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Anet A8 Y-Axis Cable Chain v2

by papinist, published

Anet A8 Y-Axis Cable Chain v2 by papinist Nov 25, 2016
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Summary

After printing the great cable chain designed by sukhoi27, I feel the need to do some tweak and mod to it.

  • first of all, I modified the frame mount: I removed the part that goes between the frame and the nut. You don't need this level of strenght and you save a lot of time without removing the nut. I also removed the internal parts so you don't need to insert wires through it, and you can always remove the part without disconnecting all the wires.
  • then I modified the hotbed mount: the original part was too tall and since you need the hotbed to be higher of that (so you won't risk the hotend to hit it when going home), you were losing 5-6 mm in height. I moved the chain part at the very bottom and cut the upper part, saving about 3 mm. Now you lose only 2 mm from the original A8 height.
  • I also enlarged a bit the hotbed mount holes: now they are 4mm diameter, perfect for the cart screws.

See in motion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGdTLbeOBw0


Check out all my Anet A8 projects:


Print Settings

Printer:

Anet A8 (Prusa i3)

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

0.2 mm

Infill:

20%


Notes:

  • You can use brim with the mount since it has a thin base. You also need support with it.
  • Print 4x "chain_x4" since you need 14 chain links. Keep some spare in case you break one of them when assembling.
  • I used PLA (yellow) and ABS (blue). Apart cosmetic function, I purposedly print the hotbed mount in ABS since it's very near to the hotbed and when it reaches high temp the mount could soften and bend if it is made of PLA.

Post-Printing

Assembling

  • Connect all the chain links
  • Remove the hotbed, then remove the 3 screws on the lower cart. Place the hotbed support and screw it back. You need longer screws here.
  • Insert wires in the hotbed mount, through the chain, connect the chain to the hotbed mount and route the wires toward the back of the printer.
  • Install the frame mount removing the two screws on the frame and then putting them back. You don't need longer screws here. Pay attention to the wires under the mount, to not pinch them between the mount and the frame.
  • Now reinstall the hotbed TURNING IT 90° ANTI-CLOCKWISE so to have the wires connector on the left, going exactly inside the hotbed mount. Luckily this printer has a square hotbed :) Reinstall the connector before putting it in place, and then screw it back.
  • When all is in place, you need to cut the white lip on the hotbed connector, because it protrudes some mm up and it could interfere with the extruder when going home. Don't worry, the connector won't disconnect itself when inside the mount :)
  • Route the wires on the left, under the frame to the main board and reconnect them.

Remember, you need to do the leveling procedure again.

Chain and frame mount (this mount is the older version)

You need longer screws for hotbed mount

Height comparison between original and v2 hotbed mount - I cut the 'bridge' part to mount it without removing all the wires

Cut this lip...

...so the connector sits flush with the hotbed

Pay attention to not pinch the wires when routing them under the frame mount

This is how much you needed to raise the hotbed with the original mount...

...and this is with my new v2 mount (you can also see the insulation, see custom section below)

Cable chain in motion :)

How I Designed This

Modified in Autodesk 123D Design

Custom Section

Hotbed thermal insulation

While you have your hotbed removed, why not take advantage and thermal insulate it?
Your heating times will be reduced and temperature during prints will be more steady.
I published my simple solution here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1917197

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Bu amerikalılar geri zekalı. Ne gerek var bu kadar büyük yapmaya küçücük kablo geçiyo.

Please write in english.. and no offense, thanks.

how is the chain mounted on the bed? with screws?

Great design. One question though, why is the chain placed on the left side?

To prevent the problems with hitting the chain with the hotend, I mirrored the mounts and placed it on the right side. Noticed that on a Anet from 2017 both mounts needed a little adjustment with a heated hobby knife. Are the original files also available, because that would make a remix easier...

Hi papinist, hi guys!

Could anyone measure and tell me the exacte height of the bed when using this cable chain?

I mean the distance between the bed cornder and the H frame.

I'm about to print that chain and I want to add fixed spacers to replace the springs, but I don't know what spacer height I should buy so that the bed is at the perfect height for that cable chain.

