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  1. #1
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    The Ekocycle Cube Thread

    This is intended be a thread to discuss/share information about the 3D Systems Ekocycle Cube -- the poor cousin of the Cube 3.

    Apparently the Ekocube was developed for Coca-Cola under the direction of Will.I.Am, who was (is?) working for 3DS on recycling issus. My understanding is about 300 units were made.

    The Ekocube and Cube 3 share the same hardware. The only difference is labeling, and firmware. The Ekocube is restricted by its firmware to using Ekocube (only) filament cartridges containing around 25% recycled pop bottles. Only PLA and ABS were available, in limited colors.

    All the wonderful ideas, hacks and accessories discussed in the Cube3 forum can be applied to the Ekocube, but with some differences. Hence this separate thread.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing the backstory John. I have never even seen these on sale.

    I do like the red lights though

    The one firmware difference is that the EkoCycle doesn't have the 70um resolution, correct?

  3. #3
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    Yes - you are correct. No 70um for the Eko.
    Also, my comment above about PLA and ABS is wrong. The Eko cartridges are "PETG" - whatever that is!

    Some other differences I've noticed:

    - the Cube 3 is faster on setup actions.
    Auto-level: Eko = 2 minutes; Cube = 40 seconds
    Auto-gap: Eko = 1 minute; Cube = 36 seconds

    - when I printed using the right side on the Eko, it never moved the printhead over the right side wiper. When it primed, instead of dumping into the catch bin, it dribbled out about a half inch to the left. When I print using the left cartridge, it wipes the printhead as it should.

    I'll try to notice other differences as I play around with it.

    I wonder if the Ekocycles were not offered to the public, since they were tied in with Coca-Cola trademarks and such.
    Last edited by JohnTee; 03-15-2018 at 03:12 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTee View Post
    The Eko cartridges are "PETG" - whatever that is!
    Soda bottles are made from PETE. PETG is more appropriate for 3D printing. Both are derivatives of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) with different additives to make them more suited to their purposes. So it looks like they are mixing approximately 25% recycled PETE with PETG. You can print PETG with the Cube 3 although it is not an option in Cube Print software. I posted about it elsewhere.

  5. #5
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    The Ekocycle printers were given to schools for FRC robotics teams. We would have rather been given a pile of plastic to carve parts out of than these printers.

  6. #6
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    Our team got one and we arn't even part of a school and never have been.

  7. #7
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    Interesting. We have seen some odd motion behavior on some machines. Not sure what to attribute that too. You'd think that if the hardware was fine, any FW upgrade would overwrite a wrong bit or two. I once had a replacement Cube 3 take on an 8mm shift near the end of a very long print. It went back! It was a warrantee machine so I wanted nothing to do with a printer that was going to be unreliable after this much effort (filament and time expense). And the replacement is still my primary printer.

    There were a lot of updates to the Cube 3 code over the year. Many were performance updates. I wonder if they quietly stopped supporting the EkoCycle before that. The little test print is certainly from an earlier version of the slicer. This may actually be a benefit on the EkoCycle because one update took out some "apparently random hesitations" ...
    And I still have that 3D Builder variation on Marvin using ABS and an anomalous M$ provided slicer (authored by 3DS).
    How is the EkoCycle in printing the loop on Marvin?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyDee View Post

    How is the EkoCycle in printing the loop on Marvin?
    I have not yet printed Marvin, or Benchy for that matter. I did print one of MajorOCD's printhead from Thingverse. It came out ok after some manual cleanup.

    Thanks, MegaloDon, for clarifying PET-G. My printer asks for PET-G sometimes when I try to print from a USB file. CubePrint really seems wonky to me, in the way it decides what material and extruder to use!

    That's a quite informative article from matterhackers, TommyDee. They have several others I found to be helpful - such as the one about moisture, materials and drying.

    I'm having a hard time finding out how to get ahold of a ReCube Pro... Any hints? (I have the files for the ReCube Lite.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTee View Post
    I did print one of MajorOCD's printhead from Thingverse.
    FYI, I am MajorOCD on Thingiverse.

  10. #10
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    Well! Thank you very much for that Nifty Nozzle, Sir!!


    - - - - - - - - - -

    I finally printed Marvin.
    This is Ekocycle filament (my only choice!). I think it did a fairly credible job - the loop doesn't look too bad to me.
    What's your take?

    P1080086.jpg P1080087.jpg P1080088.jpg P1080089.jpg P1080090.jpg

 

 

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