improved linear chain to Extruder on Anet A8

by Starwhooper, published

improved linear chain to Extruder on Anet A8 by Starwhooper Nov 20, 2016



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The original doesn't fit on my Anet A8. So I remix my own one.

extruder end:
• add hole for extruder motor wire
• extruder could now opened to replace filament
• remove upper spacer
• reduce elements
• enlarge size deep to reduce collusion from filament and change

change pieces:
• remove upper spacer
• reduce elements
• optimize holes for cable tie (the cable tie replace the upper spacer)
• create a long and a mix size chain piece

z-motor end:
• make is 2cm smaller (otherwise collusion with z-axe may happen end)
• remove upper spacer
• reduce elements
• enlarge size deep to reduce collusion from filament and change
• !!!wire will get more space in next version!!!

I use 22 of the short ones and one of the mid one. If you use the long one, you can reduce the count of the small pieces.

You can see it live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MAc2GZp70M

Please note the 4 different ways to "close" the upper space of the pieces.

  1. totally closed, zip tie needs to destroy if you want remove it.
  2. zip tie is fixed, but could open if you want add/remove a line.
  3. zip tie is only jammed and could open/remove so often you want.
  4. zip tie can easy remove, but please use it only to test.
    Thank you to Klownius (http://www.thingiverse.com/make:287726), he offer me the idea to use the zip ties on a less wasting way. You will find a picture for better understanding below.


4 differnt ways to use the zip tie

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Hi @Starwhooper, thanks for this upgrade, really works and is super simple.
Just got this done! it looks really great and helps with the cable management.

S3D made a mess slicing this pieces so I went to CURA and got it done.
Used a mid piece and 22 small pieces (more than 22 and I found that bends a lot upwards) which is enough.
Settings on CURA were 0.2mm layer height, 40mm/s, 3 wall perimeters, with support of course.


Thank you for this upgrade, super easy to print and install !

I didn't check all the comments and I also designed a replacement part to the zip ties: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2656343
It's a very simple piece and can be an alternative to TrevorMcNeill's version.

Another cap for improved linear chain to Extruder on Anet A8
by edertef

Starwhooper - noticed in pic that you are using the Anet Auto Level module - if you get time maybe you can either post on the A8 group or here... does this work OK? I have the module and motherboard with AL in the firmware - but never yet installed!

Are the smaller pieces canted a little bit? When I printed it looks like there's about a 5-7 degree curve

I've got the same problem but with a different design. It's not printer related because when I rotate the piece in Cura the curve of the piece is in the same direction. I think that in the end people are recycling each others design and someware in the cain the piece got curved :X

Do you lose any Z height when you use this?

No, you don't. The end for the Z motor moves up when the print head does, so unless your cables are really short, you won't lose any height.

The Z-Endstop is a big mess on Simplify3D 4.0, it looks better on Cura 2.5, but don't know how it will be printed.. I'll try Cura...
In Simplify3D the holes for the chain on top or not printed, and below were the rectangle should be fixed to the base plate, it's not touching it's some kind of floating, also the triangle part is moving inwards towards the middle instead of being straighth.

Tons of problems trying to slice the X motor mount with Simplify3D.

What combination of long, short, and medium links do people recommend?

The same as in the picture, about 20 short pieces and 2 mid pieces.

Has your hotbed connector plug burnt yet? Mine has and needed to solder a connection...this makes it difficult to get it to "sit down" inside the hotbed end fitting under the hotbed... anybody a better solution as the plugs always seem to burn- because they are not a tight fit on teh pins and move during the back and forward movement when printing - cause arcking and sparking!

mine started to cut plastic away from pos and neg sides. left sensor plug ins same. crimped down what was always loose plug ends on pos neg for a much tighter fitment to bed plugs dripped a bit of solder on each everything seems kosher now.

what size M3 screws are used I cant get this on as I believe what I have is the newer Xmount *4 screws and I believe they are M3x20mm

I can't get the x-axis motor mount to print without breaking apart when I try and remove the support material. What settings/orientation has been successful. I am currently doing support everywhere, and tried orienting it as downloaded and standing upright.

Hi, I printed it like in the STL file. I think to remember that I used Lines as support.
Maybe you print too fast.

Just printed all the pieces including both the long_changepiece_v20161127_2107 and the mid changepiece. Can you explain the purpose on using both on an Anet A8? Also can you lubricate the chain to make it flex more easily?

Hi, only the long version is really needed. The mid one is only an offer if you have issues to print the long one.

In my opinion is the chain flexible enough and need to fat or grease.

Hey, I see your print quality is pretty bad. I had the same problem also, but I fixed it by tightening my belts a lot. Now my print quality has improved extremely. I do recommend it, it saves filament from messed up prints and a lot of time!