Hi guys, I really like the way this design looks on my machine. But after a few hundred hours of printing, my cable did bent to often and broke. Result; a small fireworks show on my work table from short circuit and a print that was nearly finished, but fell of the build plate. Also see attached photo's. So when you use this design, please protect your cables thoroughly.

I just downloaded the files to make the chain. I just wanted to say think you for taking the time to make this assembly. I make a lot of my stuff on fusion 360 and i know how time consuming it is. Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you for your comment :)

Hi !

is there any tips for the frame mount, because every time i try to attach this piece to the chain it broke exactly at the same place (see picture). I print it in PLA 100% fillment.

Thx :)

For the the printer that I have, the part that attaches to the frame did not fit correctly and a good bit had to be taken off.

trying to figure out screw size for the hotbed connector or morre so length and how it fits? my bed is the correct way unlike anet original instructions the cross bar of the H frame is under the 2 side strips and the screws go from the bottom up so how do i fit this part?

it would have been better if you made recesses for nuts on the plastic then i could have just got longer screws, but thanks all the same for the remix it is a better design than the original thats for sure, i just hope someone can help me out as to how to fit this part please

Just found this problem too.
I also have my H bracket that way round and just realised this won't fit.
Surely someone has remixed the bracket to fit the bed this way?????????

What i did was measured the screws i think they were either 6 or 8mm and i replaced them with 10 or 12mm cant remember exactly. but the extra length screwed into the plastic tightly with no nuts. the screws just come out the top of the plastic only a very little but i think it would still work if they were not sticking out the top, i just used what i had really.

been using it like this for quite some time now. takes a while to get the chain to loosen up, but it works nicely now.

What's the thread size of the H bracket screws?

same as originals just longer screws. if i used bigger iwould have said i drilled them out :)

its much more efficient to solder the wires directly to the hotbed. that way you dont have to deal with loose pins.

Can this be printed in PLA or will the bed soften it up?

I printed the bed mount in PLA, it is really close to the hotbed so for safety it would be better.

Does'nt need zip ties like other chains?

No, chain links are made in a single part so you need to push the wires in from one side.

What screws do I need exactly for the hotbed mount? Thanks.

The same screws but a bit longer. I had some spares coming with the printer.

It says 4mm holes in the description. So I guess I'd need M4 screws then? I can't check right now, because the printer is busy printing the chain ;-)

I don't remember but if you look at the description, the second picture shows the short and long screws :)

I have Anet A 8 produced in June 2017, with Plastik Injected Z-Axes Holder.
On this Printer, this Y-Cable Change doesnt fit. not at the hotbed side ,and also not on the other side.
Has anyone idea where to find? I already found out, that some pieces are reallx not fitting in this little bit improved new A8.

Comments deleted.

can you please share the sketch file for hot bed mount
Thanks mate.

Unfortunately I had this project on 123d design web storage and forgot to download before they close the service.. Don't know if there is still a way to download them!

my too. the extruder nozzle hit the chain any help with be appreciated... manly when extruder go to home
help

Same here. I think it's a problem of one of the chains.

i'm having issues with this chain,it's a little higher than the bed ,when i home X,Y,Z the extruder nozzle hit the chain ,
any help with be appreciated

my too. the extruder nozzle hit the chain any help with be appreciated... manly when extruder go to home
help

Exact same issue. Also, it also hits/scrapes against the frame as the bed travels back. The chain lifts up from the original design expectation as it moves, which causes the extruder to hit it (and has melted it in places) it when I home my extruder. I've sanded the links a little so they are very flexible and move freely, but all-in-all, this is too high as it relates to the bed height.

Well, the bed should be facing the other way. The cables should come out the back.

Hi CookiexRFood, the cables come out on the side for this modification to work.

Thank you papinist.. This makes a nice addition to my A8.

Glad it could be of use for others

Do you print the chains with supports?

no, only a small support for the protruding part of the frame mount.

Am I the only one having problems with the chain rubbing agains the acrylic frame? When the hotbed moves to the back of the printer the hotbed mount and the chains are prolematic. They is too little space. Or the parts are too wide. Is it just me or are there more people with the same problem? And is there any easy solution?

