Anet 3D Printer most Common Mistakes and How to Fix them

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The Anet 3D Printer are quickly becoming one of the most popular and affordable 3D Printers in the industry. These DIY kits were originally cloned from the Prusa i3 style of 3D Printer. These are some of the cheapest kits available which is probably why they are so popular and they are actually really decent 3D Printers. That is when you know what you are doing.

Here we will discuss some of the most common issues and mistakes I see Anet owners having.

Installation Manual (it exists!)

Yes it actually does exists for your Anet 3D Printer. What most people don’t do is check the SD Card that comes with the printer. There is where they usually provide assembly instructions, stl models and sometimes even software. So don’t expect to get a printed installation manual and make sure to check your SD Card with on your PC. Unfortunately most people will build their Anet before searching for instructions will can lead to the following issues in the article.

Z-Coupler and Threaded Rods

I see this far too often with people thinking their threaded rods are too short.

3D Printer Z Couplers

This happens when the Z Couplers are not installed properly. When installing you want the there to be a good distance between the shaft of the motor and the threaded rod. It’s recommended to insert the shaft and rod approx 5mm. This leaves enough distance for the flex coupler to you guessed it, flex.

Z Coupler Correct Way

Y-Axis Belt Installation

This can be confusing when putting these parts together. Especially when you don’t know about the instruction manual on the SD Card.

Also be careful not to over tighten your belt. Check and make sure your not flexing the acrylic frame. Pull the belt just enough to not sag and then use a Timing Belt Spring to tension the belt. These little springs are the safest way to tighten your belt without over-stressing the frame.

GT2 Timing Belt Spring
GT2 Belt Springs

Bed Leveling – Nozzle Height

This is probably the most critical part of 3D Printing. The theory is that you want a slight gap between your nozzle and print surface about the thickness of a standard piece of white paper.

Check out this great tutorial from Thomas Sanladerer to see how to properly do this.

I also recommend adding some thread lock or loctite to your bed screws to prevent vibrations from throwing off your dialed in alignment over time.

Next think about what you are printing on and what you need to make prints stick;

Sheet Metal Bed = Blue Painters Tape

Glass Bed = Elmer’s Glue Stick or Hairspray if your prints are not sticking

Other Bed Surface Types: PrintInZ Build Plate, Polyetherimide Ultem (PEI) Sheet, BuildTak or other innovations.

3D Printing Build Surface with 3M Tape

Layer Shifting

Typically when your prints look like this the most common problems are Speed or Belt Tension.

3D Printer Layers

Sometimes when the belts are too loose or the printer head is moving too fast this will cause the belts to slip off the gears and loose alignment. Be sure to check that you have proper belt tension and that your not running your prints at too fast of a speed.

Under Extrusion and Clicking

This is another common issue I see that is sometimes hard to diagnose. The printer does not extrude a steady flow of filament or the Extruder Motor is skipping steps (clicking) preventing smooth extrusion.

Skipped Steps

This usually comes down to temperature settings. Try printing a temp tower test and see if the issue keeps happening…

Other possible issues are motor overheating, improper pot amps or other just a clogged nozzle.

3DPRINT.WIKI

If you are looking for more information on Anet A8 printers I suggest you check out https://3dprint.wiki/reprap/anet/a8

This is filled with great information that will address advanced improvements, upgrades and other useful things about your printer.

Please leave a comment and share this article.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Very helpful. I’m setting mine up. I’m running into issues where it won’t allow me to turn on the bed or extruder heat in the menu. Repetier won’t print because it’s waiting for those to be turned on. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Brian,
      Glad you found the article helpful. To be honest I don’t have much experience with Repetier on the Anet boards. It could be an issue with the initial firmware settings where there is no extruder or bed defined?
      I do suggest running Marlin firmware as the ANET board pins have been added to the configuration. If you have never used marlin before checkout our article to get you going: http://3daddict.com/beginner-guide-marlin-printer-firmware/

  2. Hi I am a newbie to 3D printing and I bought a Anet A8 from a person who did some updates like auto bed level and some fans and marlin 1.8 controller and other frame strengthening things I was having problems with not sticking on heated bed but have changed to creality mat. But right now can’t get my nozzle heat to work ordered a new one and installed but keeps coming up heating failed printer halted please reset.

  3. Great tips – any on Y axis alignment?

    When I measure my diagonals across the H plate it is slightly off by 2mm or so – is this acceptable? If not, what is the best method to ensure the rods are parallel to each other?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Simon,
      This usually indicates that the X & Y planes are not square. Have you checked to see? Try to square up your axis and this should solve the issue.
      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Hi i purchased anet a8 plus, im having trouble with the bed, it doesn’t seem to recognize when to stop and keeps going after the bed has reached the limit, causing the band to skip. i checked the connections and they are all correct and was able to print some parts but i have-to pause the print before it begins force the bed into the correct position and continue the print, not sure if there is a sensor issue or if i can program it or update the software? also when i tell it to go auto home the bed goes to far and same problem occurs also the bed goes in the direction opposite to the switch.

    • Hey Cesar!
      Sounds like you might have a couple problems.
      1. If the hotend is driving into the bed there is an issue with your z-axis limit switch. You’ll need to check the wiring or replace the switch and/or wiring.
      2. If the bed moves in the wrong direction during homing you can switch the polarity of your stepper motor at the board or depending on your firmware you can update this in the firmware. I suggest just switching the pins on your stepper connector to the board to start.
      Hope this gets you in the right direction, good luck!

  5. My extruder tip stopped getting hot so I bought a new one put it on and tried it and it was working fine shut it off and the next time I turned it on went to preheat plastic and nothing happened there’s a red light on the board that lights up when preheating and it isnt anyone know why?

    • Hey Chris!
      Sounds like this might be an issue with the Thermistor? First step is to check the connections and make sure nothing is loose.
      Then start the pre-heat function and watch the lcd info. Does the extruder temp start to go up or does it have a static temp number? If it reads zero there is a problem with your thermistor. If the temp stays at a static number then there might be a problem with your heater cartridge or it’s wires.
      Good luck let us know what you find!

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