Thank you for the note. I'll add it on my task list of printer improvements ;)

So, how many short ones do i need if im using the long piece? Thanks :)

will this fit on the newer anet that has the different x-motor mount?

Hi, I have no idea. It's fit on my Anet. But I have no idea if my the old or newer one.

Just tried it and magicaly it works!

Attention! Don't print the mid chainpieces, no matter which version unless you want to waste some plastic in an unuseable print.

Here's why, the dots that connect into the holes on the other chainpieces aren't connected to the print.
Just look at these three screenshots:
• This is how it should look like: http://image.prntscr.com/image/08a1b1238b4b485bb98300c4ebe73f75.png
• This is what the sliced gcode looks like: http://image.prntscr.com/image/a1b8d9f5293a4c18889005a9ab43d874.png
• Another angle: http://image.prntscr.com/image/d2f584b31cd045fba9bbc0dd45dd9535.png

I've printed it, and the 4 or 5 lines that were printed came off with a wipe of a finger.

Hi, thank you regarding that note.
Which version did you use? I uploaded on 6th Feb. '17 a new version that fixed some issues. Are your note still valid with that?

Same problem for me in Simplify3D .. Went to netfabb and pressed repair, works fine for me now!

Mines fine also just printed all the parts yesterday.

I printed mid piece 2151 last night with cura no issues

made something to replace using zipties working on a better design but it works http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2105627

cap for improved linear chain to Extruder on Anet A8

Why is there a long piece? It's too long for Anet, no?
Also, there is an error in your Mid_Changpiece.stl file. An artifact in the middle, and it's missing a connector on one end. You should look at it.
I fixed mine, but others may not know CAD.

Hi LittleMrJ,

thank you to leet me know about the issue regarding the file. I fixed it and upload a new version.

Regarding your question: No, the long one isn't to long. Feel free to compare it with the video. :)

Hello, I remix it http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2074500 and add endstop and optional Z-Chain

Anet A8 X Z Cain and Endstop

I just got my A8 on Thursday, got it together on Friday and started printing part. I saw this today and am printing the small pieces now, 12 at one time. I will print the other pieces tomorrow and get it installed. This is really nice, I was thinking of buying the cable chain when I found this. Thanks for your work.

Hi PapaJohn88,
you are welcome :-)

Maybe you are also Interested on the other parts that I published or that you will find on my list of makes.

Regards, Thiemo

It'd be cool if you added a Z stop switch to this like in: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1776429

Z Endstop Fine Adjustment Prusa i3 - Anet A8

Hi mClose, I recommend you to use an endstop like in http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2019216
I also use the endstop that you mention, but trust me, the autoleveling method is the best and it make sense to invest the 20€/$.

Holder for Auto Leveling Position Sensor for Anet A8 Prusa i3

I loved the zip tie idea with these, and I got an idea. I posted it in the "Made" section with a picture. Basically, It's possible to do this with zip ties so that they are re-usable. Tying the zip tie completely to one side with the connector on the inside bottom allows the free edge to run through the other side. If it's trimmed against the edge or a little bit outwards, it can be pulled out and reinserted. It's a reasonable enough effort that it should keep the cables inside.

Thanks for designing this! It turned out really well.

Hi, thank you for that greate idea ! :-)
I will add next days a picture of the different ways to add the zip ties.

That's a good idea, and a great design.

Alos, can you upload a version with the supports for the links? I dont think i want to use zip ties on those.

Hi, you can use the original ones if you need it with spacer:
direct link to the download of the pieces: http://www.thingiverse.com/download:2945707

But i recommend to use my solution:
• My solution make it much easier to thread the cable through it.
• My solution it easier to month together.

Complete linear chain Anet A8
by ryks

How many links does this need?

Hi, i use 22 of the short ones and one of the mid one.
If you use the long one, you can reduce the count of the small pieces.

how many small ones if u use the long piece thanks

Hi, i have no idea. ;)
In meantime i changed my extruder an can not use this thing more on my printer.

I'm trying to print the Z-motor end, but it keeps failing on me. Did you print that with or without support? and on which side?

Hi, i print it like i published it in the file.
But i print it with support structure.

Thank you so much for your reply. Will try to print it again with supports from Simplify3D again :)

It printed fine this time, so my orientation was off. Thank you for the design!

How does this hold the wires in without the spacer in the links?

Hi, i added sqare holes on all Parts. These holes are used for wirestraps to hold the cables in it.

Is it the long or the mid sized XL chain-link you have mounted on your X-axis?

Hi, i use the mid size one, in reason that i had already enought of the small ones.