Assembling the Prusa i3 Anet A8 3D Printer

Assembling the Prusa i3 Anet A8 3D Printer

Technically, my printer is labelled an Anet A8 (made by Chinese company called Anet) but from what I can gather it's a clone of the actual-factual Prusa i3.  I use the word "clone" loosely because there's a big price difference between my printer and a Prusa from Prusa.  The cost savings are no doubt due to cheaper labor, mass production, and lower quality parts -- but I knew that getting into it.

That being said, I was impressed with the quality of everything when I received it.

The printed instructions provided via the 3d Printers Bay website and Anet (online, there are no instructions included with the printer) are horrible.  If those were the only instructions you could get, you would still manage to assemble the Anet A8 Prusa i3, but you'd also manage to get quite frustrated.

Fortunately, after a few pages of printed instructions, I turned to YouTube and found David Dan's channel.   I'm not endorsing him, but I found assembly a lot easier just following his step-by-step instructions (even though there's no talking for a lot of it).

Since I couldn't do a better job than David Dan (unless a disassembled and reassembled my printer while taping it -- which I don't plan to do) I'll just add a few tips I picked up while assembling my Anet A8 Prusa i3

Tips for Assembling the Anet A8 Prusa i3 3D Printer

If you hear or read that you should leave the paper covering on the acrylic until after the frame is assembled -- DON'T DO IT!  Once everything is together, a lot of the paper will be caught under frame pieces and parts.  Unless your assembling the printer in a sandbox with gravel-coated gloves you won't need the protective paper.

Many of the nuts used during assembly fit into notches cut all the way through the acrylic.  I found it MUCH easier to put a piece of tape on one side of the notch, put the nut in place from the open side, and then another piece of tape to cover the open side.  Then it doesn't matter how much you jostle everything -- the nut(s) stays in place.

It's a personal preference, but I used thread locker on all the nut and bolt connections.  The Anet A8 Prusa i3 -- like all 3D printers -- is subject to vibration.  The thread lock helps keep everything tight.  Make sure you use the temporary type, not the permanent.

One place I didn't use thread lock was the bolts holding the z-axis switch.  I assumed this would need adjusting from time, so I used lock washers instead.

The set of printed instructions I used said to tighten the hotbed bolts until the springs were completely compressed.  I didn't realize until much later (after trying to level the print bed a number of times) that the bolts should only be about halfway down to allow for adjustments.

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