The goal of this project is to upgrade my Anet A8 (AM8) to a Hypercube Evolution as directly as possible while retaining as much of the Hypercube design as possible. Specific goals are:
- Use as much of the "stock" A8 mechanical parts as possible
- Make some upgrades of choice items
- Increase potential build volume for future expandability
- Maintain, as best as possible, the excellent printing characteristics of the original Hypercube Evolution.
I have decided not to do either of the following similar builds:
Cube AnetA8 Chaos Edition
The Anet Evolution because I didn't feel comfortable with the 2020 frame being stable enough and although the Chaos build looks tough as nails, the 2040 would cost similar to the 3030 frame and I didn't like the idea of having the xy carriage sandwiched into the Z-axis rather than located above the Z-axis. The Chaos project, of course, was designed to take an existing AM8 frame and build something evolution style without reinvesting in new extrusions, 3030 connectors, etc. so it was a great way to do this, it just didn't meet my objectives.
FRAME / BUILD VOLUME:
X-Axis - Using the 436mm long 8mm smooth rods from the Anet will result in 406mm 3030 extrusions along the X-axis and a frame dimension of 466mm and X travel of 291mm (per the Hypercube configurator).
UPDATE: Above are the dimensions I used. However, there seems to be enough room in the Y clamps that the X extrusions could be at 400 and this would still fit fine. So I updated the build to use 400mm for X and Y. It will likely be easier to find 400mm stock vs. custom cut at 406mm.
Y-Axis - I am electing to purchase 400mm smooth linear rod on the Y-axis to allow for 290mm of travel and will result in a 460mm frame dimension. The 380mm long 8mm smooth rods from the Anet Y-axis will be used instead on the Z-axis for a total of 4 480mm rods for the Z-axis..
Z-Axis - I plan to use the four 380mm long 8mm guide rods from the Anet Y and Z axes for the double Z-axis Hypercube. The Anet A8 uses couplers on the Z-axis and 345mm threaded rod. This creates issues with the "stock" Hypercube design where (1) you don't get full travel on the Z-axis due to the couplers (Hypercube Evo was designed for Z stepper motors with integrated threaded rods and therefore no coupler), and (2) the 345mm threaded rods need to be cut a good amount (maybe 20mm). To keep the stock Anet parts in tact, the frame needs to be extended taller to compensate for the coupler and allow more room for the XY carriage. I also modified the lower Z-axis rod mount to allow the Z rods to be mounted higher / closer to the top of the Z-motor and improve clearance. A minimum of 510mm uprights are needed to allow proper clearance (I used 515mm). Taller can be used if you want to mount electronics underneath. With the 510mm uprights, you have about 37mm of clearance without feet. The stock Anet power supply is 50mm tall you, so you need to add another 15mm or so to mount the power supply underneath.
UPDATE: I was able to get 285mm of total Z travel with the 380mm rods and I am able to utilize about 275-280mm from a practical standpoint as you don't go all the way up and stop at the nozzle. The Z bearing holders are a bit long for the LM8UU bearings as they were originally designed for LM12UU. So I added a short version that will give you 12mm of additional travel for a max of 297mm.
Below is a summary of the various lengths, build volume, etc of the the three designs:
Guide Rod Extrusion Est. Build Frame
Axis Length Length Volume Size
X 436 400 285 460
Y 400 400 290 460
Z 380 500* 275-290 500*
- Optional, you actually need a minimum of 510mm due to the Z stepper motors. I went with a little taller for my build (515mm) to allow room to mount electronics underneath and/or to give some additional cushion/clearance in assembly. I am listing as 500mm as this is a standard size assuming you don't have access to custom-cut extrusion. You can get away with 500mm and 3D printed feet to add the additional 10mm of height. You could use Aluminum Extrusion Endcap Customizer (just set the cover thickness to 10-15mm to get the additional height) or HyperCube (and Evo) Leg Extension to get the additional clearance for the Z stepper motors.
