Tatara A8 Steel Frame - Anet A8 Swap it - V1.00

by TataraTeam, published

Tatara A8 Steel Frame - Anet A8 Swap it - V1.00 by TataraTeam Apr 2, 2017
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This is a steel frame improved design for Anet A8 3D printer.

Version 1.1 code name Hayabusa is out, beginning January 2018, if you want to laser cut maybe you want newer version. -> https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2736479

(For A6 Version go here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2693658)

My self and Tommaso Collini (https://www.thingiverse.com/musta/about) we tried to implement easy solution to solve common issue we found on Anet A8 printer and most of cartesian printers. We believe Tatara frame is the best steel frame you can build.
In our design all parts are inter locked that ensure great stiffness and perfect geometry on all 3 dimensions.
What is special in our design:

  1. XY frame to make all build more rigid, this is a major improvement against all others Cartesian Steel frame that let you push printing speed to 150-180mm/sec, 20-25mm/sec2 jerk 1200 mm/sec2 print acceleration with good quality
  2. We add the option to add 6 LEVEL FOOT to level the printer
  3. Nyloc/Lock nuts compatible by design
  4. many small improvement that make the frame incredible rigid with virtual no resonance during printing.
  5. Damn heavy, more than 9Kg only for frame. Because we are not overseas seller's weight is not a problem but a feature:
    -lower center of gravity
    -weight leads to a higher inertia and therefore less high-frequency vibration

Why Steel??
Steel is the material that gives the best ratio stiffness (young's modulus) vs cost/volume.
To achieve same stiffness with other materials you need to use, at least, a sheet 3 time thicker.

To be manufactured of carbon steel (requires painting) or stainless steel.
We strongly suggest the use of a material with a minimum Young Modulus of 196 GPa ( double check it before you get your frame cut).

Is designed for 3mm thickness (clearance is 3.2mm so maybe you can also use 1/8"-> 3.175mm but we did not try)

people who sell Tatara frame on internet don't give any % to the designers (us) then if you enjoy the Tatara frame ( or if you make money with it)
can be kind to TIP

All measurement are the same as Anet A8 and you have to change only the frame and maybe the screws (depend what length of screw you get on your original Anet A8).
The design will be under CC attribution share alike license 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) as well the DXF laser cut draw.
The draw is done from scratch, by your humble servant.

The first prototype of the Tatara - Anet A8 Steel Frame as been tested by Steve DellaRosa.
Grazie mille Steve!!!

Since then more than hundreds users swap to Tatara A8 steel and push their 3D printing quality and speed to unknow frontiers.

Many users also decide to build a 3D printer from scratch using Tarara A8 Steel Frame.

This is to consider final version, if you decide to laser cut is at your own risk we don't give any guaranties.
ATTENTION: Maybe your laser cut service need to do the nesting and bridging for optimization.

We recommend laser cut service who can provide h7 tolerance cut, watch out some laser cut service do very very low grade cut.

You have 2 version of files: only essential pieces (are excluded: screen part, fix Y belt holder, Z end-stop holder) and standard version with all pieces.

with stock Mother Board and stock firmware Y 0 is 5mm inside the heated bed,
refer here to correct the problem:

Control board holes are moved slightly backwards for easyer operation, that means some boxes that use both holes from board and powersupply don't fit.

3D printed (needed or not) parts can be found (on my buddy account) here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2358104

Extra Precision Rods locker (Y and Z axis) for V1.00 can be found here:

Customizable spacer rear Y motor Holder to Nema 17 motor for Tatara steel frame V100 can be found here;

You can find the sheet with detailed screws numbering <-> part-list, here https://issuu.com/tatarasteelframe/docs/tatara_steel_a8_v100_-_parts_list
Or download the PDF file with the screws and nuts list.

V100b: final version before move to version 1.10, just clean up .DWG files
V100: small mod on X/Y Frame for cable pass through,
RC2 v04: mod Y front and back frame

### REMEMBER TO "Electrical Grounding" the steel frame !!!!!! ###

About the name: Tatara is the name of the forge where the steel for japanese sword is melted.

We design the Tatara frame from scratch, we start with a blank sheet and open mind trying to solve engineering problems that 3D printing presents to every designer,
we get inspired by all the errors and the work done by the community of 3D printing on the last years. Licensing our projects under CC licence share alike 4.0 is a way to give back to the community.

Bed support design on V1.00 take inspiration from P3Steel: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:157303
And from Prusa i3 improved for laser cut:
We double checked measurement that we take by hand with the a8 monolith frame:

For faster update like the page at:

And/Or apply to the tatara - anet a8 steel frame - official owner group:

NB: the STL 3D file is there just for previewing and is not useful for production or mod, if you want do modding/fork go to OnShape project and copy it.

the TATARA logo design is NOT under CC licence and you can't use without permission

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Find a good Laser cut service, tolerance are important.

