3D Printing

I recently started 3D printing. I am using the Anet A8 printer based on the open-source Prusa i3. There is a great community of Anet users who post helpful guides and models.

Here is a snapshot from the printer’s webcam, updated every minute (at a 24 hour lag).


  1. The rods that fit in the z-axis motors seem too short for the frame. But you can raise the rod couplers from the bottom so that the rods are flush with the top of the frame
  2. Useful upgrades from Thingiverse.
  3. I read some bad stories about the stock 20A power supply. I switched to a 450W ATX power supply that can deliver 35A on the 12V rail.


OctoPrint is a nifty web interface for 3D printers. It was mostly intended to be run on a Raspberry Pi, but it works fine in Ubuntu.

Installation tips

To run on Ubuntu,

Auto-level sensor

I’m using the LJ18A3-8-Z/BX inductive proximity sensor (NPN Normally Open) with the Anet Marlin firmware port (SkyNet3D Firmware, found on Facebook). The firmware package has instructions and links to setting up the sensor, flashing the firmware, and calibrating the bed.

A few other useful notes from my experience:

To build and upload the firmware through Mac, I had to do the following:

  1. Download and install Arudio for Mac
  2. Download and install the CH34x driver
  3. Download the Arduino Anet board files
  4. Put the board description under a new folder in Documents/Arduino/hardware/
  5. Download the SkyNet3D firmware

I used the 18 mm front-left Configuration.h file, with the following changes:

// coarse Endstop Settings
// #define ENDSTOPPULLUPS // Comment this out (using // at the start of the line) to disable the endstop pullup resistors

  // fine endstop settings: Individual pullups. will be ignored if ENDSTOPPULLUPS is defined

I used a voltage divider (described in the firmware docs) connected to the 12V line of my ATX power supply.

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