[TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Overdue Update

A few months ago I posted 2 articles (Post 1 & Post 2) about upgrades to do to the Anet A8 printer. I planned on writing more guides in addition to the 2 mentioned but I quickly found that there was just too much to cover in regards to this printer. I was constantly making changes here and there to the printer so it was hard to keep up.

The bottom line is that the first 2 articles I posted are really all that you need to get good prints and make the printer reliable. Anything further than that you will be customizing the printer for a specific need that you have or want. As I write this followup my printer only has 2 things that are factory left on it; the heated bed PCB and the frame. I have replaced and upgraded every other part on the printer and even added dual color support through the single hotend. The guides were meant to get you started with the printer and to make it safer, these 2 posts did just that.

That is really all that I needed to say on the matter. There will be no other posts as I feel the ones already published cover the goal of the articles and anything further would not be applicable to everyone as people have different demands and needs for their individual printer.

If you need help and/or have questions please check out the Official Anet A8 Printer group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFFICIALAnet3DprinterSupportGroup. I help run this group now with a few other people and it is a great place to get help with your A8 or similar printers.

I will also be attending MidWest Rep Rap Fest so let me know if you will be there as well!

[TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 2 of 4 – Recommended Upgrades

Part 1 is here: [TTT] Getting started with 3D Printing with the Anet A8 Printer – Part 1 of 4 – Required Upgrades

The next part of this 4 part series is going to cover the recommended upgrades. These upgrades are not required to use the printer but will help your printer produce better, cleaner, and more accurate prints. I will go over what each one does and why it is beneficial.

Cooling Duct

The factory cooling duct is very simple and doesn’t fully cool all sides of the filament as it is extruding. This upgraded duct will ensure that there is 360 degrees of airflow going around the filament as it is being extruded. This will allow the filament to adhere and cool evenly as it is being extruded to the layers.

You can download it here from Thingiverse.


X Belt Holder

The factory way to attach the belt to the rear of the carriage is with 2 screws and a zip tie. This makes adjustment and belt replacement difficult. This holder allows you to easily adjust and remove the X axis belt by hand without any additional tools. I had this pre-printed from a friends printer before I even had the printer assembled. This made connecting the belt to the carriage much easier as well as getting the correct tension.

You can download it here from Thingiverse.


X and Y Tensioner

In addition to the upgraded mounting blocks I recommend in this post these other two addons make adjustment of the tension of bot the Y and X axis belts much easier. You can simply adjust the tension by turning the screws on the addons to change the belt tension. I should note that if you want to use the X tensioner you must cut the belt about 3″ longer than the Anet A8 guide recommends or just replace the belt with and GT2 style belt (Amazon)

You can download the X Tensioner and Y Tensioner from Thingiverse.


Y Belt Mounting and Clips

Lastly the Anet guide actually tells you to assemble the mounting plate upside down and this causes a shift and un-needed strain on the stepper motor and belt. Make sure the plate is mounted with the single bar down, not up. I have included a picture illistrating this. In addition to that you may want to print some upgraded mounting clips to further level the belt and replace the brittle acrylic ones that are included.

You can download the mounting clips from Thingiverse.

Correct Belt and Y Mounting Setup

I hope this has been helpful. If you need the parts printed and are near the Chicagoland area I would be glad to print some for fellow Anet A8 users. The next part will be coming tomorrow going over some enhancements and extras you can add on to make the printer even better. Until then have fun and let me know if you need any help!

Something Fun If You’re The “Tech Support” Of Your Family/Friends

If you are in IT you know how it is when your immediate and extended family are when they find out how savvy you are. As someone doing IT work for over a decade, I can relate to these. I did shamelessly steal these from BucksFeed, but let’s be honest, they steal all the content on their site anyways. Enjoy! Added a relevant video for your enjoyment.

1. Firstly, you only fell into the role because of your willingness to help.

HBO / Via giphy.com
HBO / Via giphy.com

2. And because of your kind and caring attitude, whenever you visit family there’s a list of tech-related chores waiting to be done.

