How to DIY the Anet A8 3D Prusa i3 printer
These days, instead of choosing an assembled 3D printer model, some people opt to create a 3D printer themselves. In this case, you will need to get a 3D printer making kit. There is a wide variety of these kits available online and in this post we take a detailed look into how to build the Anet A8 3D printer.
The Anet A8 3D printer is an unassembled DIY kit that lets you create the world’s most popular Prisa i3 3D printer model step by step. The printer is made from the piano-black laser-cut acrylic frame, while maintaining the garage-built feel and charm. The finished model will provide the printing volume of 220 x 220 x 240mm, suitable for most home users and DIY projects, offers high printing precision and comes with stainless steel rail rods, gears, bearings and connectors for a smoother movement.
Watch the full review of the Anet A8 3D printer below:
How to build the Anet A8 3D printer
Whether you are a seasoned maker or just starting out, the printer is easy to assemble and comes with very clear instructions. Let's go through them step by step.
Before starting each step of the assembly, prepare all the necessary components (listed in the Installation Instructions) and keep them handy. You will also need a screwdriver (included), pliers and tweezers (optional).
Step 1: Building the main frame
You will need: two acrylic side panels, top and bottom panels, M3 nuts, M3*18 screws, M2*12 screws, various pieces of the acrylic frame, two threaded rail rods, M8 screws and M8 shims.
First, take off the covers off the acrylic plates — this can actually take quite a bit of time so prepare your patience as well. Then, push in the side panel into the bottom panel (this should be pretty straightforward and all the markings on both panels will guide you through this). Use 4 screws + 4 nuts to secure the plates. Do the same for the other side.
Next, attach the unit with the LCD screen: you will need two screws and two nuts on each side. Then, secure the two small top plates on top of the screen frame.
Next, we move on to the lower part of the frame. Use the M3*18 screws to attach the smaller parts of the acrylic frame onto the big one. Then, secure the lower plate into the frame, using the same type of screws.
Use the two M2*12 screws to secure the Y end stop into the small piece of acrylic frame. Then, use the M3*18 screw to attach the unit onto the larger part of the acrylic frame.
Next, take the two rail rods and use the M8 screws and M8 shims to secure the rods into the frame. Finally, attach the last acrylic piece onto the steel rods using the M8 screws and shims. The frame is ready.
Step 2: Y-axis limit switch/end stop assembly
You will need: Y end stop, Y-motor, various small acrylic pieces, M3*18 screws, M3*12 screws, M2*12 screws and two smooth rods.
First, screw in the Y end stop into the small acrylic piece and use the M2*12 screws to secure it in place. Then, use the M3*18 screw to attach the smaller piece onto the frame. Once that is done, take the Y-motor and M3*10 screws to mount it onto the main frame with the smaller acrylic piece on top. Use 4 M3*18 screws to secure the motor unit onto the main frame.
Next, you will need two smooth rods and linear bearings which will need to be secured into the main frame. Use the small acrylic plates (rod back up plates) and the M3*18 screws and nuts to keep the rods in place. Make sure the rods are not wiggling around and re-adjust if needed. Done!
Step 3: Installing the hot bed
You will need: aluminum hot bed frame, M3*18 screws, M3 nuts, M4*14 screws and various acrylic pieces.
Take the two small acrylic tabs and install them in the middle of the hot bed with the M3*18 screws. Then, use the M4*14 screws to secure the hot bed onto the rails. Here, you will need to take the 1.6m belt and slide it under the tabs and feed it through the motor on one side and the Y-axis bearings on the other side. Once the belt is secured, you will need to use pliers to cut the extra piece off.
For the next part, you will need to use 6 acrylic pieces and the M3*18 screws and the M3 nuts. Assemble the "box" and attach it to the main frame. Do the same on the other side of the frame.
Step 4: Z-axis limit switch/end stop assembly
You will need: 2 Z-axis motors, M3 * 10 screws, Z motor cables, Z end stop, various acrylic pieces, M2*12 screws, shorter smooth rail rods, threaded rail rods and aluminum blocks.
Take the two Z-axis motors and insert them into the acrylic "boxes" we've built in step 3 and secure them in place with the M3*10 screws.