We are going to use the 220 x 220 Anet build plate with 210mm hole spacing. The Hypercube configurator calls for 395mm and 140mm 2020 extrusion for this size build plate. However, we are going to use 220mm instead of 140mm and mount the build plate on the inside of the X axis build plate extrusions rather than the outside using 15mm brackets. This should allow the upgrade to a 300 x 300 (328 x 328 MK2A) build plate later, if mounted on the outside of the X axis build plate extrusions. Although, depending on hole spacing you may need to print new mounting brackets at a custom offset of 16mm rather than 15mm.
UPDATE: The bedmount brackets require longer 40mm screws since they are thicker than the steel plate that came with the Anet.
NOTE: If you need to get a standard size 400mm extrusion, this would need to be cut down somehow since you have 400mm 3030 for the sides this would not provide enough clearance.
NOTE: If you are using 400mm extrusion for X axis and a 328x328 MK2A bed, you will need to mount the bed above the Z bearing holder printed parts as the bed won't fit between. Using a 310x310 will but the wider MK2A design will not. I included a shorter version of the Z bearing holder for LM8UU size bearings that will allow the build plate to be closer to bed frame.
UPGRADES (PLEASE READ):
So I made a few choices on options that are not from the stock Anet. Since I am trying to keep this simple, my build will be tailored towards my upgrades. If you want to do a more stock Anet upgrade, you can use much of what I have here, including the remixes of some of the parts. However, you should go back to the the "Anet Evolution" thing as a more direct guide as the creator used more stock Anet A8 parts. One big difference however is that the Anet Evolution is based on a 2020 frame and I am using a 3030 frame similar to the Hypercube Evolution + other upgrades.
Some of my changes/upgrades from the Anet are:
Controller Board - I am going to use use the MKS Gen 1.4 controller board. My main driver here was to get more memory and hopefully a higher quality board.
End Stops - I am using the optical end stops and min/max X/Y/Z capability of the MKS Gen 1.4 board.
Extruder - I am using an E3D v6 clone and bowden setup.
Bearings - You will need 12 LM8UU bearings for this build (carriage 4; z axis - 8). You can use the 2 Anet LM8LUU Z axis bearings on the y axis for the Hypercube.
Stepper Wiring - This build is bigger than the Anet and the original wiring will not likely reach your controller board. IMPORTANT NOTE: The steppers for the Anet are wired oddly/non-standard on the 6 pin connector. Normally, from left to right, pin 1 and 3 would be one winding in the motor and pins 4 and 6 would be the -/+ on the other winding. The Anet motors are wired where it is pins 1 and 4 for one winding and 3 and 6 for the other. So you need to swap the wires to match the original Anet cables. You can use an Exacto knife or something similar to lift up the little clasp and pull out the wire and insert in the correct slot. You could also use the original wiring but get some 3S Lipo Balance Lead Extenstions. These use 4-pin JST plugs and can extend the end that connects to the controller board. These are sold prewired usually in 10-15cm lengths. Because you use the original Anet cables you will not need to rewire using these.
LCD Screen - If you use the MKS board you may have to wire your Anet screen to get it to work. I have the Anet 12864 full graphics LCD and followed this guide to get it to work: https://www.instructables.com/id/Using-an-Anet-Full-Graphics-Display-on-a-MKS-Gen-1/. I believe this should be the same for the Anet LCD2004 screen that comes with the A8 if that is what you are using.
