View Full Version : Cube/Cube2 Cartridge Filament Salvage

11-08-2018, 11:28 PM
No, this is not a duplication. I purchased a lot of 3 Cube 2 ABS cartridges from eBay for cheap. This are 2 Tan and 1 Neon Green.

History: I cannot find an ABS worth its salt for the Cube 3. I was watching Fugatech's YouTube vids and he mentioned something interesting...
According to the Fugatech tech (what's you name?), the 3DS ABS is actually a formulation that requires lower temps. Is this true? Who knows. I just know that I can get perfect prints even on very old (2013) 3DS ABS. This lot was from 2015.

I do like this tan color. Not quite cardboard and definitely not too pink. Let's see how this works out for statues and things.
The neon green is as always... loud!

Okay, a review to follow...

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I also learned what not to do with the winder tool...


Turns out these cartridges are very loosely wound like the CubeX cartridges. Pulling the filament from the cartridge just locked it up very quickly. I don't know how this doesn't happened in their respective printers.
In this case, it exploded the cardboard spool inside the housing. I went an manually wound it from the center of the spool so that it would minimize the re-winding stress.
Took a while, not quiet as tight as I'd like, but I got most of the Tan spool loaded onto the Cube3 spool. That was a fail but a good lesson.

I did load up the neon green onto another Cube3 spool. This time with the winder. I removed one side of the cartridge covers and held the other half with the cardboard spool flange against my thumb to add a little resistance. This worked much better although it does put the large OD from the cardboard spool at the small diameter of the Cube3 spool. I suspect it will survive the bending stress as this material is very supple. The nice thing about this wind; the entire Cube2 spool fits on the Cube3 spool.

First things first; look at the de-duster incorporated in the case...


...of course, it has the very same chip as all the other 3DS carts.

The filament weight it right at 2/3 lbs. I measured 3/4lb with the cardboard spool. A little more with a full Cube3 spool.


What's in the box: A vacuum sealed cartridge...


To open, just peel it apart starting at the top of the arc.

So there you have it. A full spool of 3DS Cube 2 cartridge will fill completely a Cube 3 cartrridge.
A CubeX cartridge will fill the Cube 3 spool maybe 1-1/2 times.

I also wouldn't rule out harvesting PLA this way as 3DS PLA is still exhibits extremely good print definition.
However, be careful about the age of PLA. These will be a little more susceptible to aging.

This is definitely a good thing to keep in your eBay search list. CubeX is easy to search, but the Cube 2 carts require a little more work to find.

I think I finally got my ABS conundrum resolved in a less than conventional manner.
This lot cost me $30 for almost 1kg, delivered. The CubeX cost me more due to shipping costs but still well worthwhile.
Everyday cost is about $25 for 1/2kg delivered in the CubeX cartrides.
Still a whole lot better than buying new Cube 3 cartridges.

Be careful though! There is now a 3rd party making Cube 2 and CubeX cartridges.
I bet some sellers are "recharging" cartridges too and adding questionable filaments.

And as a bonus, for those who have ventured into the chip-rewriting camp... you get a free chip with every cartridge!
BTW: I have a couple of non-cube3 chips I would ship to any USA address.
With Tomaro's advanced code, you should be able to rewrite them to Cube 3 chips.

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Yesterday I confirmed the weight of the Cube 3 spool... a whopping 5.5 oz! The cardboard spool is 2 oz for the Cube2 carts.

So either cartridge holds roughly 10 oz of filament... which is less than a 1/3 of a kilogram.
Put another way, you can fill up a Cube3 cartridge 3-1/2 times with a kilogram of filament :)

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===update 11/8/18=====
Now to try some salvage PLA from a Cube2 cartridge. This one is pretty old as in Sept'13. It was sealed but the box was beat to a pulp.

Remember that this process was to buy 3DS ABS since that seems to be the only ABS that works well with the default slicer settings.
As for PLA, in this case, it was the right price and I need to learn how long the Cube2 or CubeX/CubePro PLA cartridges remain viable.
I do like the vibrant colors of stock 3DS PLA filaments.

11-09-2018, 10:45 PM
I have harvested ABS from cube 2 carts to use in my pro. worked well. all the cube 2 pla i found was suuuuuper brittle even if sealed.

11-10-2018, 05:35 PM
Yea, that's what I'm afraid of. Certainly not rewinding it! Looks okay on the spool for now.

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Lucky draw I suppose.

The 3DS orange PLA is holding up. It is from 2013.
Notice the creative spool adapter... Those cardboard spools are seriously weak.
I need to make a dedicated spool hub adapter for the Cube2 spools.


