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Anet A8 Electronics Case (Octopi, Relay + Mainboard)

by c_wolsey, published

Anet A8 Electronics Case (Octopi, Relay + Mainboard) by c_wolsey Sep 13, 2016
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Contents

Design Tools

Fusion 360

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Summary

I created this Electronics enclosure for my Anet A8. I have setup Octoprint on a Raspberry PI to run the prints and an Relay system (that is triggered off the Raspberry Pi to switch on and off the Power and also the LED Strip. I also included an mount for a Pi Camera to web stream / time-lapse your prints.

I made the decision not to include an extra cooling fan on the case as I have never had a problem with over heating and there is so much passive cooling from the honeycomb design. Having said that It would not be a big challenge to add one in a future update.

You will need...

Anet A8 (with Anet v1 Mainboard)
Raspberry Pi 3
Pi Camera
Network connetion or WiFi Module for the Pi
Pi Power Supply (make sure is is an 2.5A power supply if you are using a Raspberry Pi 3)
30cm Raspberry Pi Camera Board Replacement Cable (http://amzn.to/2czOmva)
2 Channel 5v Relay (http://ebay.eu/2c6nWk9) (guide on how to make it work http://bit.ly/2czOdc4)
18x M3x5mm self thread screws (could prob use none self thread) (http://bit.ly/2cRLVFa)
5x M3x 12mm (http://bit.ly/2caytcm)
1x M3 nut (for Camera mount)

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

RepRap

Printer:

Anet A8

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

0.2mm

Infill:

20%

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What raspberry pi I have Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

You were able to print this out on the Anet A8 just fine? i haven't started the print just yet but its having trouble slicing with the bed specs set to 220mm x 220mm x 250mm. any advice on that?

It is tight but should work. Loads of people have managed it. Check your slicer setup again.

Thanks for the reply, I just added .001 mm to the bed length and it sliced lol. So far it's printed great! I'll make sure to provide pictures of the finished product. Thanks!

Where did you get the dimensions of the mainboard from?

Digital Calipers

how do you conetct rpi and anet mainbord there is to litle space for that

it will fit. The usb connectors overlap under / over the other board.

I hope someone can help me, I use this design with a RPI3 for OctoPrint, 2 Mosfets, 2 relays (1 printer & 1 LED) and everything works fine but I have a small issue I would like to fix if possible. When I turn OFF the relay of the printer, the printer still ON because of the USB to the RPI. The motors still work including hotbed and hothead because they are on mosfet... I know this is only because of the USB cable because If I remove the USB cable the printer is not powered anymore.
How can I fix it ? Is there a way to turn OFF/ON the RPI's USB by script ?
Thank you

can this be used with the original raspberry pi? i already have oe laying around and i preferably do not want to buy a new one

Has anybody remixed this design with two mosfets added to it? I would like to use something like this with two mosfets added. I would alos like it to be one large case and all enclosed. Has anybody done anything like that yet?

The design is very nice but the print and especially the removal of the support structures is only for masochists. Sorry but design is not everything.

So if you like to spend a long time printing an then destryoing your object, this is the thing for you.

If you read the print settings section it says no supports are necessary. Hexagon pattern will print fine without supports. So don't blame the design, the problem was your slicer settings

Thank you for the hint with the slicer settings. Maybe you can give me another tip for printing the cover. I always end up in a PLA mess because of these many hexagons. Is my print speed to fast (I use 50mm/s infill and 25mm/s wall speed)? Is there any other settings that are importand for the first layer's?

First layer problems are generally to do with bed leveling. Try and sqish your filament a bit more. Also what surface are you printing on. A bit of glue stick or light covering of hair spray can help

Thank you for your support even if I blamed your design by mistake. I should have read the description more accurately. Sorry for that.

I use a BuildTak mat and I leveled the bed very accurate. Maybe I add some hair spray with my next try and squishing the PLA is also worth a try.

Hi, I really like your design, however I have different electronics in there so I was wondering if you could share source files for the case. Preferably solidworks files. Thanks!

Already have done the stp files is what you need. I made it in fusion360 not solidworks.

Oh, great many thanks :D

Comments deleted.

Hello
I have the anet an8 and when I enter the cure the box comes out bigger than the printer can print. If I make it smaller will the motherboard still fit?

Hi,
I had the same issue.

Print without build plate adhesion.

Same here with Simplify3D
How do I print it on a Anet A8?

Axis set correctly?

Open it up in Repetier, no problem there.

Hi c-wolsey,

Printed your design as I'm looking to run Octoprint using RPi3. Reading the comments below, it looks like I will not need a step down converter as the relay will power RPi3?

