3D Printing

I’ve mentioned in at least a couple of posts that I 3D print some of the things I need. This is great for custom things (like D1 Mini boxes) I can’t just buy, or for one-offs that I can buy, but in larger quantities or it may take too long for shipping.

I thought I would share a few pics of my printer, which is a fairly heavily-modified Anet A6 kit printer…

Anet A6 with a few modifications.

Among other things- I use a Raspberry Pi with a touch screen running Octoprint and Octodash to manage it. It has a 3D-printed X-axis, belt tighteners (with high-quality timing belts), high-quality cooling fans, bed-mounted Webcam and LED lighting, and auto-bed leveling (5×5 grid) running Marlin 1.4.

Original Anet board with external MOSFETs.

I use external MOSFETs for the extruder/print head and heated bed. I use relays controlled by the Raspberry Pi to control the main printer power and lighting.

Power Supplies. 5v and 12v.

Upgraded Mean Well PSUs for 5v and 12v. The 5v runs the Raspberry Pi, touchscreen, and lighting. 12v is the main power for the printer. 12v is switched using a relay from the RPi. When I start a print job- the printer and LED lighting turn on. I can toggle the lights on and off using the touch screen or Web interface to Octoprint. When a print job is done- the main printer power is turned off, along with the lights if they are on.

As of now (August 2020), the original Anet control board is starting to fail. I’m having temperature control and stepper issues, and have eliminated other “usual suspects”. So- it’s time for an overhaul.

I’m planning to replace the Anet board with a Bigtreetech SKR V1.4 Turbo board with TMC2209 drivers. This is an upgrade from an 8-bit to 32-bit processor, along with very-quiet stepper motor control which is supposed to make the printer almost silent, while providing a much higher step resolution which should improve print quality.

I plan to post details of this retrofit once it happens. At this point probably not until later this fall, unless I REALLY need to print a lot more things.