Then, we move on to the Z-axis end stop assembly. Take the two acrylic pieces and attach the Z-axis end stop using the M2*12 screws (make sure the end stop is sticking up and not the other way around. Use the M3*30 screws to lock the acrylic piece in place on the left side of the frame.
Take the two shorter smooth rods and the two 3D-printed parts (right and left Z-axis nut support) and install one rod with 3D-printed piece on the right and one on the left. Cover the holes over the rails with the acrylic tabs on both sides and tighten them down (just like with the Y-axis).
Use the two threaded rods and slide them down through the brass nuts and into the motor attachment on both the left and right sides. Tighten the rods in place.
For the next part, you will need the two remaining smooth rods and three aluminum blocks. Insert the two smooth rods into the openings in the white 3D printed nut support and push them through. Then, slide on two aluminum blocks onto the top rod and one block onto the bottom one. Make sure the two white 3D-printer parts are on the same level. Then, push the smooth rods through the nut support on the other side.
Step 5: Installing the extruder
You will need: X-axis motor, leftover belt, extruder with frame, M4*8 screws, M3*20 screws, M3*18 screws, two fans + two long screws that come in the fan bag, grill, aluminum block, M3*45 screws, M3 nuts,
Use the M3*20 screws to attach the X-axis motor onto the 3D-printed part.
Now, you will need to take the extruder and remove it from its frame by unscrewing the main screw, which should be easy to remove with the included allen key.
Use the M3*18 screws to attach the small acrylic pieces onto the back of the extruder frame. Then, use the M4*8 screws to attach the extruder frame onto the aluminum blocks on the steel rods.
Take the remaining belt and slide it through the 3D printed piece on one side, the acrylic parts on the aluminum block behind the extruder frame and the 3D printed part on the other side, around the Z-axis motor bearing and back along the rail rods. Here, you will need to use another small acrylic piece and the M3*18 screw to attach it behind the extruder. Slide the belt through to the other side and then do the same on the other side of the extruder. Use pliers to cut off the remaining belt.
Now, we'll need to re-insert the extruder back into the frame. Place the extruder inside the frame and screw in the main screw with the allen key.
Take the fan and the two long screws that come with the grill. Use the two long screws to attach the grill onto the back of the fan and the aluminum block onto its front. Then, remove the two screws at the bottom of the extruder and replace them with the longer screws that have just been pushed through the fan, attaching the fan onto the extruder. Take the other fan and attach it onto the side of the extruder with the M3*18 screws.
Step 6: X-axis limit swh/itcend stop assembly, screen attachment + wiring
You will need: hot bed plate, M3*30 screws, M3*7 pillars, M3 nuts, X-axis end stop, M2*10 screws, power supply, the cable that plugs in from the wall into the power supply, brown, yellow, blue, black and red cables.
We begin step 6 by completing the hot bed: take the hot bed plate and place it onto the aluminum frame. Then, it's onto the screen. Use 4 M3*30 screws, 4 M3*7 pillars and 8 M3 nuts to attach the screen into the frame and cover with the black acrylic piece.
Now, it's onto the X-axis limit switch/end stop assembly. Use 2 M2*10 screws to attach the X-axis end stop onto the 3D-printed nut support and we are done with the build part.
Next, we move on to the wiring. Take your power supply and attach the wires. Brown is live, blue is neutral and yellow is ground. Then, plug the red cable into the positive voltage terminal and the red one into the negative one. Then, use the M3*12 screws to attach the power supply onto the side of the main frame.
Step 7: More wiring
You will need: winding pipe, mainboard, M3 nuts, M3*15 pillars, M3*30 screws.
Use the winding pipe to cover up the cables coming from the extruder and secure them at the top with a white tab.
Make sure the extruder can move freely along the rails. Do the same for the wires coming from the hot bed. Make sure the hot bed cam slide along the rails as well. Repeat for the wires at the back of the printer. See the video below for details.
Now that the printer is looking much neater, it's time to attach the mainboard —it attaches onto the side of the main frame with 4 M3*30 screws, 4 M3 nuts and 4 M3*15 pillars.
Then, it's time to complete the wiring. Follow the labels on the mainboard to connect the wires. It's a good idea to label the wires before starting. You can see clear wiring instructions in the video below.
When the wiring is done, so is the work. Your Anet A8 is ready to use!
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