ANET Mainboard 3D Printer Controller and why it rocks

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Anet 3D Printers are quickly becoming a popular choice for 3D Printers. These 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. The manufacturer is continually upgrading their models as I am now seeing ones with Autobed leveling and Mold Injected Parts.

So, what is so special about the ANET controller board?

Well, a couple of 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 this Controller Board. This really made the ANET a great and cheap solution to control your 3D Printer. This lets you control things like esteps, auto bed leveling (ABL), PID Tuning, and much more.

It gained so much recognition that on June 25th 2017 the controller board was officially added to the Marlin Firmware boards.h file and is fully supported 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 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. If the motors are too loaded for your liking simply add some stepper dampers, these take the noise right out.

Its 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 than the most commonly used RAMPS Boards. The 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.


Marlin Firmware 1.1 has been released and it now includes the anet mainboard in its configuration file! The Skynet firmware instructions are still best for uploading the firmware to the board.

You can also find the Arduino Board Drivers here: https://github.com/SkyNet3D/anet-board

Check out our Marlin Guide for Beginners to learn how to configure your 3D Printer with this amazing open-source firmware.

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Garrett Dunham

A trained Mechanical Engineer and lifelong tinker, Garrett chose to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's engineering proram because they had a 3D printer... back when they were called "rapid prototypers". "The first time I held something I designed and 3D printed, my mind exploded. Just hours earlier my idea was just a thought - and now it's a thing I'm holding." Now, years later, Garrett brings his love of tinkering, inventing, engineering, and 3D printing to the Makershop community.

8 thoughts on “ANET Mainboard 3D Printer Controller and why it rocks”

  1. The only issue I had with this board after almost 8 months of use is that the Z-drive goes faulty due to a small surface mount capacitor os approx 100nF going out of tolerance and causing the steppers on th Z axis to only go up !

    My remedy was to replace the faulty capacitor , rather crudely with a conventional type soldered to the pads of the removed capacitor. Now there is no problem and all is well.

    Location of the capacitor is in the cluster next to the Board and Extruder thermistor connections, i think its the middle one if memory serves me well.

  2. can anet a8 mother board be used on a delta 3d printer, as I have a Semi U delta which I have never been able to get working with a ardrino ramps and the makers have gone bust so theirs no one I can ask, please let me know one way or the other, thanks john wilkinson.

    • Hey John,
      If you configure Marlin Firmware on the Anet Mainboard and the print area is relatively small then in theory it should work just fine like other 8-bit boards. The board is cheap enough to give it a shot or I would also recommend an MKS Gen 1.4 that’s in the same price range…
      If you want to step it up you can check out some 32-bit boards and run Marlin 2.0.
      We have some posts on 8-bit and 32-bit boards you can compare. Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck!

  3. “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.” I was recently told you can’t tune the amps? Can you link me to a tutorial as I recently purchased a new stepper motor but it’s running hot? Thanks!

    • Hi Cameron,
      Have you tried configuring DIGIPOT_MOTOR_CURRENT in Marlin Configuration_adv.h file?
      Line 489: //#define DIGIPOT_MOTOR_CURRENT { 135,135,135,135,135 } // Values 0-255 (RAMBO 135 = ~0.75A, 185 = ~1A)
      Uncomment and set values X, Y, Z, E1, E2

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