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  1. #11
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Hi Bob - glad to have another EKOCYCLE owner on board! (I've got 4 more of them - but they are in England right now...)

    Anyway, here are my 2 cents worth:

    Issue #1
    Another option I am using is to make a new build plate from borosilicate glass and disk magnets and gorilla glue. Total cost was in the range of $25. There are directions/hints for this in the forum. I am using Cube Glue directly on the glass with PLA successfuly. But I am saving up my allowance for some LokBuild...

    Issue #3
    As TommyDee already said:
    The .cube3 file encoder/decoder programs work just fine on Ekocycle files.
    The file format is identical, only the parameter values change, e.g. ^PrinterModel:EKOCYCLE instead of CUBE3, temperatures, speeds and feeds, etc.
    When I want to switch a file all I do is
    1)decode,
    2)change EKOCYCLE to CUBE3, (or reverse)
    3)change MaterialCodeE1 to appropriate value (Tomuro published a fine list of codes). E.g., 300 (Eko) to 84 (Cube3 PLA)
    4)adjust temperatures if needed
    5)encode
    Note: it's not even necessary to change the Firmware codes.

    I've used both firmwares in my printer, and have settled on CUBE3 only because the slicer gives material choices, where the Ekocycle does not. You can modify the temperatures in the Ekocycle file so you can use PLA or ABS, but that's an extra step.

    On the other hand, as TommyDee has shared, there are some advantageous features of the Ekocycle slicer.

    I did find that my MakeShaper ABS printed pretty well on the EKOCYCLE firmware (using an EKOCYCLE cartridge chip, of course).

    Issue re Cube3 cartridge with EKOCYCLE firmware -
    Nope! Changing the material type in the print file does not override the cartridge chip type. TD's thinking about the firmware having a map of allowable material codes is spot on. EKOCYCLE will only accept EKOCYCLE cartridges with material types 300, 301 and 302 as far as I can tell.

    I bought Tomuro's Pro version and converted most of my EKO cartridges.

  2. #12
    3D Printer Noob
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    I have returned from the dead! ish... Family is gone but work has started up again. All that and the requisite number of "recover from family timeď days and I am mostly back.

    John, thank you for the reply and great info. I have actually been working on a glass bed. Got magnets and drew up and printed a little mount for them. All that is left to do is stick them to the glass. On that note, how does autolevel work with the glass bed?

    I am loving PETG and this little printer does so well with it (if you plan ahead on designs a little). I have noticed that there is a pretty big range where the Eko will print 2 thin walls next to each other instead of one thicker wall... Not a problem when I am drawing something up since I can make sure my walls are all of a thickness that doesn't get split up but it is quite frustrating when I download something from thingiverse, get it printing, go to bed and then wake up to something unuseable... Has anyone perchance found a solution to this?

    TommyDee, I have not yet purchased the pro version of Recube from Tomuro. To be honest, I have been going back and forth on that. If I acquired an Eko or Cube 3 of my own it would be an easy choice. However, since I only have this Eko on loan and am not sure when it will be ripped from my grasp, I find it a little hard to justify putting a lot more money in to it. As it is I have spent quite a bit on it already...

    Also, thank you for the headsup on the lok build. I saw those 6" ones on ebay but picked up a 12x12 sheet on Amazon which I have yet to install... Right now I do not have the time to rip the old layer of white stuff off the build plate and instead have been moving stuff around in Cube Print so as to avoid the crater over the one magnet...

    That being said, the idea of messing with some of them Cubex and Cube 2 chips does interest me and puts one more vote in the "buy Recube Pro" hat. The only challenge is, again, I could lose this Eko at any time and then my excitement would fizzle out quite rapidly.

    I have considered asking here on the forum if I can mail the 2 cube 3 chips that I have to someone who has Recube Pro and if they could reprogram them to Ekocycle for me...

    Anyhoo, just thought I would check in before I go to bed and start the next week in my life bright and early on the morrow.

  3. #13
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    Welcome back to cyberspace, Bob.

    I hear you on the loan thing. I do have a few more chips coming. If I was more code-proficient, I'd go in and set up a chip changer. I even have all the hardware bits sitting here! If anyone is interested in making up some chips, I'm all in on getting some CubeX chips made into Cube3 ABS. Chips are cheap to ship around!

