joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

CubePro Compatibility

Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:20 pm

Hello all,

I'm the disappointed and frustrated owner of a brand-new CubePro Duo, and I'm here to make it better. Simply put, the CubePro is a wonderful machine - beautiful, high build quality, rigid, large build volume, and heated chamber(!!!). For the price/performance I'm even okay being locked into their exorbitantly priced cartridges. I seriously believe that this machine has the potential to rival Stratasys build quality.

Except for one fatal flaw: their super, super crappy software. Specifically, the slicing engine.

All other issues aside (and there are a few, for sure), the slicing engine that they use will not, under any circumstances, fill a thin vertical wall. It will simply print parallel shells and refuses to crosslink. It's absolutely a deal breaker for a "prosumer" machine that is used for engineering parts that tend to be all uniform, thin walls - the resulting parts have very little rigidity.

HOWEVER, this would be possibly the best printing machine under $20K if we can JUST use Simplify3D. I bought a license JUST because I believe it can be done. I'm new to GCode but I'm highly tech-capable, in both software and hardware.

Here is what I know so far:
1. These printers evolved from BitsFromBytes printers. Simplicity3D already supports BFB's 3D Touch printer, so that might be a good place to start.
2. CubePro requires a proprietary binary with extension .cubepro. This has been reverse engineered and a handy utility called CodeX is available to convert to/from .bfb files (same as .gcode). You can get it here: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=fr# ... MuIrtn5Mfo
3. A bunch of folks cracked the CubeX printer, which was the predecessor to CubePro. They did it with KISSlicer and a post-processor called Cubeitmod. The latest version and the source is available here: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!top ... -k1hdxZA6I
4. There is a thread on CubePro GCode here: http://www.kisslicertalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=97 but it's not very methodical.You will see they are getting prints to run.
5. I've attached my test part (CubePro software puts out absolute crap with this), a .BFB from the CubePro software, and one I built by adding some init stuff to a Simplicity3D output. Unfortunately, my Simplicity3D file causes a filament error, despite the inits being totally identical. Note that the header information in there IS required... unknown if this may be the problem.
6. If we can track down a copy of firmware V1.03 or earlier, we can make the printer run bulk filament by changing materials in the header! Anything after that seems to calculate filament usage from the stepper or some such nonsense. Also having a copy of ANY stable firmware would help us "exit the loop" of proprietary updates that could break our hack.

I'm running V1.08 and am willing to guinea pig my own printer. Simplify guys? Guessing you have some chops here... want to team up?

3D Systems has said this is a known issue and that there isn't a fix in sight, so in the meantime I'm escalating this up to their VP of Global Engineering to get some help from them. I doubt they'll release the GCode interface but we might get a technical contact out of it. It completely baffles me how they can build such an awesome machine and then lock you into the world's crappiest slicer. Why NOT open it up to Simplicity?

Anyway,I'm crossing my fingers with this post. Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

Best,
Josh Hartung
Attachments
Simplify3DTrials.zip
(608.81 KiB) Downloaded 466 times
TestPart.STL
(183.29 KiB) Downloaded 316 times

habloIngles
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:06 pm

I took a stab at it! Here's the test part file sliced with s3d (2.2.2). I modified the default bfb profile a bit to accomodate the changes I noticed in your bfb file.
Attachments
TestPart.bfb.zip
(547.48 KiB) Downloaded 309 times

joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:35 pm

Yo Hablo!

Thanks man! I've been working on this from the KISSlicer side today and I FINALLY got to a working print. The machine was hanging during the startup sequence and not heating the extruder. I ended up just grabbing the prefix/init and postfix from a CubePro.exe file and cutting it in to one from KISSlicer (both attached, look for the "^hack point" comment in the beginning and end).

I'll try to run yours tomorrow morning when this experiment finishes, but at first glance it looks like it's missing the M108 SXX and M103 commands, though I have no idea what they mean.

One thing KISSlicer/Cubeitmod is doing is adding some custom code in to the "Select Extruder" and "Deselect Extruder" routines as follows:

Code: Select all

; Select extruder, warm, purge

; BfB-style
M542
M<EXT+1>04 S<TEMP>
M55<EXT+1> P1000 S100
M543

Code: Select all

; Guaranteed same extruder, cooling down

; BfB-style
M<EXT+1>04 S<TEMP>
Any ideas on analogous stuff in S3D?

habloIngles
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:36 am

I'll be interested in seeing how my file works out for you! M108 sets the deci rpm or the extrusion rate when the hot end moves from point a to point b. Convention gcode right now uses the E parameter for this, but bfb style gcode does not. M103 turns off the extrusion so the hot end can travel from one point to another without extruding material. I believe I do have an M108 command close to the beginning as well as M103's where necessary!

joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:52 pm

Printer is just now through the first layer and so far it's looking great. Startup sequence went well. I'll report back with pictures.

Next step after this is to pare down the header and to try dual extrusion. Also need to link a temp setpoint in S3D to the chamber temp, I think M404 SXX is it. Would you send me your settings for this last file so I can play?

This is so, so rad. CubePro owners rejoice!

habloIngles
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:13 pm

sounds good!

are you running the bfb file through the codex utility then sending it to the printer or are you using the bfb file I made directly?

joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:03 pm

I am running it through Codex - I've gotten several good prints through Codex so I trust it. I basically made a .cubepro using CubePro.exe, converted to .brb, and then back to .cubepro and printed. Part looked fine.

Here are some pics of the test file you uploaded. You'll notice a strange jog in the middle of the part.

**edit below
A couple observations -
rapids seemed to be a little aggressive, I think the jog might be due to a tooth skip or something. There were a couple really short, fast moves in that file (need to drop acceleration?)
The machine struggled with the thin wall fill paths being short - it's not a low inertia print head and those were really fast movements.
Top layer strangely looks really "goopy"
Corners aren't super precise - prime/suck refinements?
Attachments
2015-02-09 12.52.13.jpg
2015-02-09 12.52.00.jpg
Last edited by joshhartung on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:04 pm

And the other attachments. This file was produced by KISSlicer with the settings from Cubeitmod (but NOT the post processor). The print turned out really nicely other than the silly "pillar" raft.

This pic is too big: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6v25mqtiw5hyd ... 6.jpg?dl=0
Attachments
ShotInTheDark.bfb.zip
(503.33 KiB) Downloaded 155 times

habloIngles
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:34 pm

Here's another try with slowed down rapid moves!
Attachments
TestPart.zip
(458.03 KiB) Downloaded 166 times

joshhartung
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: CubePro Compatibility

Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:16 pm

Hmm, for some reason I'm getting a "file protected" error when I give this to the printer. Weird because I did a diff on the two files and didn't see any difference in the headers. I'll try again in the morning.

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