Anycubic ‘D’ Predator Smart Effector Upgrade

So its been a while since I’ve updated you on the status of my predator. Since changing over to a duet, I have a number of further changes to my machine.

The upgrade I’m going to concentrate on in this post is the installation of a duet smart effector. With changing this part I am also forced to upgrade to an E3D V6 all metal hot end, which for me is better, as the one supplied by anycubic is limited to a maximum temperature of 260 degrees Celsius.

So what does changing to a smart effector gain you? I would say there are three main advantages.

  • It makes it easier to change your delta arms to mag mount versions later down the line of the type produced by Haydn.
  • The hotend is now the Z probe. The smart effector has a piezo switch built into it that then uses the pressure of the hotend touching the bed to trigger it. This allows you to call a probing routine whenever you wanted without having to install an extra switch.
  • The smart effector is made from a PCB so it is nice and lightweight but also strong.

To be able to use the smart effector with our machine, a number of extra parts are required if you aren’t going to be changing the arms straight away. I’ve modelled all of the parts required and made them available on thingiverse.

You’ll need to print

  • 1 x converter
  • 3 x fan brackets
  • And 1 of each fan duct. It’s designed in a way that you can choose how many of the fans you fit. I have all 3 installed on mine.
  • You’ll also need
  • 12 x M3 nuts
  • 12 x M3 x 20 screws
  • 6 x M3 x 6 screws
  • 3 x 5015 radial fans
  • 3 x M4 x 30mm screws
  • 3 x M4 nuts.

Make sure you’ve assembled the smart effector as instructed on the wiki.

Start off by running a tap down the 6 mounting holes in the converter for the smart effector. Then mount the smart effector to the converter and secure in place using 6 of the M3 x 20 screws. They do thick out the underside of the converter a fair bit, but that is because we will use them later to mount the fan brackets. Now mount the converter to the 6 arms using the other 6 M3 x 20 screws and the 6 x M3 nuts. You can do this either with the arms attached to the machine or with them removed. Make sure the screws are done up nice and tight so they don’t come loose. Then tap the 2 inner holes on each fan bracket using an M3 tap. Mount the fan duct to the to the fan bracket using the M3 x 6 screws, followed by the radial fan to the bracket using M4 x 30 screws. Repeat for the other 2 assemblies. Finally, mount the fans in the correct position under on the smart effector. Each fan should be wired in parallel and plugged into the part cooling fan port on the smart effector. See below for photos of it installed

For the wiring on the predator to the smart effector, I actually ripped out what was originally there and installed a new harness. This is due to requiring extra cables etc. Just follow the guide on the wiki and you’ll be fine.

Also remember to make the changes to the firmware for the probe and to retune the hotend using M303.


  1. Hello! beautiful your guides and also very useful! I have already installed the Wi-Fi duet and now I wanted to install the Smart effector, but I can’t find the guide with the wiring! can you help me?

      1. thank you! it is not clear to me where the 4 wires of the z sensor must be inserted on the duet board! now I only have 2! can you help me?

        1. You should have 4 cables, pin numbers 5 to 8 on the 8 pin molex connector.
          They connect to the z probe connector on the duet.
          Wiring diagram for that is here

          1. Hi, thanks for the quick replies. I got all the material to proceed with the changes. I saw that you installed 3 fans for cooling the walls. how did you link them?
            on the effector there are 3 inputs but one is used for the hot fan.

  2. Hi jay. Do you have any Comparison prints from the stock effector to the Duet. I know you have done some changes in-between like the arms and such. Just wondering if you are happy with the improvement mods?

    1. Hi Ryan,
      I have a benchy or two which I printed before I upgraded everything so I will print another one tonight and then do a small write up.
      Hopefully, this should answer your questions.

      1. Oh thats great would love to see the difference.
        Also, What IS the stock print head on the predator? Is it terrible out of the box?
        I am thinking of compiling a list of priority upgrades for mine ( when it arrives), looking at a e3d Volcano. Have you changed yours from the V6 with the effector mod you did? Were you limited by the duet to only use the v6 or just your preference? Cheers

        1. Hi Ryan, I’m still working on tweaking my machine to get the prints just right so I will do some comparison pictures soon.
          I went with the v6 because I’ve used them in the past without issue. I believe you can use other types of hot end too but I just did it for ease.
          If I was doing it again, I would go with a volcano hot end. I’ve actually upgraded my other printer to a volcano using this kit and will be writing a post about it shortly.
          I aim to order another one of these to fit to the predator but at the moment I am running it with the e3d v6.
          I’m currently printing parts (for a smuff) in ABS without any warping going on, which is nice.

  3. Hey Jay great article. I am new to the 3d world and still waiting for my Anycubic Predator to arrive. Are you aware of upgrades that will allow printing using other filaments like nylon, carbon fiber etc?

    1. I’d probably look at changing the hot end as a minimum. The original one has a PTFE liner so no good for anything more than PLA really.
      That’ll allow you to use a hardened steel nozzle then.
      I would probably think about the bed surface as well. I binned off my ultrabase ages ago so I’m not sure how it fares with the more exotic stuff.

      1. Thank you Jay. I was thinking of glass bed not sure if that is best and if there is a specific type of glass to be used. The hot end I have no clue which one will be best for this printer, and best place to buy them and the hardened ends required. Based on reviews I have seen I will need to upgrade part cooler and build an enclosure.

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