The acrylic frame that came with my Anet A8 is not the most solid construction. Adding a spool holder on top of it doesn't make things better.
One of the bigger upgrades I could do is the AM8 metal frame conversion. This upgrade will make a sturdy frame while re-using as many components as possible.
Check the BOM for screws, nuts and other materials you might need.
For connecting bolts to the extrusion I used M5 T nuts.
Missing Z-axis corner bracket
The 2020 aluprofile set from dold-mechatronik is convenient though be aware the the corner brackets won't fit on the Z-axis connection. For this I printed a few Z corner brackets.
Bowden extruder parts
A while ago I have changed the standard extruder with a bowden extruder. I find it a lot easier to change the filament this way. Luckily there's also a bowden extruder mount for the AM8. It re-uses most parts of the original extruder. Only the extruder button is 3D printed.
I didn't print the case for the LCD as I don't need it; I'm using a Raspberry Pi Zero with OctoPrint and Printoid. This way I can control and monitor prints from my smartphone. I can even watch the print in progress as the Pi Zero has a camera attached to it.
Some other parts that have been upgraded/added during this conversion;
- Z-axis couplers; plum shaft
- mainboard: Anet A8 board version 1.7; added fuse and 24 volt support
- 12v to 5v step down converter; power Pi Zero from power supply
- 8mm braided cable sleeve
All 3d printed parts are listed in a AM8 Thingiverse collection.
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