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

by The_Random_Engineer Feb 16, 2017
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I'm working on printing this for my printer, but I have a different version than you. Mine doesn't have a cover around the X-axis stepper, so I'm trying top figure out a way to space it out while still keeping stability. Any suggestions? Thanks

Edit: I worked out a remix that I will be trying tomorrow. I will post it if it works.

Just printed and added that to my printer. All works fine except that the chain hangs down quite a bit after I moved it around a bit to make it moving more easy (Nothing what wouldn't have happened anyway after a few days / weeks). I just placed an aluminium stick (was lying around) in it (30cm) and fixed it in place with a cable tie on the left side. Now the part which has to be straight is straight and the rest is moving freely. And it looks nicer than the solutions with that long solid piece in it.


Do you have a link for the other chain ? i see you use the same elementsm i need the "ends". thanks !

Do you have a link to the Y \hot bed brackets for the chain?

Worked great for me! Thank you. Only trouble I had was the stepper motor screws on the back side had backed out because I didn't have the right lenght, I had to cut them to lenght. It would help to add a hole above the z axis end stop screw so we could get in there with a driver.

What's the size of the screw to adjust the z end stop?

I tried to open "2_updated_AZ_XMotor_Chain_Mount" using Solidworks but I am not able to do it. Which version of Solidworks did you use to make it?

Where can I find compatible mounts for the hotbed chain?

Never mind. I guess they're all the same


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.

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

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?

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?

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.

Great idea, it works great. Now i have very strait and smooth running cable chain. Did 170 for 5 minutes in a hot air oven.

Is that 170°C or °F sorry us Americans still haven’t conformed the rest of the world and moved to the metric system.

170 celsius and try 1 or 2 minutes, some ovens warm faster than others.

yeah 5 min was almost too long. absolutely do not go over 5 min in an oven that hot.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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