fritz
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:31 am

Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:33 am

Here's a faster, Open Source alternative to the CodeX tool: https://github.com/fritzw/cube-utils

Feel free to try it out and play around with it. It works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It's a simple command line app but can also be used by just drag-and-dropping a .bfb-file onto the encoder.

You can also use it in the Scripts tab in Simplify3D to automatically convert the .bfb file to .cubepro or .cubex.

Back story:

We've recently purchased Simplify3D because the CubePro printer which my institute owns is listed as "Supported" in the printer compatibility tool. However, Simplify3D doesn't output the binary .cubepro files which are the only things that this printer understands. There is only that dubious CodeX tool (mentioned in "Tip of the day 30" with a broken download link for 64-bit Windows), which is quite slow on Windows and horribly slow on Linux and Mac. So I took a look at the CodeX tool and the .cubepro file format and found out that it only does a Blowfish ECB encryption of the .bfb file.

Cheers,
Fritz
Last edited by fritz on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

CompoundCarl
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:27 am

Wow, looks like it will be very useful! Thanks for sharing!

Do you have any idea how much faster it is versus the CodeX utility that I see mentioned on this forum quite a bit?

fritz
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:31 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:00 am

You're welcome. :)

As for the speed, I did a quick test on two 64-bit computers with comparable processors. Mine's a bit faster:
  • 11 MB file with CodeX64.exe on Windows on a 2.4 GHz Xeon E5620: 8 minutes and 14 seconds
  • 11 MB file with cubepro-encoder on Linux on a 2.1 GHz Opteron 6172: 1.2 seconds
EDIT: I won't even talk about running CodeX under wine on Linux. I killed it after 2 hours of encoding a 1 MB file.

CompoundCarl
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:24 am

Hah! A little faster is an understatement! That's a huge improvement

dorsai3d
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:14 am

I just got a chance to test this - a little faster is indeed quite the understatement! It compiled just fine on OSX, for what it's worth.

Thanks a ton for this! Also - the CubePro key is amusing, if a bit surprising.

fritz
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:31 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:40 am

dorsai3d wrote:It compiled just fine on OSX, for what it's worth.
Thanks for the test, that's good to hear. I assume you also ran it on OS X.

Unfortunately I didn't get around to do the Windows port yet.

dorsai3d
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:58 am

fritz wrote:Thanks for the test, that's good to hear. I assume you also ran it on OS X.
Hah, yeah, I should elaborate a bit - I compiled it and used it in conjunction with the Simplify3D postprocessing scripts to automatically generate a .cubepro file, then actually printed the output file, and it all worked well.

Relevant to those that may want to use this; I used the following postprocessing command to automatically generate the cubepro file when creating the bfb file:
./Users/dorsai3d/bin/cube-encoder "[output_filepath]"

Could_Do_Better
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:18 pm

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:57 pm

fritz wrote:
dorsai3d wrote:It compiled just fine on OSX, for what it's worth.
Thanks for the test, that's good to hear. I assume you also ran it on OS X.

Unfortunately I didn't get around to do the Windows port yet.

Fritz, it sounds like you've answered my prayers, thank you for your efforts so far!

We use a Cubepro for producing prototype housings, typically boxes with 1-2.5mm walls for housing the film capacitor assemblies we make.

The stock CubPro slicer makes a miserable job of this type of model. We are basically stuck with 300um prints and wall thicknesses that are multiples of 0.76mm, any other settings produce unconnected wafer thin walls that make the box useless. Poor cooling and layer time also mean that flanges and mounting holes turn out as mis-shaped blobs rather than the features required so we've been desparately seeking a viable alternative slicing software. Kiss and Slic3r product nice slices but don't have too much support for CubPro so Simplify3D always looked like a good bet but i held off due to the reliance on CubeX. Now if someone could compile the Windows version (embarrassingly outside my capabilities these days), I'd buy Simplify3D immediately.

Finger crossed a Windows version appears!

BaudR8
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:59 am

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:47 pm

dorsai3d wrote: Thanks a ton for this! Also - the CubePro key is amusing, if a bit surprising.
char cubepro_key[] = "221BBakerMycroft";
Certainly a sherlock holmes fan:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/221B_Baker_Street
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycroft_Holmes

gurusonwheels
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: Alternative to CodeX for CubePro/CubeX printer

Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:53 am

hopefully some kind soul will port to windows

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