Tolerances are very tight and if yuor printer isn't perfectly calibrated, the mount could be a bit wider and rub the frame.
If this is the case, try to smooth the hotbed mount a bit with sandpaper.
However the rest of the chains should not touch any frame parts.

Even if this thing is a remix from sukhoi27's original design, I didn't change those dimensions.

Hi, Same issue. Sanding the hotbed mount doesn't help (did that), because the tolerance for the chains is exactly the same, so the chains then hit the frame. I ended up creating a little notch in the frame where this rides, but then had the issue of the homed extruder hitting the links because they ride too high after they start moving. Trying now to figure out how to push them back down as they travel....

HI i just printed them and the links dont fit together i managed to bend the clips with pliers but they are very very hard to move

My chain is squeaking and making a creaky plastic noise when printing. Any Solutions?

Hi PabloEscobarJr, sanding them worked for me. They also move much more freely now, too.

You are running your H plate (or cart as you call it) upside down. That it why you thought the plate chain holder was too tall in the original. The only issue with running it this way is the belt is a little high when attached to the plate. Not a big deal until you start printing at the very edge of the y axis.

Not at all, my H plate is installed as per Anet instructions.
You can see how to install correctly here https://youtu.be/-tiHfzBQZpI?t=17m05s

Yes, the Anet instructions are wrong, this is a very widely known issue. See here: https://pevly.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ANET-A8-H-BED-MOUNTING.jpg

I installed it the "wrong way" but had the height difference corrected by printing and installing a propper belt holder: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2347849

Anet A6/A8 Y Belt Holder Upgrade
by Area51

Reversing the H-plate will place the screws under the plate, and doing this will be an issue for installing the cable chain mount - it will be too low in this case.
Thanks for pointing this out, however I bet most owners have installed it this way..

Looks cool. I see a lot of pictures on groups with cable chains, but what's the practical purpose of this? Is there one, or do so many people use them only because it looks a lot neater than the cables flopping all over?
--Not a criticism in any way, I'm trying to learn.... new at this.

This have a cosmetic purpose (as you said: looks cool) and a practical one: the bed connector tend to catch fire with the continuous movement as it manages a lot of power and the connection is not perfect. With the cable chain the wires in the connectors are blocked inside the mount and the connection is secure.
Also, you don't have those cables hanging around the back of the printer :)

Is there a good technique to assemble the chain?

Hi, my chain is protruding upwards a bit and sometimes gets in the way of the extruder nozzle. Any suggestions to fix this? I am using 14 chain links as shown in your pictures. Thanks

I don't have this issue but another user made a 'protector' to avoid this.. check it out: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2221564

Anet A8 Chain Bed Protector
by Xibel

Hi, I was wondering if there is a specific reason you made the part that connects to the hotbed 4mm thick. If you would make it 2mm thinner, you could use the original screws to mount it. Thanks

i remixed the hotbed connector to be 2mm thick. look under the remix tab

The only reason is because I remixed an existing part and I didn't thought about that! This question should be redirected to the original maker :)

Thank you very much it works Great

Print setting section says:

Supports: No

Notes section says:

You also need support with it.

I've fallen at the first hurdle.

I've now read the comments: "You need support only for the frame mount since it has a protruding part." I'm back up and the race is back on!

Hi, I'm having lots of trouble connecting the chains together. They won't click even with a lot of force, so I'm wondering if it's just the rigidity of my material (PLA) or if there's another way. Thanks.

I found it hard but was able to connect them by the following: with one chain link have the male end face towards your left hand (if you are right handed), Line up the second chain female side to the male side, use your thumb to push in one of the male pins while the other one goes in at an angle, you will need to push very hard with your thumb and then it will snap in.

They are kinda hard to connect together, I thought first I would break the PLA but with enough force it worked for me and after moving it a bit it's now even easy moving but still firm together.

Probably it's your material because the chain links are the same used for all similar project.

Did no one else run into the issue of the part that attached to the hotplate running into the frame? Seems to stick out a tad to far or really close or mine does. Also the cable chain itself can run into the nuts on the threaded rods. Or that might just be me again.

