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Anet A8 alternative 40mm Extruder Fan Mount

by SentinelRX5, published

Anet A8 alternative 40mm Extruder Fan Mount by SentinelRX5 Sep 3, 2016

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Summary

This bracket allows you to remove the 40mm fan and heatsink from the extruder and mount the fan above the stepper motor.
It also provides strain relief to the cables going to the extruder.

It has been tested with extruder temperatures up to 245'C and the extruder top block remains cool to the touch.

Moving the heatsink and fan away from the end of the extruder allows better access when loading filaments and also reduces fan noise.

Print Settings

Printer:

Anet A8

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Infill:

Doesn't Matter

Post-Printing

Mounting

Remove fan and heatsink.
Screw the extruders top block to the stepper using 2 x 20mm M3 screws.
Remove the top two M4 screws on the top right X axis linear block.

.Attach the bracket to the J-Frame using the two M4 screws that go back into the Linear Block.

Mount the fan and guard to the the bracket with two M3 screws and nuts so that the fan blows downwards

Use two small cable ties to fix the extruders cable harness to the bracket to provide strain relief.

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what is a good pla extruder temp with this mod, is 205 degrees alright or too high

thanks! Works awesome! So much easier to load the filament

I've had this for about 5-10 prints, no heat creep so far. (albiet the remix with the filament guide version )

This design makes the stock fan vibrate so hard it shakes the whole extruder more than a seizing donkey with Parkinson's while getting electrocuted during an orgasm.

That is hilarious (harsh) but hilarious.

I have printed 3 spools of PLA since I installed this, one print was 29h and I didn't find any "heat creep" at all and everything was cool to the touch.

If someone could remix this with the filament guide http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1795148 that would be awesome.
I found I could trim the filament guide and they coexist but for someone that wants both and hasn't yet printed either.
No I'm not lazy I have 0 talent with any CAD program or I would be happy to do it.

Anet A8 Filament Guide
by jrwells

Do you think this mod have problems printing ABS? You need a higher temp on the hotbed(100-110°)

It should not be a problem.
The A8 is known for having a dodgy heating bed.
If you are going to use ABS then install an additional Mosfet unit to switch the bed heater on and off, its not safe to keep the bed at 100'C using power form the main controller board, the connectors are not rated for this and there have been many reports of them catching fire.
Also, its worth insulating under the heat bed so you dont loose any heat downwards. (This will allow the bed to heat up faster)

i didnt use abs but i dont see an issue printing it in abs.. my temps are 240c hot end and 105c hot bed for abs with zero fan cooling

thanks for this. ive been looking for something like this so i can see the filament. its a pain getting the filament lined up on this a8. so thanks again

Nice idea. I think the J frame does a good job of spreading heat from the throat. Wondering of there is any value in guiding airflow for better contact with the frame, or re-using the heatsink anywhere. If only to make it look better for everyone who dismisses the idea without testing...

Thanks for the thumbs up.
I had thought about making a shroud for the fan, it would improve the cooling a bit but Ive not had a problem without the shroud so far.
I think I will take another look at it and see what I can come up with.
The heatsink could be fitted to the back of the stepper and then part of the shroud could blow down on the fins.
I like to keep things simple and am not sure if this would make any difference.
One thing that I am looking at is to provide better cooling to the actual print.
I tried the ring adapters for the fan but they just got in the way or snagged on the heater cables.

I love this design and as you seem to understand 3d modeling much better than me I was wondering if you could remix it with this filament guide into one single piece?
I might be able to figure it out myself by 2018 sometime and I know it's a big ask but I would really appreciate your help with this if you can spare the time, cheers!
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1795148

Anet A8 Filament Guide
by jrwells

Here you go. Working great for me so far!

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2147482

Anet A8 alternative 40mm Extruder Fan Mount with Filament Guide

That's great! Thanks for re-working it!
I did try myself but failed miserably :)
Cheers!

I made a remix of this that includes the filament hole and extends all the way across through all 4 holes. I printed out one version which works great but I am adding a brace on the left side to match the right side. Printing that one out now and if I can stay awake I will upload it along with some images.

I was just thinking the same thing. I really like the filament guide and was about to try and remix this. If the original creator did it I am sure it would turn out better than my version.