BILL OF MATERIALS (PURCHASED):
10 3030 Extrusion - 400mm (X and Y axes)
4 3030 Extrusion - 500-515mm (Z axis) (see X axis description above)
2 2020 Extrusion - 395mm (buildplate along X axis)
2 2020 Extrusion - 240mm (buildplate along Y axis)
2 8mm Smooth Linear Rod - 400mm (Y axis)
20 3030 Interior L-Shape Connectors (6mm hole)
4 M3x12 Steel Dowel Pins (hotend mount)
6 GT2 20 Teeth 3mm Bore Pulleys
2 GT2 No Teeth 3mm Bore Pulleys
2 GT2 20 Teeth 5mm Bore Pulleys (optional) (The Anet ones will work which are 16 teeth; be sure to consider this in setting up the stepper steps per mm in Marlin)
1 E3D v6 Hotend or Clone
1 Bowden Tube / Setup (optional)
8 Igus 8mm Polymer (LM8UU) Linear Bearings
5 LM8UU Linear Bearing (Anet only has 7)
4 Optical End Stops
1 MKS Gen 1.4 board
1 Mosfet (for heated bed)
1 3D Touch bed level sensor (BLTouch Clone)
2 M3x6 Socket Screws (Z motor mounts - recessed screws under Y linear rod)
4 M3x8 Socket Screws (Z optical end stops)
8 M3x10 Socket Screws (Y optical end stops and X carriage belt clamps)
20 M3x12 Socket Screws (XY and Z motor mounts; Y carriage clamps)
6 M3x14 Socket Screws (X carriage belt tensioner and extruder clamp)
8 M3x16 Socket Screws (X carriage clamps)
3 M3x20 Socket Screws (Y guide rod brackets and 5010 radial fan)
10 M3x25 Socket Screws (Y and Z guide rod brackets)
6 M3x30 Socket Screws (XY idler pulleys)
4 M3 Nuts
4 M3x40 Tapered Head Screws (bed mounting screws) (see Build Plate Update)
Var Various other M3 bolts as needed for mounting. I varied a little bit from the above in some cases where a smaller screw seemed like ti would fit.
4 NOTE: For the M3 screws, buy regular socket cap if possible. I used button cap with a 2mm hex ... they were fairly easy to strip. I have some 12 and 16mm socket cap with 2.5mm hex and these are much better.
40 M6x10 Socket Screws (XY mounts into L-brackets)
100 M5x10 Socket Screws (anything that mounts to frame)
100 M3x5x5 Knurled Brass Inserts
100 M30 Hammer Nuts (5mm hole)
20 M20 Hammer Nuts (5mm hole) or equivalent (square nut; hex nut with 3D printed adapter, etc.)
1 Female-Female Connector 5 Pcs 1M (or longer) Kit for Nema17 with JST Connectors and/or 3S Lips Balance Lead Extensions (see Stepper Wiring above)
BILL OF MATERIALS (ANET):
2 8mm Smooth Linear Rod - 436mm (X)
4 8mm Smooth Linear Rod - 380mm (Z)
5 Nema 17 Steppers w/ wires (see Stepper Wiring above)
1 220x220 Heated Build Plate
7 LM8UU Linear Bearings
2 GT2 16 Teeth 5mm Bore Pulleys (if you didn't purchase 20 Teeth)
1 12V power supply
1 Anet LCD2004 Screen (see LCD Screen above)
PRINTED PARTS - HYPERCUBE EVOLUTION (thing 2254103):
4 Bed_Bracket_15_1.0.stl (for Anet A8 220x220 bed)
1 X_Carriage_1.0.stl (also see optional carriage remix below)
2 Y_End_Stop_Bracket_1.0.stl (TBD)
1 Y_End_Stop_Flag_1.0.stl (TBD)
PRINTED PARTS - HYPERCUBE EVOLUTION ANET A8 REMIX (this thing):
2 Z-Axis_Linear_Rail_Bracket_-_Left.stl (8mm rod)
2 Z-Axis_Linear_Rail_Bracket_-_Right.stl (8mm rod)
2 Z-Axis_Linear_Rail_Bracket_-_Double_Z_-_Left.stl (8mm rod)
2 Z-Axis_Linear_Rail_Bracket_-_Double_Z_-_Right.stl (8mm rod)
2 Z_Wobble_Bearing Holder.stl (optional for 608zz bearing on T8 lead screw)
4 Z-Axis_Bearing_Holder.stl (LM8UU)
4 Bed_Bracket_15.5_1.0.stl (for Mk2A 300x300 bed)
12 3030_corner_single_remix.stl (you can purchase these also)
1 Extruder_Mount_-_Fusion_360_Version.stl (Hypercube Thingiverse .stl version and Fusion 360 version were different. Fusion 360 version has proper holes for brass inserts)
PRINTED PARTS - Other:
1 Spool holder of choice
1 Board/mofset mount of choice
1 Power supply mount of choice