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  1. #1
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    Cubex Cartridge Filament Harvest

    Just to get the party started...

    Today I got my 2013 ABS filament from 3DS. FINALLY... (oops - that came out, huh!)

    The Cubex cartridge, which is the same as the Cube|Pro cartridge from what I can tell, holds 1lb 4oz of filament.
    Maybe more correctly, it will come out to 1/2Kg but that is just mincing cardboard.

    I measured it on the kitchen scale and it came up to about 1lb 6oz including the cardboard flange.


    When I re-spooled this, it was a fairly loose fit in the cardboard spool.
    I'll have to rethink just pulling right out of the cartridge.


    In the end, the Cube 3 cart full is 1 lb on the spool.


    And I have another 8 oz to to spare (2 oz for the cardboard spool?)


    Is this familiar? I don't have my re-programmer running yet. Anyone make use of this?


    But the real test here is how is 2013 filament holding up...'s printing.


    Let you know soon!

    - - - - - - - - - -


    This one was printed in almost solid mode.
    It is the very same run I did yesterday with the Cube 3 purple.
    This stuff from a 2013 Cubex cartridge beats it so far. Much cleaner on the build plate.

    This is a sample of one so I got the B2B nozzle set printing now.


    One thing I did notice about the 3DS ABS is that it does well as sheets but it lacks RipStop along the layer.

    This next print will have a cooling tower I can inspect.

    So far so good.
    The price delivered is still double good PLA but after what I've been through to get a quality ABS... this route is a bargain!

    The red is on the way...


    ...tap tap...


    - - - - - - - - - -

    OhYa! This is a pass (as in not failing).

    This is the stock from which I purchased this spool, BTW:
    He's having some issues with eBay in discounting multiple items.

    Here's the results on a plate. You know I run stock out of the Cube app.




    Core fit right into the housing; 4mm tube fit directly on-the-plate; and the tube-nut threaded right in.

    Can't give anything else right now, but consider this for PLA too.
    3DS does have some of the most opaque vibrant finish that is not easy to find in other filaments.

    When you go exotic, you'll be paying the same price.

    BTW, this Industrial Gray has an ever-so-mild grungy-green to it.
    Just in case your monitor doesn't do it justice.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 07-31-2018 at 03:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Nice layer deposition

  3. #3
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    Well, here's what I've decided about ABS.

    If you have a stock 3DS ABS cartridge, you -have- to clear out the filament path through the bowden tube.
    Marginal functionality of the stock cartridge affects your prints even if slightly impeded.
    This is more of an issue with ABS than PLA.

    Not all ABS is created equal!
    It might be the same formula of molecules and polymer chains, but the machine that spits it out has a lot to do with it.

    I think the moisture issue is a red herring.
    There is no reason a 1-month old filament that spits non-stop has adsorbed that much moisture.
    Furthermore, there is no reason that an old filament that spits has acquired moisture and somehow consolidated that moisture into pockets.
    A filament that was baked for 6 hours at 170*F should act differently that filament right off the spool. It doesn't.

    I'm going to suggest that there are many manufacturers of ABS that don't have control over the air that their augurs are introducing into the filament!
    In other words, the filament has been "frothed"! The air is the problem with plosives, not moisture!
    This is somewhat obvious with the 3D Solutech clear ABS.

    So yes, I will buy ABS from 3D System sources.
    So far, this is 100% after fixing the cartridge problems in a sample of 4;
    An old white ABS that I fussed with throughout the spool.
    A Neon Orange which was printing marginally in the stock cartridge.
    A gorgeous purple that I switched to the B2B setup
    And now this salvaged Industrial Gray.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Stay tuned for a Cube 2 cartridge review as well.
    Just order a lot of 3 of the smaller cartridges.
    These will be from 2015 stock.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Another CubeX ABS cartridge arrived. Red this time.
    I'll leave this in the case for a later spool-wind video.
    These cartridges don't feed very smoothly though. And yes, I removed the shipping screw.

    Here is a pic of a short-shot of filament intervening in a loaded cartridge.
    Red B2B nozzles should be fun...


    And for those of you who have printed B2B nozzles in ABS...
    Try some color mixing! A red core in a black housing should be pretty cool looking!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I should put my other comment here as well...