HI bluedustinman , yes it has been reported a lot, and I had the same issue. I ended up creating a notch in the frame where this rides with my Dremel tool because sanding down the bed frame doesn't keep the links from hitting the printer frame, too.

Nope, mine actually had something like 0.01 mm clearance :D so I lightly filed and now it's ok.
The chain would hit the front nut if you are using too much links (if I remember correctly)

Hey, when i download the files the hotbed mount is not the same as showed here under "thing files". The downloaded file still got the overhang which you cut away :(

Yep, this way you can choose to keep or not (cut away)

Hi papinist, it's possible to print without support for upper part of the chain? I use only PLA for now. Thank you

You need support only for the frame mount since it has a protruding part. Chain links don't need support.
You can print all parts in PLA, but the hotbed mount is maybe yoo close to the bed and could become saggy. You can try to cover it with some aluminium tape, to prevent this.

Comments deleted.

Hi papinist, your chain is awesome! But I can not figure out what you mean by "then remove the 3 screws on the lower cart. Place the hotbed support and screw it back. You need longer..."
Can you explain It tour me?
Byte!

As you can see, the hotbed is mounted on another 'bed' (I called it 'cart'). You should screw the hotbed mount to it removing the 3 screws you find there, and replacing them with some longer screws.

I mirrored the frame mount and the bed mount and made the cable chain run down the right side. I could not get the extruder to clear the cable chain when it was sent home. All my wires were plenty long enough to do this.

Hi smeek111. Great idea! I'm printing this now. :)

I've just printed this and I had exactly the same thought. My links get very close to the hot end, and I'm sure they'll rub at some point. Glad to know the wires are long enough

Hi Papinist,
i also wanted to print this design, but unfortunately the Y frame mount keeps breaking at the edge on the left where you made it thinner :(
This maybe an upgrade, just make it a little thicker on the inside or round the edges of the inner part, just like on the chainlinks itself.
Thanks for the work!

Hey Thorax,
you are right, that part is really thin but mine did not break so I didn't notice :-\
I just uploaded a new v2 frame mount with thicker wall, please try it and report back if it is all ok!

Works perfectly now! Thank you!

Good! Thank you to print this thing :)

Good! Thank you to print this thing :)

I used your frame mount and the original hotbed mount.
1) Your mount did break on the right hand side right above the chain part.
2) The original cable holder was designed for the underside of the hotbed mount.
3) I think the first two chain links need to be stiff in order to hold down the cable. When homing, the chain will bend upwards (maybe due to my thick wires).
4) The right hand side chain might be the way to go
5) Pictures are on the TODO list.
6) How does your heatbed work? I noticed you have the same setup mine was delivered with, and by replacing the cable, I improved it noticeably, but 4 * 2,5 mm² cable barely fit into the chain.

Hi!
1) I broke it on purpose, since at first I installed the original hotbed mount but when installing the modded part, the connector won't pass inside the hole and I don't want to get all the wires out again. I wrote it in a picture description ("I cut the 'bridge' part to mount it without removing all the wires").
2) Don't think so. The original thing lacks in description but if you look carefully at the first two pictures you can see that it is mounted above the hotbed mount, the "cart". Installing on the underside would be complicated (screws are on the top) and it will sit too low.
3) With the original wires, the cable chain is perfect. Chain links are designed to bend only in one direction so yeah, maybe for your particular setup you need something else.
4) Going from the right hand side will require extending hotbed and thermistor wires, and I don't see the need for it. But you can remix my (or original) thing and publish this mod!
5) ?
6) My heated bed works great, I suppose.. I set a temperature and it will reach it in more or less time.

Comments deleted.

1) See build (also explains (5))
2) I uploaded the pictures there: https://www.thingiverse.com/make:271417
4) I have a lot of thermistor wires (as long as my original power cable), only my shortened cable is too short.
6) I had a lot of voltage drop. I didn't write it down, but now I have 13.2 V at the PSU, 12,96 V at the heatbed port and 12,67 V at the heatbed.

7) I'm currently printing a replacement that will push down the chain

Anet A8 Y-Axis Cable Chain v2
by 7eggert
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