Making LED Printer Nozzle Lights Cheap

Anet A8 compatible LED lights



As far as the most basic upgrade you can do to your 3D printer, adding a strip LED is one of the easiest. Since the Anet A8 provides 12 volts, you will need to have some kind of a resistor. If you plugged in just any old 12 volt light, you could really drag down the available amperage to your machine.

Pulling too many amps away from the already anaemic power supply can cause a few different issues. One of the first is the amount of time the printer takes to heat up the bed and the extruder. Pulling any more than 1-2 amps will not necessarily cause any problems but that is probably the safe limit.

This LED strip guide will point you in the direction of the LEDs on a strip. They are able to be cut AND they have built in resistors. Another great part of the strip LEDs is that they are adhesive backed AND you can solder them. That's right you can solder them. You can even tin them before soldering.

Since this specific LED strip can be cut into sections of 3, we can measure the amperage usage and find that only 3 LEDs have an ULTRA low power consumption of only 16 Milliamps! You could wrap your Anet like a christmas tree with these! Just do the math and find that to stay safe under 1 amp, (1,000 Miliamps), you could have 62 sets of 3 lights. Or, about 187 individual lights.

As far as powering the LED strip, you can connect directly to your power supply using any one of the negatives or positives that are available If none are available or they all have wires connected, you can simply loosen the set screws and push the wires underneath the existing wires. Always pull on the wires gently after tightening them down to make sure they are seated well. Always make sure the printer is powered off before loosening the screws. LED lights are polarity sensitive. If you reverse the connections coming from the power supply, it will instantly destroy the LED strip. Positive and negative from the power supply to positive and negative on the LED.

Anet A8 power supply

STL Files

Thingiverse STL link for light case and lens

Steps

  1. Download and print the STL files for light case and lense.
  2. Push the 22 or 24 guage wire through the light case.
  3. Tin the LED strip then the wire ends.
  4. Solder wire.Red to positive and Black to negative.Positive and negative are clearly marked on LED strip.
  5. Carefully peel adhesive from LED and place into case. Make sure solder points for negative and positive are not touching once installed.
  6. Cut a strip of 3M VHB adhesive to the back of the case.
  7. Add optional switch and plug into power supply of printer (with printer powered OFF).
Anet free LED upgrade guide

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