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nice project, thanks for sharing

Interesting Idea
But I'm astounded that the steel bits are fastened exactly the same as the Anet Acrylic frames Wee screws and captive nuts.. Seriously !?
Metal has Far more advanced/sophisticated fastening technology than that.
One could readily cobble up a more rigid structure using decent quality 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood
That at least can be screwed and glued together Very solidly... possibly even by Computer nerds. Just a thought

Screw are strong enough to hold any problematic forces and vibration on virtual model simulation and on the hundreds real frame that people already make. Nylock solve 99% of the problem you can have whit this locking system, moreover almost every mechanic forces are "taken" by the steel interlocked parts and not the screw.

Of course you have more advanced locking metal system but at wich cost??

The frame performance are already more than impressive ( go to read reviews on officials FB page from who daily use the frame) on this way for a very low cost (if you find a honest laser cut shop).
Why making complicated things when you can acceive same or better results with simplicity and cheaper?
The frame never go under resonance at any possible real speed/acc/jerk you can test in the reality.

And if you want the ultimate strength you can simply weld the frame with a TIG.

About 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood??? Is very nice for musical instruments because is resonating damn good.
And will be more expensive than the steel frame raw material and cnc cutting cost.
Furthermore our frame can be assembled by a 10 years old child in 30 minutes.

If you want examine better the design maybe you didn't noticed that the V1.1 is out since January 2018, with few improvements.


Please, for questions, refer to the Official Tatara page: https://www.facebook.com/tatarasteelframe/
or official Tatara Owner Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TataraFrameOwnerGroupOfficial/
You will get faster response than here.

I get some really terrible vibration noise from the Z-Rods! For now i eliminate that noise with zipties, but i‘m looking for an better solution. Has someone the same problem or an idea to get this noise off?

Z Rods o Z lead screw?
You have resonance or other kind of vibration caused by loose parts?
PS: next time for help, ask on official Tatara owners FB group you will get faster answer: https://m.facebook.com/groups/151635405446065

i mean the Z Rods and yes i think it´s somekind of resonance caused by little gap between the rods and the frame.

i´ll sign up for this group.

Thanks a lot, that work´s really well!!

i broke the z top Part two times, maybe you can improve that

Mhh wow strong man ;-) , thank you to report, yes we can make outer wall thicker

Can appen with inaccurate laser cut, we will publish soon somes 3D
Printed parts to try help people who have this issues.

I have just received a quote to laser cut one frame from 3mm steel. It was over 330 Euros (300 UK pounds) !! Hope the other companies I am trying will be a little bit cheaper :)

300£??? Lol Some people have no shame,
look around on internet you can find sellers or join the official Tatará owner group on Facebook and ask to UK user where they cut it.
For a single cut fair price(+-10%) is 90€ for carbon steel and 140€ for Inox 304.
But you can find on internet at 65-70€ for carbon steel.
Is just a advice we do not have any sort of connection/agreement with ANY internet sellers.
Furthermore we believe you can find more honest laser cut service close to you.

Has anyone done this in 3/16" aluminum? It's all I have handy to attempt this...

Steel is much cheaper than Aluminium and if you cut locally weight is not a problem but a feature: more heavy it is more steady it is.
Aluminum make sense if you have to ship it over sea because you cut down shipping cost.

I only ask because I work at an aluminum fab shop and have access to drop material.... Very cheap for me...

If you have Acces to 6061-T6 alluminum alloy 3mm can be enough, UTS of 6061-T6 is high enough to be on the suggested material specs: recommended UTS is 305N/mm2.
However many people build the frame with S235 steel (UTS 20% under the spec's) and they are happy with overall strength and rigidity.

i can buy this kit?
([email protected])

tnx A.C.

Or Look on Ebay and/or Facebook you will find someone who already cut the frame and sell it.

we won't sell, nor produce Tatara. We have released the file for free under Creative Commons License Share alike 4.0
You'll be able to download the files and cut Tatara for shure close to your house.

Hello, any feedback about dxf file? Have anybody encountered some problems? Thinking about cutting this frame raw from dxf file

No one from the people already cut the frame (check here: https://www.facebook.com/tataraa8steelframe) had any issue with dxf file.
The laser cut service will do the Nesting and some bridging according the laser cutter machinery they use.

I've seen the facebook fanpage, however no opinions about any issues, so wanted to be sure :) Let's see if my friend can cut it for me - if yes I will for sure leave a lot of feedback for you guys :)

If you build one share a picture on Facebook. Tyvm in advance

is there a way I can get the files that has the dimensions on them I'm working on taking my a8 to a build volume of 550mm x 550mm x 600mm but I need the files showing dimensions so I can lengthen them

check on front page the OnShape link, the project is stored there.

Great work and contribution! Thanks for sharing!

so.... Who has the capabilities to crank these out?