Viacom International
Viacom International

3. But at least dealing with tasks in person is better than trying to give advice over the phone.

Columbia Pictures / Via imgur.com
Columbia Pictures / Via imgur.com

4. There is no worse fear than when an elderly relative asks you to set up a Facebook account for them.

imgur.com
imgur.com

5. People forgetting their passwords has become a prominent problem in your life.

Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com
Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

6. Hell, and some people even manage to forget their goddamn email address.

imgur.com
imgur.com

7. You’re used to family coming to you with extremely vague, nonsensical descriptions of their tech problems.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

8. Except when it comes to spelling out URLs, which is always done in full.

Vicki Reid / Getty Images
Vicki Reid / Getty Images

9. But their lack of knowledge doesn’t stop them from having strong opinions.

Focus Features / Via giphy.com
Focus Features / Via giphy.com

10. Or trying to do things you told them were impossible.

reddit.com
reddit.com

11. Sometimes, you’re even asked to fix things you have zero control over (like changing the Google Logo back).

NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal

12. When the time comes, you’re always the person everyone goes to for advice when buying new technology.

MTV
MTV

13. Advice which they then go ahead and completely ignore.

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

14. Which often leads to them needing help with more things.

Optimum Releasing / Via imgur.com
Optimum Releasing / Via imgur.com

15. And whenever anything goes wrong, the blame always falls on you.

imgur.com
imgur.com

16. Your family loves to boast to all their friends about how you’re “so good with computers”.

imgur.com
imgur.com

17. And on more than one occasion have offered your services out to others.

imgur.com
imgur.com

18. More often than not for tasks that are way beyond your level of knowledge.

TV Tokyo / Via imgur.com
TV Tokyo / Via imgur.com

19. Because, honestly, your solution is mostly just to Google the problem.

Google.com
Google.com

Preparing for the Chicago/Cook County eJuice Taxes – Get your nic fix without getting screwed

As most people in Cook County and Chicago know they are imposing a crazy high amount of taxation on our eJuice products. On the bright side, the eJuice with no nicotine is NOT subject to the taxes (source: CityOfChicago Website).

Why is this good? Because with a little common sense and proper preparation you can purchase the nicotine free ejuice and add the nicotine to whatever level you want. For simplicity’s sake I am going to use examples for 10ml, 15ml, 30ml, and 120ml bottle sizes with a nicotine base of 100MG.

Getting Started:

I am going to put this disclaimer up front here.

NICOTINE IS VERY DANGEROUS AND MUST BE HANDLED WITH CARE.

BE VERY CAREFUL THAT YOU MEASURE OUT THE CORRECT AMOUNT WHEN ADDING TO YOUR JUICE.

IF YOU SPILL ON YOURSELF OR ANY OTHER SURFACE WASH WITH SOAP AND WATER IMMEDIATELY.

I WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU GET SICK OR KILL SOMEONE/SOMETHING/YOURSELF.

Now that is out of the way lets get started. Here is what you will need to purchase. I am putting links to my recommended vendor as their shipping times and quality are very good.

  • Unflavored nicotine base (select your VG/PG level, I prefer 50VG/50PG to not disturb my blends)
    • 1000ML Size – Best Bang for the buck – BUY
    • <1000ML Size – Good for if you can’t swing the $50/1000ML – BUY
  • Good quality nitrile gloves
    • 5 pairs – BUY (You can buy these anywhere and in larger quantities, they are usually black or blue in color)
  • Various Syringes
    • Awesome Starter Kit – BUY

Actually Mixing:

Now that you have all the supplies all you need to do is setup a CLEAN area where if you spill you can easily clean up. Keep pets and kids away from this area while you have the nicotine out and especially when it is open.

Put on your gloves. Open the nicotine/ Measure out the amount for the desired nicotine level. Inject it into the bottle and shake. That’s it. The flavor will not be altered and you will have nicotine at the desired level in your juice!

Nicotine Easy Table (For using 100MG Strength Base)

1.5MG 3MG 4.5MG 6MG 12MG 18MG
10ML 0.15ML 0.3ML 0.45ML 0.6ML 1.2ML 1.8ML
15ML 0.23ML 0.45ML 0.68ML 0.9ML 1.8ML 2.7ML
30ML 0.45ML 0.9ML 1.35ML 1.8ML 3.6ML 5.4ML
120ML 1.8ML 3.6ML 5.4ML 7.2ML 14.4ML 21.6ML

 

I hope this is helpful for you and thanks for ready! Vape safe and vape on!