    As for the harvest tests, I couldn't be more happy with the print quality from -most- of the harvests I've done so far.
    I will mention that that ABS red in the CubeX cartridge is showing its age in prints. No blow holes or anything like that.
    It is just demonstrating a little less layer-2-layer adhesion.
    Still makes very nice parts but the sidewalk break-away can de-laminate the second layer in some areas.

    The ABS red was from 2013... the rest of the tested ABS filaments were from 2015 lots.
    And as a side note; the red I purchased was for $10 with ~$15 shipping.
    There is still one or two on eBay. Just thought I'd clarify for those following this thread.

    Anyone tempted to find out of the guy from Irving, TX is reloading filament in CubeX and Cube 2 cases and resetting the chip?
    That is the next lowest cost that I could find on eBay, or anywhere for that matter.

    And as I also mentioned, this is not a cost cutting measure. You are paying a premium on a premium for 3DS ABS.
    I went this route because no one else has been able to convince me, even with good money spent, that anyone makes ABS worth cr@p for the Cube 3.
    I know I have only tested a small sample set, but the difference between them and the 3DS is night and day!
    But know that you will be paying in the range of $40-50/Kg of 1.75mm ABS filament, if not more!

    MakeShaper is on the list of continuing test of non-3DS ABS.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I've decided to stick with the CubeX cartridge harvest for ABS while the pickings are still available.
    Ordered a dual-pack of 3DS Silver this morning. As we all know, metallics behave differently.

    I'll update this thread based on sellers performance and the quality of this ABS filament.
    Seems this seller has a large stockpile without posting specific lot codes for most.
    This is the seller from Irving, TX, USA. Prices are coming down slowly.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Okay, a word back about the Irving, TX CubeX cartridge seller on eBay.

    Barring the absolutely handicapped snail level delivery service, the filament is of reasonable vintage.
    I get a July'15 date out of the lot code. Filament is still supple and prints well.

    This is the 2-lot of silver 3DS ABS that I ordered 9/30. The price is getting down to reasonable. This seller also has some 3-lots for $49.99USD/free shipping CONUS.

    If you are a USA buyer and you want really nice ABS prints, I can recommend this material and seller only on his product selection and price.
    The communication and delivery time-frame are on the far left if you are trying to meet a deadline.

    If you feel adventurous, you could venture to request a 3-lot of various colors in ABS for $49.99/shipped

    Funny but true... my 3DS stock of ABS now outweighs my total PLA stock
    I'm finally enjoying printing ABS on a Cube3 printer.
    - And printing ABS really does require a hub solution that completely removes filament restriction on the feed chain.
    Stock cartridges are more likely than not to restrict filament within the poor implementation of an engineered bowden tube solution.


    - - - - - - - - - -

    ...and add to that a brown cartridge harvest.

    Funny thing was discovered while diving into the case...
    Remember that these have all been cardboard up to now!


    That plastic spool will come in handy.

    Also confirmed the lot code is close to the date the filament was put on the spool...


    Someone cleaned out the guy in Texas, USA. Was it any of you?

    3DS still doesn't disappoint with their vibrant colors.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 10-14-2018 at 01:48 AM.

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  5. #4
    3D Printer Noob
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    dang, you got abs working on the 3? heated plate? why are you harvesting old 3ds carts?

    ive got a pro, so i will probably stick to printing abs in it with its heated enclosure.

    from what i can tell, older carts from the cube 2 and cube x have cardboard, but later cubex and pro carts should have plastic spools.

    any chance i could take the extra 1 wire chips off your hands? i can reprogram/refill them for the 3 and pro.

  6. #5
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    We might be able to work out a deal on the chips if you are in the USA.

    I've been plagued with using ABS functionally for over a year. I've tried various brands and the closest to functional I've been was with 3D Solutech's pen pack where half the filaments actually worked well. When I ordered a full spool, it was junk. Inland... same thing... pops and spits leaving little holes everywhere. Then MakeShaper was kind enough to send me a spool of some natural ABS and it too was a horrible print. It was the MakeShaper that gave me hint as to what was wrong. Know that MakeShaper is now making cartridges for Cube 2 and CubePro so I really wanted to know if they had it right. I never got the the bottom of it, but the temperature range of what they sent me was way too low. This forced me to further dive into the cube3 file decode and encode procedure. That worked! The MakeShaper ABS requires a temp down to 240 degrees C and it required a serious reduction in retraction.