Can I sell these pre-cut? I am wondering if I may be required to order a "batch"/minimum order...

I have a waterjet, we can cut only one for you,but i don't know how much shipping is , thats usually the problem,but lets say you order 5 pcs i'll have it down to about 70 euro a piece

Any Steel laser cut workshop can cut it, normally you can do just one, the price in italy is around 90-100€ for carbon steel 130-150€ for stainless steel.
If check in facebook page you can see some working model

Any...Can..., no takers yet. They all want a million dollar order etc.. That is ok.. I am guessing with Purdue University just up the road I can find some one willing.

If you do series of 10+ in italy is under 50€ /unit for carbon steel (1010)

Any links on this? As a Dutch guy I maybe can find 9 other Dutch people who want this upgrade.

You will find for sure a good laser cut service in Nederland for 10+ pieces, i think ship cost is to high for 10kg + Package.

Would you have a solidworks model available to share? There are some issues with your dxf that would take me a to of time to fix.

you can import the dxf file or the obj file too (https://grabcad.com/questions/how-to-import-fbx-or-obj-to-solidworks).

Please then respect the CC license and re-share

There doesn't seem to be an Obj file available to download.

if you import in CAD software DXF are correct. try import in autocad and reexport maybe solidworks don't like DXF file with old version. You can export stl and dxf for each separate part from onshape directly:

I have tried importing the Dxf file to solidworks, but there seem to be a lot of errors and parts that aren't quite right. For example, angles that should be 90 degrees are slightly off in a lot of cases. I will try the OBJ file, but I don't have much hope that it will work better.

Vey nice job my friend ....I see it for 4mm stainless steel

Hi, the draw are for 3mm thick, is strong, steady (and heavy) enough.
If you want redraw for 4mm thick remember to share again with the community in respect of Creative Commons licence of original file.

Hi there!
Are you using the stock Z endstop adjustment?
There are, in my opinion, better ways to adjust that...
Nice job!

We provide the support for standard Z stop, ours goal is to be as similar to original version for compatibility, bringing improvements were we can without changing standard measurements.
Any one can improve the project further for his personal need.

I use these mods with stock frame and work perfect, so I guess they will work for Tatara too. Feel free to link them:

Anet A8 - Tensioner for X Axis
by AVZ
Autolevel mount for 5015 blower fan (13mm diameter)
by AVZ
Anet A8 - Z Endstop Fine Adjustment
by AVZ
Anet A8 - PSU cover for S-240-12
by AVZ

Please for any question or suggestions please post on tatara facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tataraa8steelframe/

Easter has been past long and the Rabbit is dead
Let's talk about the project Tatara guys is this the final version or still a prototype that will never be finished.
I can cut the things only who wants pay 150 € for cutting and extra for steel and get scrap.
How I could read is everything from 3mm steel only what steel is not so clear please for info.
My respect and honor for your work but slowly should come clear Facts

150 is way to much, especially for a laser, i have my own waterjet and i'll say you end up around 70-80, and i will powdercoat it, i'm located in sweden so i don't know how much the freight is, but i can look into it
Br/ Patrik

Can confirm, 3mm is what it's in ( .135" will work). Mild steel works great, just paint it or have it blackened. You'll still need a dremel to polish the burrs off. I just had one cut, and the .dxf is good, but you'll probably need to break the parts down and increase the gaps, depending on the lasers tolerance. (I had it done on one with +/-.010" tolerance, the material had a +/-.008" thickness tolerance.) You'll still need a few printed parts, which Toad hasn't released, but usable options are already out there.

Despite the detractors, Toad's done a great job setting this up, and the frame comes out really nice. Thank you Toad!

Needed Printed part are on my budy account:
If you have pictures/videos of yours version please share on Tatatra facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tataraa8steelframe/

Tatara - Anet A8 Steel Frame - Printable parts
by musta

Will do! Thanks for the link!

Great work !!!
Thank you !

eagerly awaiting further news!

The design looks really cool, nice job!
Have you though about rounding the inner corners of the X plate to make it more rigid? I mean, like a 15-20mm radius.

Hey not sure how many other people might be interested in a A6 version but I know I would be. I talked to the designer and said maybe if we had enough interested people in a A6 version. Would love to see a A6 version. Don't think it would be very hard to change much think there would be just few different parts that would change but basic overall frame could be same. Thanks hope to see a A6 version soon.

I'd be interested in the a6 version. I'm not quite sure what would be different though.

Measurement is what is different but I don't own a A6 so i don't have idea what is needed to change.

Hey Toad, I am really looking forward to the .dxf files for this. I was about to embark on a mission to create some plans myself but you beat me to it! The thing about the Anet A8 frame is obvious since its tolerances are so bad along with the poorly laser cut acrylic, so many things wrong with the frame.

