It's no secret that the Anet A8s stock hotend is only a step above a hot glue gun in terms of suitability for 3D printing, so many people change it out for an E3D system but those are huge! Surely there must be another option?
Well, if you can get your hands on a Creality hotend for a decent price, this solid, light, and compact direct drive hotend might just be what you are looking for!
--- All of these parts print in their provided orientation and require no supports or rafts. I would recommend printing these parts in PETG or better, but they should do absolutely fine in PLA as the hotend fan shroud is designed to bleed small amounts of air between the heatbreak and the shroud, keeping it cool.
**It is absolutely vital to this and other similar designs, that the back surface of the main plate is smooth and level** This is because the linear bearings mount directly to this surface and will bind or wear the rods if it is not mounted flat. I recommend printing on glass for a flat surface and increasing the bottom layers and infill on this part to prevent warping over time.
After printing the hotend cage, you will need to snip away the small piece of plastic that covers the hex nut on the Creality hotend that holds in the heatbreak. This part is simply there to allow supportless printing. The part to remove is shown in red below; !(https://i.imgur.com/bzTztEM.jpg)
--- For the most part, this design uses the hardware that comes with the A8, however, in addition, you will need;
* 6x M3 hex nuts * 2x M3 20mm bolt to mount the hotend to the hotend cage (Make sure these do not protrude from the back of the holes) * 4x M3 15mm bolts to mount the hotend cage top the main assembly (Make sure these do not protrude from the back of the holes)
**Why the 30mm blower fan?**
--- Partly because it matches the profile of the extruder, but mostly because it's what came with my second hand Creality hotend. I have left that side of the extruder almost completely blank so you could easily mount any other cooling system of your choice.
**Additional part sources**
--- * Fan guard from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1908733. I would recommend a fan guard as your hand comes close to the fan while operating the extruder. * The fan duct is a simple mod of https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2814127