The main things that I would like to upgrade on the Anet ET5X printer, if possible (if this one works) are:
Upgrade to a newer board like the Ender v2
Convert to Direct Drive
Does anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish these tasks, or what I parts I should look into?
Backstory: I just (re)ordered the anet et5x. I already had bought one, but it was defective, so I returned it. I thought about getting a different printer after this unfortunate experience, but I decided to give anet another chance. The problem last time I ordered this model; it was missing parts and the hot end was not heating up. I thought that I was saving a few bucks by ordering a used one, but it turned out to be a dud (I contacted Anet, but it was actually from the dealer “iprinter” who I became quite dissapointed with and based in China, and so I chose to return through Amazon and order one from the Anet USA distributor in TX. What I like about this model printer (my first one), is the large size, and price ($270). When I was setting up the defective printer, I watched Dr Vax’s review and setting up the Anet ET4, and also loading Marlin on the board, which were both super helpful, and informative.
It is kind of funny. Around 3 to 4 years ago, when I started 3D printing, all low end printer were direct drive.
Especially the crappy Anet A8. Why? Because it simply was cheaper. Just one assembly at the tool head and done. No tubing, no connectors for tubing, no extra mount on the frame for the extruder.
The first thing everyone was doing, was adding a bowden setup, because the print quality got improved a lot by that.
Today, almost all printers come with a bowden setup as default. Things got cheaper over the years, so more features like that got added by default. However the first thing the people are doing now, is converting them into a direct drive.
Basically the frames got better, resulting in less wobble. Most printers from the past were made from acrylic, cheap thin metal or use wooden parts. The rest is still the same. It does not matter is a printer is 8 bit or 32 bit or the motors being stronger, the stepper being more silent. There is simply nothing else than that.
I produced amazing prints with the AnetA8 and its shitty acrylic frame, because I installed frame stabilizers and other stuff to compensate for that frame weakness and a bowden setup.
Bowden still has the same advantages than it had in the past: The tool head has less weight to carry and you can print faster without loosing quality. This change in weight allows to change the direction faster.
It also has the same side effects as retraction needs to be tunes in perfectly and flexible filaments are harder to print, but possible.
Another fun fact: More or less no one is trying to convert a shaking bed printer into a CoreXY, as the weight of the bed has the same problems in Y direction, as the extruder on the X carriage. Changing the bed direction and its momentum are hitting the same gap and causing the same problems as direct extruders. In fact a bed is more heavy than a x carriage.
Honestly. The question should not only be a question of conversion of a printer into a direct drive setup, but also into a CoreXY bowden setup.
Sure, but a static frame does not solve issues like vibrations and flex in the belts. The printers are more stable, but technically those printers are the same as all modern printers with a shaking bed. No real innovation there. Thats another thing I don´t get. People sell and buy new printers always asking which one is the best. The truth is unless you change the type of printer (Resin, CoreXY, Delta) the print result will be the same. Only expensive ones with linear rails or real automatic three point bed leveling make a real difference in quality and/or comfort.
So I wound up contacting Anet and ordered a silent board made for the etx5 pro to drop in my etx5 when it gets here. It was another 40 bucks so my total is now only about 300. Seems like good deal. It looks like a clone of the ender a10. I am excited to try it, probably will wait to do the direct drive until I sort out the options and do a little more research.