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 build. 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 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.
Update: it's not recommended to use a Raspberry Pi Zero W with OctoPrint. Severe performance issues were observed, caused by the WiFi interface when bandwidth is utilized (e.g. the webcam is streamed), negatively impacting printing quality. More info in this github issue.
Some other parts that have been upgraded/added during this build;
- 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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