  9. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @Ned
    With respect to Skynet, have a look in the documentation folder. It probably won't make much sense to you until you have the printer up and running. If I were you, I would build the printer and print a few things first before trying any modifications or changes. You need to have a benchmark by which you can judge the success of a mod i.e. be scientific and change one variable at a time.
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  10. Archie

    Archie Eternal tinkerer

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  11. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @Archie
    They look cool ...especially when I print them in orange! :cheers
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  12. 69th_Zeb

    69th_Zeb New Member

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    Hey guys,
    Nice to see an active thread with guys doing the same thing. Hopefully I can post some pics of stuff I've made soon.
    I'm loving my Anet A8. I've been printing exclusively in ABS and have been really happy with the results. The end product is easy to sand/machine/bondo.
    I didn't bother getting an auto Z, because I level my bed before every print, and I want it to be in the middle range of the distortion on the aluminum bed.

    For safety though:
    -I would highly recommend upsizing the heater bed wires as mine burned up to where the connector melted. There are good instructions on the 3Dprint.wiki Anet section.
    -Before, or even during prints which last several days (you can pause on your menu screen), make sure to check the torque of your fasteners, especially the screw that holds the printer head on. Mine dynamically disassembled itself, ran the head temp to full/continuous because the thermocouple/heater came out (open air = full on), and shoved the heater element all over the print. Could have caused a fire in my shed and ABS burns pretty good.
    -Fumes aren't great to have if it's in the house, so I'm working on an aluminum enclosure with a filter and exhaust made from a USB computer fan kit and dryer window vent kit.

    Other upgrades I'll work on include a MOSFET for powering the bed and possibly a separate PSU.
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  13. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @69th_Zeb
    Totally agree with your recommendations about safety upgrades. The MOSFET and replacing the bed heater wires were fairly easy and cheap to do. I would recommend silicon wire as it is more flexible and will put less strain on the heat bed solder pads. Can you share what brand of ABS you use and whether you upgraded your hotend?
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  14. 69th_Zeb

    69th_Zeb New Member

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    Hi 6DOF,
    I did get the higher grade silicon wire and added XT60 male/female bullet connectors (Amazon). Then I zip tied the wires to the old connector for strain relief. It's been working great.

    Hot end is default $14 (Amazon): 1.75mm Filament, 0.4mm Nozzle, 12V 40W Heater, NTC 3950 Thermistor Hotend
    For ABS, I've used gray and black $20ish (Amazon): GP3D 1.75mm I make sure to keep the stuff super dry as the moisture messes with the prints.

    For the heater bed, rather than add more heat, I put more emphasis on my model, rafts, and supports to keep it from distorting. I typically only run 98 C (for my setup) and use capton tape on the bed (pricey stuff). I enjoy the process of sanding/cleaning, so not a big deal for me. Worked as a moldmaker/machinist in the past and have been using Blender since around 2000.

    Here's my default G-Codes:

    START CODE

    G21 ;metric values

    G90 ;absolute positioning

    M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode

    M107 ;start with the fan off

    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops

    G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops

    G1 Z15.0 F9000 ;move the platform down 15mm

    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length

    G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock

    G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again

    G1 F9000;Put printing message on LCD screen

    M117 Printing...

    END CODE

    M104 S0 ;extruder heater off

    M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)

    G91 ;relative positioning

    G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure

    G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F9000 ;move Z up a bit and retract filament

    G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way

    M84 ;steppers off

    G90 ;absolute positioning