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Anet A8 Chimera / Cyclops, Dual Extrusion, Dual Color Upgrade

by Triple_S Apr 1, 2018
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Hi SSS, what is the best option: Cyclop or Chimera? Thank you

Hi triple S newbie here. what stepper driver did u use? TIA

Hey, great work man. What script did you use for changing colour or how do you handle the colour change?

I'm simply usimg Cura. If you have entered your printer there correctly, Cura does everything for you, so no need to write custom scripts or anything like this.

Can you recommend any pages/video regarding printing with multiple colors - maybe even with a mixing extruder like the cyclops ?
I am trying to figure out how to do this in S3d, but am not completely sure - e.g. if you define virtual extruders with color mixing - how to configure S3D, how to handle tool change (script required?), number of priming towers required if e.g. 6 gradings of color mixing is used in a single layer...

could you make a how to?
i just printed all te parts, and received the products.
but i find it hard to make a beginning when not knowing where to start.

I see no belt tensioner on .stl list. Which shall I choose?

I'm planning to add auto-leveling sensor and replace both fans into bigger version in your design.
Would you be so kind and share editable version of extruder design?

I'm guessing this plays well with OctoPi? Thinking about doing a dual feeder on the BLV Mgn12 Mod: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2567757 Mainly stopped in to read the comments and get an idea about how the duals are being ran on A8s and if people were using the 2 in 2 out or the 2 in 1 out. My thoughts were the 2 and 2 made more since for changing between colors to avoid priming the nozzle after each change.

BLV mgn12 3D Printer mod for Anet A8 / AM8 / Prusa I3 clone
by Blv

I dont use OctoPi myself but its an upgrade thats still on my todo list. I think there is no reason for it to not work. The thinm with the 2 in 2 out is that you dont need a large priming tower which is why i decided to go for it. Anyhow it is very difficult to adjust the two nozzles to be on the exact same level. It reqires some patience.

How are you supposed to adjust the grub screws to adjust the nozzle heights?
There's no room to fit an allen wrench.

I can look this up, but since you have already done it, I thought I'd ask.
How did you handle the X-zero stop being so far from the print bed in the Marlin firmware?
And, did you use the most current Marlin? (I have two or three older variants I use on my printers...)


Yeah, I'm using the lastest version 1.1.8.
Usally you adjust to the position of the X-Endstop with the line "#define X_MIN_POS" in your configuration.h.
It works in the way that if your nozzle is for example 12.3 mm left of the left edge of the bed after homing, you set the line to "#define X_MIN_POS -12.3", then the left egde of the bed corresponds to the X-Position 0.
For the chimera upgrade I had to use a little trick, because Cura is very stupid at handeling 2 extruders. It always assumes that the head can only move within the scopes of the bed, so the left nozzle would not be able to reach the right edge of the bed and vice versa. There is no way making Cura understand that your head can also move outside of the edges of the bed, so I set the bed in cura to be 2*18mm wider than it actually is, because 18mm is the distance between the two nozzles. To maintain the right center of the bed I had to add an offset of 18mm to all X-Coordinates which can also be achieved through the "#define X_MIN_POS" setting.

That description just saved me an hour of head scratching I am sure. I am currently using the default firmware that came with the A8, not having any reason to change it because it worked well. However, my son got me a Chimera clone for my birthday, after my wife got me a Anet A8 for Christmas... I have a tuned and tweaked Folgertech 2020 delta that prints ABS well, and has been my "go to" machine. Time to step up to the next level, a dual head! A Prusa variant looks like a good place to use this.

I primarily use Simplify3D for my slicer, it beats CURA hands down when it comes to custom supports on a print. It also has a dual head "wizard", so I'll see how well it deals with a two head printer. What I can't figure out how to do is create an STL that specifies which head prints which part of the work piece. I will test mine using something that someone else has already done this with...

That with the .stl is very easy: You create two .stl files of which each contains the part that is printed in one of the colors. In the slicer you put them exaclty on top of each other and assign them to the different extruders.

That is the problem isn't it? How do I create a model and only print part of it to the STL or OBJ file? In my CAD program I suppose that I could create a whole model, then edit out... Hmm. I can see how that is done.
But, for the more creative models (like your frog) I don't have tools to render those, is that a "Blender" type of job? I have no exposure to those tool sets yet.
In some ways, Simplify3D can do this as well by creating two processes, one for each of the stl files. They print them at the same time.
Hmm. Fun! I have "normal" printing down, this is taking it to the next level.

What size are the blowers you use for the part cooling shrouds?

The blowers are of the exact same size as the original blower (50mmx10mm)

Mine is 50x15mm. It looks like the right size for the cooling shrouds though. I ordered a couple more of them.

Thanks. I've printed your design, now to finish it out.

I'm planning out a Chimera upgrade right now. What plastic did you print the parts with? I haven't really dug into anything but PLA and I'm worried about heat from the Chimera.

I printed everything in PLA. The heat is no problem, because the parts that touch the PLA are eigther not getting hot at all or are getting cooled. Just make sure that the cooling fan is running all the time a nozzle is hot. All those warnings about not printing parts of the printer in PLA are simply bullshit as long as you are not using a closed case for your printer. If you do so then, and only then, PLA is not a good choice.

I have lots of printer parts in PLA - I just won't enclose those printers in a sealed box, and for what I do, I don' t need to.

What control board did you end up using? or did you use the stock main board and reconfigure the stepper settings?

I got myself the cheapest MKS RUMBA board I could get on Aliexpress. Mostly because I wanted to keep the option to sometime upgrade to 3 extruders without having to deal too much with the electronics. I really like the RUMBA board, because as far as I know it's the only 8bit board that can handle 6 Steppers without any extensions. Because I usally only need 5 Steppers for the dual extrusion, I gave the two z-Motors seperated step divers.

could you possibly send me the marlin settings you used for your rumba board? i would like to upload it to my rumba if you don't mind. =)

Of course. I did quite some modifications to the firmware to include some features I wished to have and change the behavior in some situations. Anyway the configuration files should still be compatible with the unmodified Marlin. Since I also flashed Marlin to my fathers printer which is a Da Vinci Mini w, there are two sets of configuration files. The ones for the RUMBA board are the files "Configuration_adv_AnetA8.h" and "Configuration_AnetA8.h". Except for the Configuration.h file I marked all places I changed in the code by the comment "CUSTOMIZED!!".
If you have any questions left, feel free to ask.

Do you have a link to where you bought the other stepper motor? Thanks!

Gearbest: https://www.gearbest.com/3d-printer-parts/pp_540282.html?vip=4433149
It hasthe exact same serial number as the original ones.