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  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
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    Mar 2018
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    Best way to proceed

    Hi Guys,

    I snagged a couple of CubePros that were being thrown out at work thinking I would either gut them for parts of replace the electronics/control stuff so as to use a different slicer. After perusing this forum, perhaps there is a less painful path to printing...

    Both machines fire up -- one has version 1.4x something and the other has version 2.02. The earlier version is a 1 extruder and the later a duo. I have not tried a print on either.

    a) Is it possible to move the control board with the early version to the duo before installing cracked 2.00 firmware? Are the control board serialized?

    b) Does the 2.02 firmware/cubepro slicer work well enough that reloading cartridges is the way to go? (i did breadboard the recube -- it reads the cart ok, but i can't seem to get reliable 100% resets working)

    c) Do you actually re-spool an existing cartridge or just have a loose cart chip contact the appropriate place in the printer?

    d) Should I just leave them in the garage wait until the wife's nagging reaches my breaking point and I cut them into tiny pieces?

    Any direction you could give would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Squash

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum Squash.

    You came to the right place

    a) If the single extruder machine is v1.4 in firmware, you just upgrade the F/W. I am not familiar with different motherboard versions, if that is what you are seeing.

    b) Not a lot that can go wrong with ReCube. Are you using a 2.2K resistor on A0 to +5V or the older 4.7K? The chip actually requires anything 'up to' 2.2K.
    Do pull down D4 if you are not using the switch. Leaving this floating could cause false triggers based on the logic of how these things work.

    c) I only use ABS. And 3DS ABS really is a different material that works at about 10C higher than most 3rd party ABS filament. However, it seems CubePro is less sensitive to this than Cube3. Just a heads up. I don't run PLA as it likes to break while parked overnight. But for sure, 3rd party PLA would be fairly generic. Buy something that is very tolerant about respooling. I've been told by a manufacturer that re-spooling was not compatible with their filament. So far, 3D Solutech has been good about re-spooling. For CubePro, I do like the cartridges to be filled and maintain the chip to check current status. However, it is not too hard to just plumb in a spool somewhere inside. This is mostly preference. We also hadn't done a lot for making print-parts to enhance the CubePro. Something has to hold the chip. I sliced the bottom off a stock cartridge to hold chips in place for alternate spools. If I only load the cart half way, I fill the cart chip to 50%.

    d) I take it your wife hadn't heard the CubePro running yet. These things are noisy! I made a very heavy duty pedestal to sit on a built-in sink/cabinet with heavy duty rubber pads. In the room next door, it sounds like a bus station! What I am getting at is that wherever you decide to put this, make sure she can still sleep. On the ground on hard concrete would probably be the best choice. But that isn't very convenient. And it really would be a shame for these machines to simply gather dust.

    Couple of things to check. There is a nozzle upgrade to 0.5mm for other materials. These are not installed by the factory but they are options. You want to know if you have one of these in either printer.

    Do these have Lokbuild? Amazon still has a great deal on some 295x295 sheets.

    V2.02 is working well enough for me. Looking at older versions, which we can modify, things were not nearly as neat. If you can work out what is wrong with your ReCube, I would stay unhacked. There is a painful trick that you need to do to get the v2.00 to work. And it is not every time. And then when you do get new cartridges, you still have to drop them below 100% (which ReCube Light can do). Just know that CubePro V2.02 is a slicer that is quite technical. I don't see it makoing pretty prints, but it does make prints that normally fit within your envelope. Printers like 3DS Cube3 just kind of dance around the skin of the envelope. This doesn't mean much until you make something and that every 5mm or so, CubePro slicers put in a complete fill. CubePro also tends to use a single skin with infill rather than lay 2 traces as Cube3 would. However, take a look at those advanced options. I'm working a project today that made use of both printers and has come out quite successfully.

    Basically, CubePro is a semi-pro printer where Cube3 is a hobby printer. In many ways, the Cube3 firmware and slicer is very much ahead of what was done in CubePro. Fortunately for us, those files can now be converted to be used in CubePro.

    CubePro is a nice piece of hardware. It does suffer from a cantilevered build plate. But unlike the Cube3's, once these are set up, you don't really need to do anything but press print. There are probably better platforms for going DIY. Separating the X and Y axes is probably the biggest advantage most other 3D printers out there have, including the Cube3. I attribute this to less noise and a more stable build platform.

    So you could do the next best thing; part the CubePro single extruder and make a trio out of the Duo. You have spare parts for life to boot. Just an evil thought ;p

    Let me know if you want help on the ReCube.

  3. #3
    3D Printer Noob
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    Mar 2018
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    Thank you for the gracious reply TommyDee.

    You were right about the D4 connection -- bad solder joint. After correcting that, the ReCube circuit is working as advertised.

