Anet a8 upgrading to bowden

Please Login to Comment

hi, i want to upgrade my extruder to the e3d v6 bowden but i cant find like a step by step tutorial for the all the assembly and the firmware configuration, can someone help me plz!

Here is a good mount and it has Marlin config options for the hot end: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2668564

The Extruder, I have a thing that includes a Filament Runout. Not that you need that, but the photo shows how I used many parts from the stock Anet extruder to build a Bowden: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3149032 My thing also includes a link to the original mount.

Coupler to go from PTFE to Anet throat: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3107004

E3D V6 Bowden carriage DL V1.2
Anet A8 Filament Runout Mount for Bowden Extruder
M6x1 PTFE Coupler

One note, the push on the extruder is quite high if you bind or jam, or just printing even! That 3d printed coupler may not last long... Best to replace it with a new extruder for the $10-15 they cost.

Also and I am ranting now, why would you design a mount that then takes a bunch of special parts to make something so simple as the fan work? I mean.. mine uses stock Anet A8 fan ducts so you can choose what you like most! So easy! I printed mine in PLA and ran it for 7 months before I changed back to a dual when I got Printer #2 and never had an issue because it's got tons of cooling and is super strong.

I have broken the brass ones! Then again, I have one printer a year and a half old with almost 1000 hours on it now, the second one is newer with a lot less. It's why I started to design my own parts, they did not last and well.... I'm an engineer.

Yes. Dont waste your time printing a PTFE coupler. It will not last long and I speak from experience.

@jalanjarosz: “The coupler is just there to hold the PTFE coupler tightly against the Anet throat, nothing more.”
I have to disagree with you. There are a lot of pressure being directed toward the curves of the PTFE tube when the extruder motor is extruding filament. If PTFE coupler is weak then it will break and push the PTFE tube out to release pressure.

I'm an Engineer too, and haven't had issues yet and yes, the printing is constantly printing.

The coupler is just there to hold the PTFE coupler tightly against the Anet throat, nothing more. there is no stress on the coupler at all. The Bowden mount uses just about ALL the stock parts. Just print the motor to frame mount and the little coupler and you are good to go. Efficient use of parts, don't you think?

The E3D mount isn't my design, but it's a VERY solid compact design. For me, I wanted something that had options for mounting different Z-sensors and had the front open for visual. I didn't want to mess with fan position, and it it was too high or low. CrazyD82's design has the fan at the correct height for part cooling without cooling the heat block. PID of the hot end is a perfect flat line with the fan running 100%, just what it's supposed to be.

OK! Cool then... I couldn't find the pic of mine pushing the throat apart, just the one with it making spaghetti.

I want to ask though, as an engineer, how can you say a coupler which hold two threaded tubes with pressure pushing them apart has no stress on it? I mean... anyone looking at that part with a gram of logic knows that the stress is clearly there. If a bowden tube is not secured at both ends you can't push the filament out of the nozzle, a restriction. Just saying.

As far as the coupler goes, the brass PTFE coupler is butted against the SS throat tube. There is no air gap, which if there was, there could be more stress on the plastic printed coupler.

Now, If one were to take a hammer and whack it downward, with that kind of stress, then it would break. There is not enough linear stress of the filament, even being retracted at 80mm/s, to cause any issues. Even when manually changing filament, and I pull it back VERY fast, there has not been once that the little printed coupler had an issue.

Eww, that's a spaghetti mess. I had that on the stock print head. Since upgrading to the Bowden, I put the throat tube VERY close to the gears. I've run Flexible PLA though it with no issues.

Nice! That is a thing for sure. I don't do much flex since most of what I print is printer parts and game systems. Keep up the good work!

Step by Step....

Step One: Print an extruder motor mount that you can put off to the side (that's the big square motor on the X-Carriage) and you can find tons of them here on Thingiverse
Step Two: Print a J-Head E3D Bowden mount that you can mount your hot end to. Again, there are TONS of different variations here, pick one and go with it!
Step Three: Buy a E3D kit on Amazon for around $30... doesn't really matter which one you get, because they all have the same connector on top. Just make sure it comes with the PTFE tube and the PTFE Fittings (again, there are several kits to choose from and each one is a bit different but they are all basically the same).
Step Four: Mount the extruder mounting plate you printed in STEP ONE to the frame out of the way and attach the extruder to it.
Step Five: Attach the J-Head Bowden hotend to the printed mount you printed in STEP TWO and attach it to the X-Axis.
Step Six: Run the PTFE tube from the extruder to the J-Head hotend.
Step Seven: Happy Printing!

All the rest is just tweaking everything to print the way you are happy with! Not hard to do at all!

Now if you're looking for suggestions, I made this to make tool swapping simple and easy and it comes with a J-Head mounting plate. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2750693

Quick Swap Mounting System for Anet A8 3D Printers

Converting to bowden is basically just a few hardware components:

  • extruder motor mount (printable)
  • extruder hardware (MK8, Titan extruder, etc. MK8 is good for beginner to manage)
  • bowden kit - PTFE tube, bowden hotend assembly ($4 on Aliexpress.com)
  • x carriage to mount bowden hotend (printable)

When installation is complete use gcode G92 to set xyz offset to center the nozzle on bed. No need to mess with firmware

Wait what is this G92 code? I have just been accepting that my prints are off center after switching to a bowden setup because none of them were very big. I tried changing the bed offsets in Repetier and in my slicer, but nothing changes. Could you walk through how to correct the offset using this code so that my OCD stops triggering after every print? lol

G92 is kind of a patch not a fix. To make it right you will have to move the reference switches or edit your firmware. You may crash into the side with the X axis if you try to do a filament change if you use G92 in the start code.

There's codes for setting everything in marlin. Not sure about stock again but check out some of the documentaion here: http://marlinfw.org/docs/gcode/M206.html

Yeah I haven't upgraded to Marlin yet (I should probably do that soon), but I looked at the info on G92 on that website and it seem that if I add in a command for the printer to move to the corner of the bed, I can then use the G92 code right after so the printer knows that location is what I want it to think 0,0,0 is. Does that make sense or is my train of thought way off?

That is correct. Basically it tell the printer the current position of the nozzle. And it is a soft code not a hard code. Meaning you can use this gcode anytime (given that you know what you doing) and it will not be permanently saved. Good if you switch hotends a lot.. like dual nozzle, direct drive, laser, etc. can be change on the fly without messing with firmware

I got rid of the stock firmware first day I owned the printer and went with Marlin based Skynet since it's meant for the A8. Later I went to RAMPS and Marlin as seen in my first post. There's links.

For that code I do not know much about it since do just use Marlin now. Sorry!

Fair enough lol. I'll try it this weekend. Thanks for the help!

You could check my mount: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2873811

and my Marlin guide: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2783450

Also I like RAMPS a lot: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2784817

But that single mount can be used without BLTouch, Marlin and RAMPS of course. You will need an E3D kit and Extruder mount which I get from amazon fairly cheap.

I used this exteuder which comes in left and right versions: https://www.amazon.com/Anycubic-Printer-Extruder-Kossel-RepRap/dp/B06XNN11K7/

And this cheapo E3D clone: https://www.amazon.com/MYSWEETY-Printer-Extruder-Stainless-Printers/dp/B078Y2JJT6

Comes with spare parts even

Lion Mount Front BLTouch Sensor for Anet A8 & Prusa i3!
Marlin 1.1.x on Anet A8 Guide
How To Wire a RAMPS 1.x