  • keep jumper on between JD-VCC and VCC

4-pin-header connections

  • connect GND to Ground
  • connect VCC to 5V
  • connect IN1 to GPIO 14 (TXD)
  • connect IN2 to GPIO 15 (RXD)

hey cmccr88

i wired my relay the same way as you did but what do i need tho do after that? im kind of a noob at the whole script thing

Look here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1428478

It is what I used. Works like a charm. Note it requires some basic Linux skills.

Note that I added an extra script on server startup to initialize the relays/gpio ports (as I have a 4 relay board).

Relay Control OctoPrint Wanhao i3
by Jeffeb3

Thanks 0scar! This worked for me as well!

The pi controls the relay (not power it). The pi is powered from a separate 5v micro usb power supply. The Pi then controls the relays which can switch the power to the anet powers supply and the led strip. If you are using it. Dont put 12v into your pi or the magic smoke will come out!

how do you power the raspberry pi 3? do you use a stepdown converter 12~5v3a? or do you use a wall socket adaptor?

I power the pi seperatly from the a8 psu so I can cut the power to the psu. but another option would be to get a micro usb car charger break it open and use it to supply the 5v needed for the pi from the 12v psu of the a8. then use the relay to cut the 12v supply to the mainboard of the a8.

I just dont like the idea of having the chinese power supply constantly on in the house. I think it is a fire risk.

Hey c_wolsey,

First off... Very nicely done. You did a great job cleaning up the electronics on the A8 which were in desperate need a finished look.

Since I, and likely others, are wanting to add the relay to the OctoPi controls, would you be able to show a better picture of what your wiring pin-outs were for your Relay to the Raspberry Pi. From the looks in your picture, you still have the jumper on between JD-VCC and VCC, but the link you reference tells you to first "Remove the jumper from the relay board...". I've followed the instruction on the link as best I can, but I'm wanting to have a look at what 'correct' is before I plug power to it.

and since I'm already bugging you for information... which method from the link did you actually end up going with? one of the options is a altering OctoPrint, one is a YamlPatcher Plugin, and another is to install WiringPI.

To be honest it has been a while since I set it up but I think I left the jumpers alone. It worked for me with leaving them as it came. I tried it both ways I think I wouldnt worry about damaging the relay so just power the relay and dont connect it to the psu of the a8 yet and have a play with jumper positions. You can tell when it works by a click and an led light comes on.

As for the pins I connected to I think it was gpio 14 & 15 (wiring pi 15 & 16) just because it was neat. I think wiring pi is installed by default now.

Comments deleted.

Are you switching on/off the 12v power from the power supply? I assume so as running 110/240v from one side of the printer and then back would be potentially very dangerous. Please people only switch 12v.

If you do want to switch 110/240v you can certainly do that with the relay shown (it's optically isolated) but please keep it on the power supply side and preferably enclose everything under a cover and add a fuse. The way Anet supply the mains power by connecting a raw cable to the screw terminals without a fuse or at leaset cable retention to stop the live mains cable being pulled out by accident is frankly dangerous.
Also note that you need to be careful with the PI wiring using 5v on a gpio will probably fry it so make sure you use the 3v3 only. You should supply 5v to the jd-vcc pin by removing the jumper.

Are you switching on/off the 12v power from the power supply? I assume so as running 110/240v from one side of the printer and then back would be potentially very dangerous. Please people only switch 12v.

If you do want to switch 110/240v you can certainly do that with the relay shown (it's optically isolated) but please keep it on the power supply side and preferably enclose everything under a cover and add a fuse. The way Anet supply the mains power by connecting a raw cable to the screw terminals without a fuse or at leaset cable retention to stop the live mains cable being pulled out by accident is frankly dangerous.
Also note that you need to be careful with the PI wiring using 5v on a gpio will probably fry it so make sure you use the 3v3 only. You should supply 5v to the jd-vcc pin by removing the jumper.

Hey c_wolsey, would be great if you could desing an add-on case for a mosfet to place above the existing case :)
Or maybe an adapter to place it in place of the relay board since someone coluld prefer the mosfet rather than the relay.
Just a thought!

Yeah I already printed that and posted in the "Made" section :)
However thank you for pointing at that!

Thanks for this great design. Without the lose cables it looks a lot better. I would like to make a suggestion. The supports for the printboards are very weak (I printed in PLA) If those were a little more solid I think it would work even better. In my print I solved this by just removing them completely and use m3 screws instead. No complains, just a tip ;)

Hey, I have a question why did you use a relay, does it have any advantages over just connecting the Raspberry Pi to the USB port on the A8 board? I did it with the included cable and it works perfectly well.