    Your observations on the double wall not adhering is a known slicer issue with the Cube platform.
    Simply put, you get a trace about 0.9mm wide and a internal clearance setting of 1mm. This leaves a small gap.
    Workaround is to "stitch" the design... literally poke holes in the skin to force a wrap. Also makes for stronger layer adhesion.
    Also know that if you use a 0.9mm wall, the distance between the two traces goes down to 0.42mm. This helps... not a solution, but helps.
    I find myself designing to the printer all too often.

    Chip away the broken bits over the magnet and fill it with a wood filler or something that will have a similar thermal characteristic as aluminum.
    Now you've preserved the nice flat state of the build plate and the filler can be leveled to it. Then cover it with the Lokbuild.
    I say this only in that I believe they level the build plate by machining the plastic after adhesion. Which means that the aluminum could be less that absolutely flat.
    Just a thought.

    Glass leveling... I just throw a piece of white paper on the glass for leveling and initial gapping. Tape works too for leveling. I've been trying to find a way to frost the borosilicate glass. I know etching doesn't work. Maybe it is not even a good idea to "scratch" internally stressed glass

  4. #14
    3D Printer Noob
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    Thank you for the build plate suggestions Tommy! I wonder if an aluminum JB weld type epoxy might not work for filling the hole. Otherwise I can always manually flatten the aluminum surface if it comes to that.

    The hole poking idea for more solid walls sounds intriguing. Do you perchance have a visual example for me?

    When my schedule allows I am planning on drawing up a socket for that chip holder of yours that I can put some pins in and attach to my Arduino for more easy plug and play resetting. I think that might ultimately be a better system for the kids than trying to hold two wires onto the chip's pads while using a third hand to push the reset button.

    Speaking of schedule allowing... As I was typing this post, my boss called and told me I have the day off! I have to work tomorrow though but now I have some play time today!

  5. #15
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    JB Weld should work fine. Just be sure the magnet is in the right orientation before committing it to the depths.

    As for the wall-support, just put a hole in the model along the wall. It only needs to be 0.2mm so the slicer sees it.

    I am using this technique here for my Cube3 nozzles. There are 3 slots forcing the printer to make 3 starts on the same layer.
    These are much bigger than they need to be, but that is the idea.

    e.PNG


    As to the chip manipulation you are describing, I am not sure I understand.
    But you did give me a thought I should have posed long before...
    Could an Arduino mimic a chip? Oh that would be cool!

    The only reason my thought went there was your description... why would you hook an Arduino directly to the Ekocycle?

    So we haven't talked hubs or nozzles yet. And your chip management strategy kind of depends on it.
    I don't know if you know yet, but I have converted myself to a "universal hub" concept.
    I have embraced the stock cartridge case and the varied opportunities this presents.
    This does leave the chip in a less than accessible position.
    For this, yes, a printed contact housing is warranted. The rekindle on eBay does this.
    I don't have chip-resetting capabilities so there you go.

    I don't know if you saw these... but this is an easy way to hold and make contact with the chips.
    These are cheap out of China. http://www.print3dforum.com/showthre...ght=chip-clips

    What ya gonna do with a surprise day off?

  6. #16
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    Aha! I see the hole concept! Thank you.

    My apologies for the confusion around my envisioned chip reset setup. I am looking to make the reset process as simple as possible for the kids for when I have to return the printer to the school. Attached is a picture of the holder I was referring to that I want to make a reset socket attached to my arduino for.


    ChipHolder.jpg

    I like the housing and nozzle that you shared. The housing gives me quick access to the chip. I can just pop the little holder with the chip in it out, pop an already reset one back in and keep printing. In the meantime I can then then plug the removed 0% chip (still in its holder) in to a yet to be designed socket which will be part of a handy dandy (also still to be designed) enclosure for the arduino with ReCube on it. At the press of a single button I can reset the chip and have it ready for the next swap out. I hope that makes a little more sense. It is still a thought in progress though...

    I intend to put together 2 of your universal hub setups to return home with the printer. Along with 1 or 2 of the printed setups just to give the kids and their teacher some options (I know the teacher well so I will show him the options and see which he prefers).

