This is very informative article about the Anet A8’s motherboard. A lot of people seem to bash the stock board and tell everybody its not good enough and should upgrade. But with the ability to install updated firmware and proper wiring, crimping, and connections during assembly, the stock board is quite capable.
Anet 3D Printers are quickly becoming a popular choice for 3D Printers. The ANET 3D printers come in various kits that require extensive assembly and feature an acrylic cut frame. These printers are great for beginners and hobbyist with a build volume of 220x220x240mm. Anet is continually upgrading their models as I am now seeing ones with Autobed leveling and Mold Injected Parts.
So, what so special about the ANET controller board?
We’ll a couple years ago nothing. The board was closed sourced with no ability to modify the eeprom settings. Enter Scou and the Skynet development team: https://www.facebook.com/skynet3ddevelopment/
Back in 2016 Scou figured out a way to get Marlin Firmware to work with the ANET V1.0 Controller Board. This really made the ANET board a great and cheap solution to control your 3D Printer. This let you control things like esteps, autobed leveling, PID Tuning and much more.
It gained so much recognition that on June 25th 2017 the Anet controller board was officially added to the Marlin Firmware boards.h file and is fully support by Marlin. This is awesome because any future firmware features in marlin will now be supported for these boards.
The best part is these boards are cheap! You can typically find these for under $30 online!
The Anet Mainboard features On-Board 16-step A4988 Drivers which do just fine for standard build volumes. The nice part about On-Board drivers is you can tune the amps through the firmware and don’t have to mess with a multimeter to tune each motor.
It’s operating voltage is 12V – 24V which makes it a good candidate for swap upgrades of other printers. I find this board to be a better solution over the most commonly used RAMPS Boards. The Anet board has JST-XHP Connectors which are easy to make and stay in place well.
So don’t go buying a RAMPS board just yet. Unlock your Anet mainboard and see the potential you already have!
If you want some great upgrades for your ANet Scou has some really cool stuff on their ebay store Skynetmods
Also check out this great wiki page for the Anet A8 with tons of great info and mods for your printer.