11-10-2018, 07:02 PM
thats a pretty good solution. something that can grip the cardboard and spin on itself. the cardboard has a good amount of friction if i recall.

11-11-2018, 12:32 AM
Those parts were from my spool winder (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3012630) and the bolt/nut (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3016607) set on Thingiverse. I'm whipping up a dedicated set for this spool.

The glue that holds these flanges together is very bad. Inside the cartridge case, they cannot go anywhere... but out in the open air, all bets are off.
That's the reason for the blue tape on the spool.

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How about something like this...


I could see a nice compact little spool being made with that.

11-12-2018, 05:10 PM
yeah, that looks very nice!

11-12-2018, 10:09 PM
Here are some parts...

Makes for a nice CD flanged spool!
Actually, it is designed so you can make any size flange but the idea is managing small spools.


Basically, you can make any spool with this by making your own flanges.
I like the hex bolt in the center because it does as some cogging while unspooling.
Works great on bamboo skewers.


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It just keeps getting better :)


The 3D printed nut can stay in the cartridge and the stud can be screwed in anytime.

Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3211767)... and Thingiverse (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3016607)

And for the price of another 1/2" hole, I like it!

11-12-2018, 11:48 PM
Oh dear... Why do you have to keep doing these amazing things that make me want to print them immediately!

That looks stunning!

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How do I make that bolt longer on Thingiverse? I have everything laid out on my build plate but need a longer bolt!

11-13-2018, 01:21 AM
I'm working on a stud.

I was thinking that it is easy enough to take bolt-bits and splice them in Meshmixer.

Since the pitch is 13, it is 1/13" increments to match up the threads.

I've placed the hole in the case to take the unflanged hex nut.
This way it can sit in the pocket to keep it from spinning when the cartridge is fully assembled.

Here's a 3.25" bolt... Print them in pairs to give layers time to cool. Also easy to trim up in Meshmixer.

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Okay, hate me some more :)


Again, print in pairs... sidewalk included in the print.


Something is not finding my images...

11-13-2018, 03:24 AM
Oh that is cold... real cold... But also amazing at the same time!

Thank you for those. Prints commencing in t-5min

The attachment isn't showing up in this thread for me but I am reasonably confident that it is the exact same one as you just posted in the universal hub thread.

01-09-2019, 11:17 PM
I'm running it now. The stock guide tube helps manage the spool well enough even full. You just cannot get to the cartridge release clips. You have to remove the nut. I can live with that :) Maybe a quick-spinner?

I like the fact that the post is easily removable without loosing the nut. That would ruin an otherwise very portable system.
Place the hole for the post carefully if you want the nut to wedge into place when installing the post.
Or you can always make up a custom nut that meets your already cut hole of course :)

Enjoy Bob!

Oh, you can always print those custom flanges :)

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Opened up a Cube 2 Magenta ABS cartridge from Oct 2013 making it 5+ years old.
This is about the same age as the red CubeX cartridge.

At 5+ years, ABS gets "dry". Not brittle-dry, but something in the molecular chain will have broken down.
The magenta prints well and good, but the first layer has an irrational hold on Cube Glue.
The first layer only has a dubious hold on the second layer indicating poor layer to layer adhesion, but it overcomes this through the print.

The color is of course excellent. Basically a super hot pink with print definition. 3DS does shine there.

Got some 3DS metallic gold coming my way! Looking forward to testing that.
Got some configs to compare since they are managed in separate sections of the slicer config files.
This might help me with the metallic silver too.

01-21-2019, 11:03 PM
there is some real cheap filament from the earlier cubes being sold here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-Systems-Cube-Filament-Cartridge-Asst-Colors-ABS-1-75mm-NISB/173730485507?hash=item287324d503:m:mBV9l5qMKAO-uVKj65Y8Ujg:rk:9:pf:0

for those who can reprogram the chips, you can write them as cube 3 chips ;-) ;-)

01-21-2019, 11:31 PM
Keep an eye on the date. These are well past their prime or even secondary usability levels.

Price for price, you do get 2-1/2 times as much on the CubeX/CubePro carts.

I paid $10 delivered for a Cube2 PLA cartridge.
That was a reasonable deal and does function as long as you don't re-spool it.
These would cost me $20 and for a little more I can get the CubeX carts instead.
And they too have the same chip.

Looking forward to receiving the CubePro flexible filament!
Any odds on being able to run it on the Cube3?

01-22-2019, 09:27 AM
You can always pick one of these and fit your outdated spools inside :D

01-22-2019, 06:20 PM
It is not moisture, it is a breakdown of the molecular chain. ABS is really bad after 5 years.
But for other exotics, certainly a food dehydrator would be excellent to have.
Nylon for instance.