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Convert your Anet A8 into multiple different tools

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    Convert your Anet A8 into multiple different tools

    So I am new to this forum, but not new to the Anet A8 printer. I wanted to share a mod that I did to my printer that I think will be useful to others. It is my quick change tool carriage assembly mod. This mod converts your Anet A8 printer into a versatile multi tool device. This may also work on the Prusa i3 printers as well as I think they use the same type of X carriage assembly. The tools that I currently have designed for it are a bowden J-head for 3D printing, a pen plotter attachment to make your 3D printer draw, and a laser engraver tool. The tools can be changed very quickly as they are attached to the carriage with plates that have neodymium magnets in them. Simply unplug the harness connector and pull the tool off. Snap the new tool on and plug in it's harness connector (if it has one). The OpenSCAD and .stl files for the mod are available on thingiverse.

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3407486

    Cheers

    #2
    That's a really cool idea, I like the magnet implementation. Are you not worried the hotend will be off by small amounts? Seems hard to get a quick-connect system accurate to a quarter of a mm. I'd thought about stepping my printer up to 24v with nema 23's, for light CNC work, but though toolhead z calibration would be a pain for hotends. Thanks for the thing!

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      #3
      BlueCog, I have used it quite a bit for the 3D printing end of things and the way I have the four slightly tapered alignment posts, they center it pretty good and I haven't had any problems with it being off at allwith the taper and the magnets, they pretty much pull the tool to the same spot every time. I took the magnet idea from the MakerBot line of printers. We have some that I work on at our school district and that is how they attach their smart extruder. One difference in their smart extruder though is that it also mates the extruder motor to the head for a direct drive setup. The photo I attached is what their setup looks like that I copied. Their heads literally pull off and a new one can be snapped on in seconds. The difference with mine is that it connects with a wire harness where the Makerbot has a couple rows of spring loaded header pins.

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        #4
        Oh, that's great! Hmm... That isn't under patent, is it? I seem to remember something about that. Awesome design though, I had not looked closely enough. Even if it is patented, could probably rethink the shape or something.

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          #5
          Not sure about the patent, but it's not like I'm trying to sell it and profit from it.

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