Thanks for your comments, I will take a look a bit later in the week.
It shouldnt take much work,

Personally I wouldn't use this as the side fan is important to prevent the possibility of melted filament clogging up the extruder

This mod cools the top of the extruders throat just as well as the stock fan does, if not better.
The stock fan position just cools the front of the stepper in order to cool the throat whereas this mod cools the entire stepper, ie more cooling area.
In the months that I have used it, I have never had any clogging issues even when running PETG at 250'C.
On the contrary, it has made changing filament a lot easier and no more breaks when trying to get filament in or out.
Also I have had no bad feedback from people that are currently using it.
The only bad feedback has been from people that have not tried it and just assumed that it does not work.
All I ask is to keep an open mind, give it a try and then post your results.

I guess mounted this way it blows down on the heat bed and beside using more energy for it that would also cool the first layer of the print which many also would say is a bad thing. As much as I like the idea to have easier access to the nozzle I worry that it would limit what you can print.

Nevertheless it seems to work pretty good. I measured temperatures and all looks good so far. I really like the direct access to the extruder! I will try some prints with higher temperatures soon. As most air going down on the backside of the motor I was thinking to enclose the era on the right side. I tried that with some bluetape and the airflow is much more horizontal than.

I tried many configurations of mounting the fan.
This way proved best, it blows into the J-Frame and not onto the bed, the warm air is vented horizontally out of each end of the frame and not downwards.
So no worry about it cooling the bed or the print.

Well yes that actually makes sense. I forgot to take the J-Frame into account. I may even try it. Should be easy to test how hot every thing gets when careful testing some prints.

Well I currently try it and it blows a lot of air onto the bed. Not sure how you measure airflows :)

It shouldnt blow air onto the bed, the stepper and J Frame is in the way, its should however blow air out horizontally but not downwards onto the bed.
If you place your hand to either side of the stepper you will notice air coming out horizontally (Left and right)

The fan is there to prevent the extruder motor from over heating due to heat transfer from the heater block. This apparently works as well and makes it easier to access the extruder feeder area.

I think you may have the concept of that side fan wrong as I have read that it is to keep the filament guide area cool to prevent melted filament from clogging up the extruder and yes it may help towards exhausting motor heat but keeping the feed area cool is more important. Look at the E3D extruders, there is no motor on those extruders yet they need a fan to prevent filament from clogging before going to the hotend

When they designed this extruder assembly they put a heatsink on the steppers mounting block to help cool the extruder throat, the design is a generic one as they did not know how it would be implemented.
As the A8 uses a large aluminium J frame this sinks the heat away better then the heatsink.
The whole point of the fan on the extruder is to keep the throat cool at the top and prevent the filament from melting as it enters the throat.

The design for the fan that I am using here cools both the stepper and the J Frame, this cools the stepper/throat mounting block and keeps the throat cool at the top.

My initial disagreement stands.
I tried this and I got 'heat creep' I then since changed to an E3D v6 and used the same stepper motor in a bowden setup and not once had an issue with the motor getting warm as I didn't keep the fan on the stepper motor. The fan and heatsink design is there to prevent 'heat creep' from the extruder and from me trying it and got heat creep it proves my point.

printed this and wish this design work for me, but unfortunately it didn't, learned a new term 'heat creep' from gavincol78, did a lot of research and can confirm removing the heatsink and fan away from the original position will produce a heat creep problem causing filament to stop extruding. This problem happen to PLA and ABS too, I can still print pla if I put the heat sink back and still keep the fan blowing above the stepper, but for ABS, I have to revert back to original setup to able to print successfully. Thanks for the work anyway SentinelRX5.

Quick Update:

Its now been over two weeks using this mod.
No signs of any problems and must have got through about 1.5 spools of PLA filament.

That solution won't cool the lower part where the hotend is connected right? Will that be a problem? If not, i don't see any need for a fan at all. The other motors on the A8 aren't cooled either...

You will still need the front circular blower fan to cool the item you are printing.
This mod just gets the square fan and heatsink out of the way so you can access the extruder gear area better.
Noise from this fan is reduced quite a bit and when you need to load filament, you can see where the hole is in the throat.
I mainly print with PLA and the top block that the throat screws into remains nice and cool.

Just wondering... is that fan isn't realy needed, why is it there in the first place?

Without active cooling the top block of the extruder would get too hot, With PLA it would probably be ok, but anything hotter and the throat will not function correctly.
You can try it without cooling, just unplug the fan from the board, but you risk clogging the hotend throat and would have to replace it.

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