    As to an Arduino mimicking a chip, I imagine it should be possible. If I had Tomuro's source code/Arduino sketch for ReCube Pro I could play with it but I don't think he would be overly keen to share that. It is an interesting idea though! Off the top of my head, a potentially simple approach (at least on paper) could be to monitor the communication between the chip and printer, figure out who is saying what and when, and then just program the arduino to mimic the chip's responses to the printer... There can't be all that much stuff for the chip and printer to talk about so it should, in theory, not be an insurmountable task for someone who has the necessary equipment and skill-set to figure out. I may play with it if I get a chance but am somewhat limited in both equipment and skill-set.

    Do you have a spare arduino UNO or Nano lying around? If you do but lack the desire or time to put together the ReCube circuit you can send it to me and I will gladly put it together for you and send it back. It might not be pretty like the ReKindle but it should be functional for at least resetting your Cube3 chips.

    As to what I am doing with my surprise day off (besides things my beloved wife asks of me), typing this post and now most likely playing with the EkoCycle...
    Last edited by bobskinner; 11-08-2018 at 09:18 PM.

  7. #17
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    Skill set is my problem when it comes to code. Funny too as I use to do a lot of it. That just makes me dangerous too.

    As to the chip seated in your holder, be sure it is somewhat sub-flush. This makes sure it is seated fully and doesn't pop out by chance and lets the hub fully seat.
    There may be a strand or two that needs to be trimmed if it separated during printing.

    Now I understand your way of going about it. Sounds like a good plan. Curious to see how the hub comes out in PETG!

    I have the wherewithal to put the silly little nano together into a recube... just not the encouragement to get there.
    At some point I will want to be able to do this. But it certainly won't be for a 3D Systems F/W upgrade as that will never come
    For CubePro and CubeX users, the recube and rekindle are serious pieces of hardware.

    I'm going to see if I can do some horse trading on chip changing. I seem to be collecting a lot of spare chips lately
    For now I am more than stocked with appropriate chips. But a few spare ABS chips will be helpful.
    If I ever get adventurous, I'll convert a Cube 3 to Ekocycle. Then I'll need Ekocycle chips.

    Hope those honey-do chores are getting simple enough to enjoy the day printing.

    My learning for today...

    I've been printing rings... got my ar$ handed to me in thingiverse... so I upped the game.

    I load the bowden tube with different pieces of filament and let it just spew them out as it goes.
    I have a sacrificial meter-long piece of filament to push the bits.
    A meter of bits lasts about 20 minutes. Rings take about 15 minutes to make.
    I've done this color-mixing with PLA successfully so I needed to see how it does with ABS.
    This was from yesterday and today...

    f.PNG

    I was also getting some really good results with one color ABS at 70 microns...
    So I decided to try that again today.
    Now you can see how the pull-back, which this process disables, is important at 70 micron printing.
    The 200 micron print is not quite as sensitive to this operation for this particular print.

    g.PNG

    The left is 200um and right is 70um. The knot at the seem will clean up on the 70um ring but there it is.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Oh, Bob... what do you use for CAD?

  8. #18
    3D Printer Noob
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    SQUIRREL!!!

    I hold you entirely, completely, wholly and solely responsible for this distraction...

    Distraction1.jpgDistraction2.jpgDistraction3.jpgDistraction4.jpg

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Those were the colors of PETG that I had open and lying next to me... It unintentionally turned out a hair patriotic...

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  10. #19
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    Wow! Way excellent, Bob! That printer is looking pretty well tuned to me.

    You're gonna make me buy some PETG aren't you!

  11. #20
    3D Printer Noob
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    Printed with the extruder hub, chip holder and nozzle that you designed and then turned into EkoCycle files for me a while back. Works great.

    I love PETG. It is about 55*F in my garage where the printer is currently housed and it did not care!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I literally grabbed the STL from Thingiverse, sliced it and printed it. Bed on the printer last had glue applied about 4 days ago and it has been sitting in the cold since.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    PETG is soooooo pretty... and soooooooo easy to work with... and that was 3 different brands of PETG used in that there ring...

 

 

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