Thanks Thanks:  4
Likes Likes:  3
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    Post Thanks / Like

    Post Use Standard M6 Extruders (Hotends) on the Cube 3

    Cube 3 Standardized Parts Modification
    This is still a work-in-progress. We'll call it the beta release. I'd honestly wait until I can get the pictures uploaded to carry this out, but if you're feeling adventurous...

    A large issue I had with my original Cube 3 Printer was the use of proprietary parts from 3DSystems. The 3 proprietary filament cartridges I received with my printer (one was a replacement for the original cartridges) were all bad—they cracked easily, and would break on their own in the feeder. The tubes would puncture, and the tips were constantly clogging. These were all PLA—I hadn’t even tried ABS, with these. (I eventually did, and it wasn’t any better for me)

    To me, it appeared that there were a long list of issues that stemmed from all of these custom, proprietary pieces from 3DSystems, of which the largest issues were:
    • Users want to use our own filaments.
    • The proprietary tubing system is prone to breaks and punctures.
    • The hotends are prone to clogging, and breaking. They are not easy to replace
    • The parts used in the aforementioned points are not easy to source for replacements, and are equally as difficult to replace.

    Naturally, this progressed to the question of How can we replace the parts from the Cube 3 to use standardized M6 parts, just like most other 3D printers? How would it be possible to take an otherwise-functional Cube 3 printer that has no filament cartridges, and turn it into something usable without the purchase of any proprietary parts?

    To accomplish this goal, I noted the issues at hand, and created a list of what would need to be replaced to create a system that is easily reparable and uses parts that are readily available.

    Parts that would need to be replaced and modified to accomplish this:
    • Extruder
    • Hotend
    • Tubing
    • Feeder assembly
    • Extruder placement detector

    Here's the shopping list for those parts.
    If you already have some of these or you have access to them (like the drill...)—there's no need to order that part

    1. M6 Volcano Extruders
    2. M6 Pneumatic Connectors
    3. M6 Round Connector Nuts
    4. M6 Metal Protruder tube
    5. 2x4mm Teflon Tubing
    6. 2x3mm Teflon Tubing
    7. M6 Drill Tap
    8. Magnetic Bit Extensions
    9. Small Screwdriver set
    10. Gorilla Super Glue
    11. Metric Drill Bit Set
    12. Power Drill

    There were other factors that had to be considered, also:
    • Heat dissipation (if we lose too much heat, the prints will fail and the hotends will clog. If not enough heat is dissipated, the feeding tubes will clog. There’s a precise middle ground that needs to be hit.)
    • Susceptibility to clogging
    • Minimal assembly and modification
    • Cost of parts and replacements can’t be as much as the proprietary ones

    So, with that mission in mind, I’ve finally gotten this working. It’s taken a lot of money (I’ve killed a couple of printers in this process by mistake), work, thought, and time (over four months) to get this right. But it was fun, and I think it was worth the effort. So then, let’s get started!

    Oh… and one more thing. If you continue with this operation, do it with the assumption that you’re willing to lose complete functionality of the printer you’re modifying. ASSUME YOU WILL BREAK YOUR PRINTER IN THIS PROCESS. Don’t assume you can fix it—I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to fix the damages I caused to my printers, and as a result, I’ve got two Cube 3 machines that will need to be converted to reprap in order to live again. To me, this was an acceptable risk. I can’t make this decision for you, though. But when you decide, do so with the assumption that you’re going to render your printer unusable.

    Also, I've tasted this with ABS but haven't gotten it fully working. I haven't had more time to work on this, but it does work for a while, so I'd presume this could be made to work.

    Let’s get started…

    Hotend modification:

    1. Unplug your printer.
    2. Remove any stock cartridges and hotends.
    3. Using the superglue and the small screwdrivers, apply one drop of superglue to the flat tip of the screwdriver and use it to press in the cartridge detector button from the top of the hotend insert slot.
    4. Using a thin, flat-head screwdriver (or something similar), pry off the bottom cover of the printhead assembly to expose the aluminum heating element.
    5. Clamp onto bottom of the aluminum hotend with the pliers/wrench. From the top, drill straight through each hole—straight down with the m6 bit. Hold on tight to the bottom, and reverse the drill out of the hole. The pliers is needed to not break the aluminum heating blocks—they’re really fragile.
    6. Take your volcano extruders. Drill a hole 10mm deep into them using a 3mm drill bit.
    7. Remove the inside tubing from your metal piping, feed a piece of 2x3mm teflon tubing that you cut in the previous step into the metal piping until it can’t go in any further. Cut the tubing 15mm longer than the metal piping.
    8. Take the hotend that you just drilled out, put the extended side of the 2mm-3mm tubing into the hotend (you may need to widen the edges a bit). Very slowly cut away excess tubing, 0.5mm at a time. In the end, the tube should have a snug fit in the hotend, but it shouldn’t have excessive pressure on it or it will crimp and clog.
    9. Take the tube out of the hotend, but leave it in the threaded metal piping.
    10. Begin screwing the hot end into the bottom of the heaters
    11. Once the hotted is barely through, place a connector nut into the top of the heating element. Hold the connector in place and screw the hot end in until the connector nut is resting on the bottom of the element, and the hotted can’t rotate any further.
    12. Take the pneumatic connector, attach a connector nut to the side without the tube, and attach the narrow side of the metal tube to it.
    13. Screw the part you assembled in step 11 into the hotend.
    14. Repeat for the other side
    15. Cut a piece of 2x4mm of equal length to the original (~250mm). Use this piece to connect the hotend assembly to the filament cartridge.

    Follow-up steps.

    1. Turn on your printer.
    2. Level the bed
    3. Calibrate the z-gap manually (mine needs to be -2.71).
    4. Purge the print jets
    5. Feed your new filament into the hotend once it’s up to temperature.
    6. Cancel the purge after you get filament flowing through
    7. Run a test print

    That’s it! I have pictures that I'll upload once I get them organized. If you have any questions, or anything in the text is unclear, please let me know and I'll re-write it (I've fallen ill, so I'm definitely not writing at my pinnacle).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    [Reserved for potential future use]

    - - - - - - - - - -

    [Reserved for potential future use]

  2. Thanks TommyDee, ztoddman1, zugok, bolsoncerrado thanked for this post
    Likes ztoddman1, zugok, bolsoncerrado liked this post
  3. #2
    3D Printer Noob
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Post Thanks / Like
    I will love to see this hotend mod pictures sice I was planning to use bowden extruder for my cube3

  4. #3
    Regular 3D Printer
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Post Thanks / Like
    Anxiously awaiting!

  5. #4
    Regular 3D Printer
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Post Thanks / Like
    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

    Excellent work!

    IMHO, the 3DS proprietary tubing system compromised reliability to ascetics, and it seems like they never tested it with old filament....doh!

    This is a impressive mod. Looking forward to pictures and successful tests.

    Here is a link to smaller nozzle sizes, .2 .25 .3 Could not find a .35 size.

  6. #5
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yep thats the keyword here: OLD filament vs the Cube3 and not an easy job to unclog the machine...

    Great job Adam!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. #6
    3D Printer Noob
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Post Thanks / Like
    Dang this is awesome! I can't wait to see some pics of this! The people of this community will eventually get this printer to be a "standardized" printer lol.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts