After a little more than a year of many failed prints and broken cooling fans, I have found the best settings and mods for your A8 printer. I now have prints challenging the original Prusa MK3 and other high-end printers. I narrowed common problems down to 3 things: SETTINGS, STRUCTURE, and FILAMENT. all these play a role in great prints.
(4) Settings, Structure, Filament
You will need a little money to work on your A8, so here is the list of products you will need. NOTE I recommend buying from a trusted seller (Amazon) and make sure that others have bought the product you are looking at. The PLA price varies as the holidays come and go (at Christmas red and green are 27-30$ instead of 23$), And the power supply is heavily recommended (safety and reliability reasons). If you buy what is listed below you will have a better chance of success.
Anet A8: (219$) https://www.amazon.com/Desktop-Accuracy-Assembly-included-Filament/dp/B0746HQ1X9/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1518135523&sr=8-14&keywords=anet+a8
(buy 2) MOSFET: (8$) https://www.amazon.com/Witbot-Power-Module-Expansion-Printer/dp/B01MU3H01A/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1518135749&sr=1-3&keywords=mosfet+3d+printer
Bowden Hotend Set: (15$) https://www.amazon.com/Wangdd22-1-75mm-Printer-Extruder-Accessories/dp/B06XBXDJY3/ref=sr_1_44?ie=UTF8&qid=1518143288&sr=8-44&keywords=bowden+extruder
(Recommended) Power Supply: (19$) https://www.amazon.com/eTopxizu-Universal-Regulated-Switching-Computer/dp/B00D7CWSCG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1518143558&sr=1-1&keywords=anet+a8+power+supply
(NOTE: tell me if you know of a better power supply as I already had a replacement and never bought one)
Hatchbox 1.75mm PLA: (23-30$) https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_5?url=search-alias%3Dindustrial&field-keywords=hatchbox+pla+1.75&sprefix=hatch%2Cindustrial%2C197&crid=3L56YPYSTP3A1
If you have not built your printer DONT ASSEMBLE IT. because it will be surprisingly easier to put your MOSFETS and Power supply in the printer as you make it (obviously you cant install the Bowden).
POWER SUPPLY, ATTENTION: this printer is a fire hazard!! do not deliver all power to the controller with the wire provided IT WILL BURN. The board pulls more current than it can handle (ironic) so the wire heats up. Plug your MOSFETs into the terminals shown in the image (above) and split the wire between all 3 +/- terminals to ensure safety.
MOSFET, plug RED and BLACK wires into +/- ports (duh). ORANGE wires have no polarity. BLUE wires are data wires and have plugs to the MOSFET and 2 wires to the board, Each wire goes to each terminal in the Extruder and Heat bed ports.
BOWDEN E3D V6: first print the new carriage for the Bowden hotend and the stepper motor mount for the Bowden (also print the cooling fan). setup is straightforward from there as you (should) have previously assembled the A8 hotend. screws will be needed for the hotend clamp and the cooling fan (I just used zip-ties). the X-AXIS belt tensioner is compatible with original and the Bowden carriage and is needed to be printed. if your original heat block and the nozzle is still clean you can simply transfer the same heating element, thermistor and fan wires but I had to fully re-wire mine. the stepper assembly is simple, but you will need 3-4 longer screws to hold it together. using the 2 metal extruder blocks you can use all the parts from the original extruder (see picture). the Bowden tube connectors are hard to mix up, the smaller brass one fits in the extruder block without modification. finally cut the Bowden tube to as small as you can get it (give 2-3in of slack to reduce resistance to X-AXIS stepper) and push firmly into each connector.
- OTHER, you need to print the X and Y tensioners and the front acrylic support piece. pictures are included to aid you in the assembly of each mod. Also, print the spool holder which used the original screw rod in included spool holder. The spool holder sits off to the side making the extruders stepper motor work less improving your prints.
I made and included test prints that you can use to determine your printers limitations and “perfect settings”. The bearings test the tolerance limitations of the prints and is labeled .1-.3 mm in tolerance. The heat test most likely not be needed but you can try it if you want. The overhang test is affected A LOT by CURA setting but more on that later, but it is a recommended test.