    I will have to wrestle one of these monsters into the house and give it a go. Do you have a method for cleaning the build plates? Both seem to have a thick, gummy coat of what i assume is 3ds glue.

    I am more interested in PLA than ABS. If one faithfully retracts and stores the PLA when not in use is it possible to get more reliability? I have a Frankensteined Bits from Bytes 3D Touch (the company that 3dsys bought to get the Cube patents) that runs ABS somewhat reliably. The smell of cooking ABS, though, lends itself to only summer printing with fans running to exhaust the fumes.

    I found the Lokbuild sheets on Amazon -- where do you source the glue for your slurry?

    The converting files business sounds interesting. I am using Kisslicer to generate the files for the 3D Touch -- crazy amounts of knobs to tweak if the bfb files can be converted to work on these machines.

    Thank you again for the help. I am sure to pester you more in the near future...

  4. #4
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    Happy to help, Squash. Also glad you got the ReCube working. Nice little device for which I thank Tomuro for repeatedly.

    Possibilities on the goo. If it is CubeGlue, it washes off. If it is school glue, it washes off. If it is an ABS slurry, it requires a long acetone bath and some scrubbing.

    I use only CubeGlue. Others have said they found the same results with other glues; I don't believe it. Happy to be found wrong but for now, CubeGlue is the bee's knees in my book. It slurry's beautifully and lasts a really long time. Be sure to clean the sheets from amazon before applying glue. A mild household dish washing detergent and a mild scrubber is sufficient to remove what I believe to be wax from processing (When I credit-carded the Lokbuild down, it left a waxy scum on the edge of the credit card). Anyway, this makes sure the glue doesn't act hydrophobic when applied diluted. Oh, yes, one bottle will last a long time. I use a dilution of about 3:1 with water for refreshes. Finding a tube at a discount, now that a challenge. I went for the 3 bottles from 3DS to make shipping worthwhile.

    ...I also wedge the end of the scraper. I put an "up" sticker on it to know which side I beveled. Not sharp; but a defined bevel non the less. This makes for a fulcrum to help lift parts from the bed. The rounded corners on their proper scraper is genius and if you don't have that, do that with a grinder for safety. This Lokbuild/Glue method holds like nobody's business!

    Good fresh PLA shouldn't cause the micro-fractures that plagues 3DS filament that is 3 years old at best. Finding a reliable material supplier is tough enough. I have had zero problems with several spools of 3D Solutech PLA. That is now my goto PLA for the ReCube wands. It rewinds well into cartridges and has a decent level of opaqueness. The whole idea behind these printers should be ease of use. Un-stringing a meter of filament at every go isn't what I consider easy to use. But knowing CubePro is a 'puller' (direct drive) should help you understand what broken filament will do.

    The fact that you are weary about ABS is only a good thing. More power to you! Until we crack the code on the config files, we will be limited in materials running the CubePro slicer. However, running PLA does give you access to wash-away supports with Infinity rinse materials.

    Yes, Axiom (?) was the code used by BFB that became 3D Systems' personal 3D printer line that was eventually called Cubify to the public. You will find all kinds of other code names in the other files. But it seems 3DS has built on the very thing they started with and kept it up. I suspect someone will write that book someday.

    We have a code developer named BuddyBo that is cracking and enhancing the Cube3 print files. I am looking at the tools for CubePro. He is also looking at Cura profiles. So bottom line is this:
    We can decode config files but not recode them reliably yet. Basically the footer gets destroyed. I've done one hexedit to make the converted file the same as the original. That may already be complete in the new decoder, but I haven't tried it yet. But yes, there is opportunity in these config files. As to the print files, which use the same decoder, we can access the full BFB g-code ...but for CubePro, only v1.87. Not too bad but it is a very old version. 2.02 firmware machines read it perfectly. But what it does give us is proper headers and footers for CubePro. And considering CubePro doesn't have a heater-block bias like Cube3, Cura BFB profiled files should be easy to convert and marry them up with the appropriate headers. We still lack a CubePro v2.02 decoder/encoder. That level of development hasn't happened in any community that I know of. Same with Cube3. I can make PLA, PETG, and ABS files with the Cube3 S/W. With Buddy's code, I can make the conversion with little effort. And with access to temperatures, either with V1.87 CubePro app or CubePrint 4.03 or whatever valid g-code you want to insert, you can now use materials like PETG which I am still impressed by. Basically, the printers chip can say whatever. It is only one switch in the print file... the material setting.

    We can sure use the conversations. I know I tend to treat the site as a Cubify blog from time to time but I appreciate the communication. If you are into some file-splicing, give Buddy's toolkit a try when you get one of the machines working. Targeting a print's performance is quite satisfying. But for now, use the 2.02 CubePro to get yourself dialed in. It does a decent enough job to get you going. Good luck on the cleanup and setup. And be careful shuffling this beast around the house.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 07-24-2019 at 02:49 PM.

 

 

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