The relay is to switch the printer / led lighting strip on / off using octoprint (raspberry pi). This means you can switch off the mains feed to the printer remotely after the print has finished. The connection between the pi and Anet board is done with the USB cable (like you have it. The relay is completely optional.

Oh okay, thank you for the good and fast answer!

Will this mosfet fit in the box where relay sits? https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LYOF0SF

I don't think so it wasn't designed to fit this. I designed it before people started using these.

You don t need to use raspberry pi for timelipse .just install thightvnc on the computer and print with simplify3d.log in with any device to see the screen .Of course you must instal vnc client on android device too
The second stuff to shutdown the leds ?a small remote from aliexpress with 4 channels -6 dollars
Maby it s helps .

Hey there,
would you mind sharing your files for editing? I'd like to position the Pi in a slightly different place, becaue i printed a moving camera mount.

Thanks a lot!

I just uploaded a step file which you should be able to remix it with.

Hi,
Very nice project!
What CAD software are you using? Because, as fas as I know, it is not possible to edit a STEP file.
Actually, I would like to use your case but I use a Raspberry Pi B (the first version) so the mounting holes are not compatibles.

I use fusion 360 and you can import step files in and edit them in that.

Thanks! I did not know that.
As I am on Linux, I won't be able to use it. I will try to create a new one.

What format would you prefer?

Hi, sorry for the later answer, I did not see that you answered me :/
For the format, I would have preferred a format that I can modify in a free software like FreeCAD or OpenSCAD. But it won't be possible from Fusion. But I also use OnShape, an onlie CAD editor. It can import several formats but I have tested a SolidWorks part and it worked.

Hi, sorry for the later answer, I did not see that you answered me :/
For the format, I would have preferred a format that I can modify in a free software like FreeCAD or OpenSCAD. But it won't be possible from Fusion. But I also use OnShape, an onlie CAD editor. It can import several formats but I have tested a SolidWorks part and it worked.

Hi, sorry for the later answer, I did not see that you answered me :/
For the format, I would have preferred a format that I can modify in a free software like FreeCAD or OpenSCAD. But it won't be possible from Fusion. But I also use OnShape, an onlie CAD editor. It can import several formats but I have tested a SolidWorks part and it worked.

Hi, sorry for the later answer, I did not see that you answered me :/
For the format, I would have preferred a format that I can modify in a free software like FreeCAD or OpenSCAD. But it won't be possible from Fusion. But I also use OnShape, an online CAD editor. It can import several formats but I have tested a SolidWorks part and it worked.

Woohoo! Thanks a lot! Now i just have to find time to tinker with it :-)

Hey your relay is not strong enough, 20A is better, my 10A is not working after a print with 70°C hotbed und 205°C Hotend.

Well I have been running it with that relay for a few months now and have done abs prints with a bed temp of 100 and hotend of 225 without issue. To be honest the mains cable that comes with it is not rated for more than 10amp. If you were running that much current the least of your problem would be the relay. Maybe you got a duff one

Dumb question whats the black and blue circuit board is that a heat bed module? Have you thought about putting a fan mount on the lid some way?

It is a relay board for switching the mains power and led strip on and off.

I did consider a fan but as there are so many holes in the case i have never had a problem with over heating. The biggest cause of over heating / fire is loose connectors / fatigued wires (that spark)

"Pi Power Supply (make sure is is an 5A power supply if you are using a Raspberry Pi 3)"

Are you sure about 5A and not 2,5A? 5A seems a bit bigger than the average power supply you can find on ebay\amazon..

Also, how do you manage to turn on\off the printer and leds with the relay? Is that a function already integrated in octoprint?

Sorry you are correct it is a 2.5A (5V) PSU. I will correct the description thanks.

As for the Relay I used this guide (http://bit.ly/2czOdc4) but have since seen this guide which goes a bit further, that I was thinking of trying out. (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1428478)

Relay Control OctoPrint Wanhao i3
by Jeffeb3

Never heard before about that Octoprint project, but it's fantastic!
Googling it I have found so much info... perhaps you have something specific for our A8? Do you have some tutorial I could look at?
thanks!

Nothing really specific to the A8 apart from the normal way you set up a usb connected printer.

Make sure you have a serial connection baudrate of 115200.

and set up your printer profile to have.

Origin: Lower Left

Volume
X:220
Y:220
Z:240

Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm

Thank you, I'll buy the hardware and set it up :)

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