Anet a8 X-axis cable chain with z end-stop

by The_Random_Engineer, published

Anet a8 X-axis cable chain with z end-stop by The_Random_Engineer Feb 16, 2017
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This was a collection/combination of different parts across thingiverse with some modifications to allow proper z stop adjustment and cable management.

Print Settings


anet a8










supports were only needed on the motor mount

How I Designed This

There were ups and downs to each part used.
The original motor mount side of the chain by ryks allowed proper chain movement however reduced max Z height so i added clearance.
The cap on the screw for z adjustment by Meermeneer wasn't working for me.
And the extruder end of the chain by Starwhooper mounts better.

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With the Z fine endstop adjustment, the middle of the cable chain tends to droop a little. I've sen other designs of cable chains where there's actually one long solid link used until individual links are needed. Would you upload a piece like this?

Any tips on aligning the links? I printed everything and while assembling, I realized that when all the links are put into place it will curve to the left, and it's not flat AT ALL. Anyone? Thanks.

Jul 28, 2017 - Modified Jul 28, 2017
FelipeNS - in reply to cygnae

My chain is also curved
I think sanding some parts will solve

Jul 24, 2017 - Modified Jul 24, 2017
veen89q - in reply to cygnae

I think you have your settings wrong. I printed it yesterday, besides a little lose debris in the holes from overhang it's perfect. PLA, 210/60. Res 0.1, Printspeed 60mm/s, travel 120 mm/s. I printed with 100% infill, 4 sets of 4 (16 chain links) and took me about 11 hours.

Anyone else had any issues with the motor mount being very weak and snapping when removing the supports?

Curious if the added weight on the X-Axis will require an adjustment to the steps per mm or cause any other issues?

Jul 6, 2017 - Modified Jul 6, 2017

Welp, gone through the hoops of making it. Well, there are certain things I find rather frustrating. Some of the margins are way too tight! The space for the screw heads for the thing you place the downwards sensor on are way too tight. Maybe it was my print, but I had to drill and stuff to get the things to fit which seems like an unnecessary evil. This part also seems too thick for the standard screws. If it would be sunken down a bit more the screw could have much more room to bite the motor which is now just two-three mm.

Otherwise, it's a nice print :)

Great design, I love the brackets and the Z stop mount. Running the cables through the chain was a little frustrating, but the end look it much better than cable ties. Thanks for sharing!

thanks for printing and I find it a little easier to slide all the chain onto the wire sometimes.

Thanks for sharing the files. Any estimate on how many links i should print for X and Z axis?

Jun 22, 2017 - Modified Jun 22, 2017

Can you please re-upload "2_updated_AZ_XMotor_Chain_Mount.SLDPRT" file.
i'm having issues editing it in solidworks.
look like there are bunch of triangles on the part i cant get rid of.


Thanks mate.

the triangles are from the import from .stl and sadly cant be removed. I simplified it as much as possible before I brought it into solid works and then some to make the part. you can ignore the triangles and go about designing they wont effect the final part.

Could you post a file with only one chain piece so I can turn on "One at a time", and so theres less retraction?

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?

How did you assemble the single segments of the chain???
it would fit though its not flexible enough and i just broke a segment trying.

with pla you should be able to pop them together but if they are breaking that easily there is a good chance you are running the plastic to hot

hello, i print the chain support, and this is the result.  https://ibb.co/j22Do5. somebody can help me ? i attach an photo with the problem and cura setting.
another question: what is the support to the heat bed for the y axis?

you need to use supports

use cura 2.5 same settings with touching build plate turned on and .1 layers

is the extra z axis stop needed?

I love it but once i installed it I had noticed the Cable chain had some ED (erectile dysfunction) and would not stay straight it would limp down in the middle and sag. Any ideas on to to fix this??

I just printed, it was very stiff and did not lay flat. I put in the oven at 170 for 10 minutes or until is laid flat and then put a cutting board on top till cooled. Smooth movement and it is very agile now.

when feeding the cables through I kept the wire wrap on stiffening the chain a little and keeping it strait you could probably get a similar result feeding a slightly tightened rubber band through or a couple rubber bands tied together and fed through or around the outside

Thank you so much, it worked!!

Im having the same trouble with my cables being too loose. How did you fixed it with a rubber band?

I ahve all the desing printed, but how can I make the thread for the screw that pushes the endstop? I mean where it goes in the mount. The screw won't go in, and it is really hard to thread it that way

Apr 9, 2017 - Modified Apr 9, 2017

yes you will have to thread it with a screw. I threaded it like you would put screw in backwards, took it out then put the screw in properly and if its still to hard run it under some warm water then try to tap it with a screw

is it an m2, right? Thanks

m3 still. mine might have printed at a higher resolution.

Been using this for a couple of days now and I love it. so much that I also installed a Y axis version.

What do you use for a filament guide? I've noticed that my filament is now catching in the X chain and I'm sure it's not making my prints any better.

Of course my filament reel is behind the printer. I suppose if it were above it would be better.

also I use a piece of ptfe tubing from 6 inches from my spool down to the extruder, it keeps the filament from snagging

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2068469 with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1764285 and the bolt from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1624641 works pretty well and may i also suggest purchasing filament from supply3d on amazon extremely cheap and makes extremely smooth prints.

Anet A8 Organic clip on Spool Holder
by butchja
Anet A8 Prusa i3 Simple filament guide (Horizontal)
SpoolHolder ANET A8

What size should the round stop switch end be? When I open it in Cura it's about 150mm diameter!

Check your preferences in cura you may have auto scale on.its about 15mm.

How many pieces do you need total

Mar 6, 2017 - Modified Mar 6, 2017

Good looking piece of work, thanks.

Do you have any further recommendations for slicing settings, please? I'm using Cura and it estimated 1 hour to print 4 links. In reality, it took nearly 2 hours at 0.2mm.

Do I not need supports?

I am printing at 137 mm/s, flowrate and it is still going to take about an hour per batch of 4 at .2. Patience, because you have to print a total of 7 x4 batches. The most I printed at one time was 4 (16 links) took about 5 hrs

you don't need supports on the links only on the motor end mount

Holy heck. 5 hours to print the motor end! I think I made my supports too dense!

What are you using for Infill? 40% is plenty for most of these parts. 10% support density zig zag

Can't remember. I may have used 100%, in the assumption it would be stronger. Never mind, it's done now! Thanks.

I had read that in the documentation. I didn't understand how we could print the topmost crossmembers without supports. It just looked like it was asking to collapse. I'm still not sure why it works, but it does. it seems to leave threads across the gaps. I don't know what voodoo this is, but print time is down to 50 minutes.

Mar 7, 2017 - Modified Mar 8, 2017
The_Random_Engineer - in reply to KDMcM

if you have the half cut cooling duct upgrade i have found that you can do up to a 10-13 cm bridge that has very little stringing with this machine. you can also bring up the print speed significantly if you buy better belts.

I have stock belts. This gap's about 16mm. I got success with the stock duct by using 25% fan.

Mar 8, 2017 - Modified Mar 8, 2017
The_Random_Engineer - in reply to KDMcM

oops i meant and fixed 10-13 (cm) bridges with 100% fan

Great job.
But I'm afraid, that you reduce height of printing area.

That was one of the things i changed was where the chain mounts so the mount can clear the top of the z- axis so it doesn't reduce z height.shown in the last photo

Thanks a ton for fixing that! I really didn't want to lose build height just for a chain but none of the others I found took this into account. Saving to a collection to print next!

Great! Thanks!

well done /if you have problems with the extruder -linear chain(top left corner) you must make an endstop /see my designe no more paper clip /cheers