    Since I do love the ease of use for the Cube3 and slicer (press and go) I decided that life's too short for all this file manipulation and I decided that using genuine 3DS ABS is the only real solution for these printers. The material works better than anyone should expect. I have yet to see one plosive in a print using 3D Systems' ABS.

    I run ABS on a cold plate with great success. Obviously I have to manage the design to facilitate, but I've got it down pretty good. For me, the trick is a better-than-stock adhesion plan. I have first layers that can stick better than the layer-to-layer adhesion! It is a magic combination of Lokbuild and Cube Glue. The application is also specific to saving glue.

    The idea behind making ABS stick to a cold-plate it to be somewhat consistent. Avoid thermal shock by having a plate "too cold" at the start of a print. To the filament it is like jumping in a cold pool instead of a warm bath. To accomplish this, I lay the bed on a stove burner (electric!) for 10 seconds. This removed the chill and gives the 1st layer a fighting change to adhere to the bed where it was put. If you know me, you know I use a very light tough on the build plate to avoid the elephant foot. It sticks!
    I have prepared my build plate, however. This is a Lokbuild that wasn't the best out of the bunch. I had trouble with it "dry" in the past. I may have damaged it somehow early on. Anyhow, I want a PLA trace around the edges. 6" square, 4 traces wide (1.8mm). I then slathered Cube Glue on the surface (not anything else, just Cube Glue!).
    Funny thing... the Cube Glue on a Cube3 plate just peels off the plate... not so on Lokbuild... it stays on the build plate now! You will have a devil of a time removing your larger prints! In some cases, you are hoping for a small curl to get the removal tool under the part. I don't say this in jest either.
    I don't use an area more than once. I just put a little water on the plate and work the glue around a bit and let it dry again. If it was a large print, I may wet an edge and work the whole plate. Again, the stove makes quick work of drying too. Just DON'T OVERDO THE STOVE THING! Neodymium magnets can loose they strength if you cook them too hot. Now for the 6" rim... this is there to pool the extra glue. As you wipe you fingers along the wet glue, the edge will work as a "wipe". This is where glue will be stored for the next wetting.

    One last thing about 3rd party ABS in the Cube3. What I am learning is that the Cube3 in particular (and Ekocycle, obviously) is that 3DS made accommodations in the slicer for the weak stretchable bowden tubes. They have a huge retract set in the slicer. The stock ABS tolerates this, even with Cube3 hub upgrades but 3rd party ABS does not, at least not for the sample set that I've run. It has everything to do with the state of the melt in the nozzle. 3rd party filaments seem to draw air into the nozzle and traps it where the 3DS filament remains in the nozzle. This has a lot to do with melt characteristics that 3DS has nailed down and is able to manage it from a consistency standpoint.

    Talk to me in PM on the chips.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    This is my tac-side using silver 3DS ABS, no sidewalk or supports.


    note the fatness at the start of each trace... this is something we can tackle in the Cube3 file.
    But seriously, could you ask better of this on any of the Cube platforms?

  7. #6
    3D Printer Noob
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    Your results look excellent. PMing now!

  8. #7
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    My last eBay order for a CubeX ABS cartridge failed. This seller (Irving, TX) has been a real piece of work. First communication, months ago, was slow and leveled an incomplete reply. Next, an order was cancelled out of the blue with refund... Ordered 2x ABS Silver; no problem other than slow order fulfilment. And order of brown ABS... same slow processing but it got here. This last one was suppose to be ABS tan... Never received, never shows making it to USPS, no response to 3 requests for information, and finally today, eBay followed thru on the refund. Anyway, I hope some of you received some good ABS filament for harvest from this seller. The price was certainly attractive albeit a bit high for just ABS filament... it is filament that works every time in the Cube3.

    Walrus, chips are on the way!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Cracked opened a 3DS ABS yellow today. What a gorgeous color!

    Not what I expected, and while most people would just puke at an intense mustard yellow, this one hit the mark!
    It has the same excellent opacity of 3DS filaments and a good matte industrial yellow sheen.
    ...and it came on a plastic spool!

    This one is from end 2014. There is still one (not mine!) on eBay.


    The flange nuts are 3DS ABS yellow filament; the reference is Inland ABS

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Sweet Sweet Sweet !!!
    The 3DS ABS Metallic Gold got here.
    This is a batch from Sept'14 and it is flowing nicely.
    The red is about a year older and it is definitely turning.

    Last edited by TommyDee; 01-09-2019 at 11:29 PM.



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