Out of curiosity, how much did it cost you to get your frame cut out of steel? I was thinking about making mine out of plywood, which would require me to edit the .dxf file.

Thanks for your hardwork! I appreciate the time put into engineering this version. Don't let the turds bring you down...

We are testing the first laser cut at the moment, as soon we correct the small issue we found we will publish all draw (dxf, and solid model) under CC attribution share alike license. Tyvm for your interest.

By the way, I searched for Anet A8 .dxf frame files/mods 7 minutes after you posted this. So yeah, I plan on building a frame with your files. I am a Mechanical Engineering student who is getting solid results from his Anet A8 that I just purchased a few days ago.

The only other nice addition, which I am not sure how much strength it would actually add, would be to make the Z top plate one piece across the top.

Looking forward for this one!

The thing I think the Anet A8 is missing is some bracing form the front of the Y runners up to the top of the Z rods, so joining the ends of the red front plate to the top green bits with some bar/sheet. This would make it rock solid especially if sitting on foam which can distort the bed levelling considerably. It might look a little different but I don't think it would get in the way too much and a simple enough to add if your designing this from scratch.

Tanks for suggestion, i will do some FEM simulation and look if the improvement is really useful.

A steel frame like here ?:

BTW, plenty of decent Prusa with a metallic frame. Smart people start with that or better design, not acrylic crap.
You would have been better inspired to do a correct Prusa with a metallic frame, not just a frame while keeping all the design shortcomings and errors of the Prusa.

Anet A8 Steel Frame (CHAVO A8)

The point here is to have a improved frame that fit all component of anet a8 (unless the screw) without too many hassle to adapt to original prusa i3 steel design. BTW our design will be under CC attribution share alike license so any one can further improve for their need, and is not a commercial product for selling but a project we are sharing with the community.
For more, we believe the simple XY frame we add is a huge improvement for whole stiffness as well the possibility to add level foot.

So let's see how many people will rebuild their Anet with this frame, for how much and how the machine performs.
The Anet flimsy frame is just one of the many issues.

Can you show your Anet8 in operation ?

So, I see it performs as any other Prusa with a metallic frame. BTW, Al is better in this use than steel ! What about the cost ?
I said from the start, don't waste your time with an acrylic frame, get one with a metallic frame then improve it. Anet worshippers challenged that ! Funny isn't ?
OK, now you can start to improve it. Replace the LM bearings, get rid of the basic design error of the Z axis (I hope it is already TR8 lead screws and not M8, make a decent lightweight X carriage etc....

In fact, I think they should accept their mistake, keep the acrylic crap to play and move on to a better machine architecture and build, if they are serious about 3D printing.

I bought an A8, knowing 100% full well it was a cheap piece of crap, to get into and learn about 3D printing. Provided you fix a few obvious issues with it (brace the front/back plates, install belt tensioners and do some electrical fixes) and keep the jerk/acceleration numbers reasonably low to compensate for the crappy frame the printer has, it works just fine and produces decent results for what I've needed it for.

This metal frame is intriguing because I can get it cut out of aluminum sheet for around ~$100 CAD locally, transfer my A8's parts to it, and have a less crappy printer for still less money spent overall than if I bought a Wanhao i3 outright.

Maybe that makes me an "anet worshipper", but I don't care.

If you knew it was crap, you don't qualify as a worshipper ! As I wrote, play with it and if you are serious about 3D printing, go for a better design. I bought my Geetech Al Prusa without much expectation either but knew that a least the foundation, the frame, was usable. I wasn't fooled by the Geetech "PROFESSIONAl" which was acrylic ! What a joke !

Acrylic isn't a bad material if you use it right - I'll take the Geetech Pro's flat-front acrylic frame any day over my A8's frame, which has no horizontal bracing of the top whatsoever. Had I known more when I bought the printer, I could have bought the A6 instead of the A8, which has a much better frame comparable to what's on the Geetech Pro.

But hey, I spent $170 USD on my A8 with free shipping to Canada. It prints things (slowly, if I want good quality), it's taught me a lot about 3D printing, and it'll be a good "organ donor" if I decide to go with this Tatara frame.

If all the people who bought a cheap 3d printer would have the money to get a higher grade one, we would not be here discussing.
For most, if not all, printers such as the Anet are an affordable entrance in the 3d printing world that can be nevertheless satisfying and doable little by little. Enhancing your own printer is part of the fun and a direct swap is at range for everybody and gives a definite plus over the stock one for a fair amount (if you find an honest cutting service).

For a little bit more they would have got a metallic frame from the start. Just that people nowadays are used to buy the cheapest without looking further. People who had to work hard for their money knew that too cheap was in fact expensive.

For less, they can have this cut which is better than what is given for "little" less.

I will ask Steve (the guy is testing the first cut of the steel frame) to make a video as soon he can.