Taxing of eJuice in Chicago and Cook County

As you know I vape and I have 2 small ejuice brands that I have made in a lab that a business partner of mine runs. That being said because I care about vaping and it’s positive impacts it has had directly on people’s lives that I care about I tend to follow the news on what is happening.

Currently all vape devices and liquids (ejuice) are subject to the standard sales tax rate of all other items in retail stores. Right now since Cook County and Chicago are so far in the hole financially they are trying to fill that budget gap by gouging people that vape.

Here is what they are proposing:

Cook County is proposing a $0.20/ml tax on all liquids
Chicago is proposing a $0.25/ml tax on all liquids ON TOP OF THE COOK COUNTY TAX.

This means that if you buy a bottle of juice in Chicago you will be paying $0.45/ml in taxes on top of the price of the juice and sales taxes. For example the Equinox line that I launched a few months is a 120ml bottle for $35. With those new taxes that $35 bottle just became a $89 bottle of juice. The county and city are literally making more money off the juice than my lab, the distributor, and the shops that actually put the work in to sell the juice. This is absolutely infuriating.

Taxing legislation like this is only going to push people back to cigarettes that will just end up in more health problems and deaths from tobacco use. Not to mention that this will literally put all these shops (especially the ones in Chicago) OUT OF BUSINESS. Most of these shops are run by small business owners and they have said they will not be able to keep their doors open. On top of all that you are going to have people making juice on their own and selling it on a “black market” or sorts.

What can you do to stop this? You can CALL your aldermen and representatives and tell them that YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THIS. Explain WHY you do not support this and what negative impact it will have on the community. I have included information from the CASAA website here so you can get in touch with the right people.

Please also take a moment now to send emails and make phone calls to county commissioners. We have provided contact information and talking points below.
Cook County, IL
Board of Commissioners
Dist.
Commissioner
Phone
Email
1
Richard R. Boykin
(312) 603-4566
[email protected]
2
Robert Steele
(312) 603-3019
[email protected]
3
Jerry “Iceman” Butler
(312) 603 6391
[email protected]
4
Stanley Moore
(312) 603-2065
[email protected]
5
Deborah Sims
(312) 603 6381
[email protected]
6
Joan Patricia Murphy
(312) 603-4216
[email protected]
7
Jesus G. Garcia
(312) 603-5443
[email protected]
8
Luis Arroyo Jr.
(312) 603-6386
[email protected]
9
Peter N. Silvestri
(312) 603-4393
[email protected]
10
Bridget Gainer
(312) 603-4210
[email protected]
11
John P. Daley
(312) 603-4400
[email protected]
12
John A. Fritchey
(312) 603-6380
[email protected]
13
Larry Suffredin
(312) 603-6383
[email protected]
14
Gregg Goslin
(312) 603-4932
[email protected]
15
Timothy O. Schneider
(312) 603-6388
[email protected]
16
Jeffrey R. Tobolski
(312) 603-6384
[email protected]
17
Sean M. Morrison
(312) 603-4215
[email protected]

 

Comma delimited email list:

 

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

 

1) Ostensibly, taxes on traditional cigarettes are intended to discourage use. However, due to the fact that e-cigarettes and other smoke-free tobacco products are estimated to be 99% less harmful than smoking, discouraging use is counter to goals of reducing smoking rates.

 

2) Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach; Public Health England (the government public health agency) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update).

 

3) Sin taxes are regressive. The smoking population, those switching to vaping, is disproportionately made up of poor and low-income people. Sin taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group.

 

4) Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring counties that do not have a similar tax. Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals, sending even more money out of the community. Local businesses will not be able to compete, be forced to close their doors, and jobs will be lost. This is bad for the county and will result in less revenue, not more.

 

5) It is important to note that vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax.

 

6) Taxing e-cigarettes in a manner similar to how cigarettes are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different products present similar risks.  The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.

Sources:

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/09/chicago-il-local-alert-oppose-extra.html

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/10/cook-co-il-oppose-e-cigarette-taxes-in.html

http://www.cookcountyil.gov/2015/10/14/preckwinkle-presents-fy-2016-executive-budget-recommendation/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-emanuel-budget-town-halls-0825-20150824-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-electronic-cigarette-tax-met-20150910-story.html