Author Topic: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software  (Read 5658 times)

storm4077

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Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« on: December 17, 2014, 09:49:09 pm »
I've heard kisslicer works as an alternative but I am unsure of how.
Could someone give step by step instructions on how to do this?
Or if you know if an alternative slicer we can use with a 2nd gen cube, let us know.

Thanks

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Corey Peoples

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 09:08:19 am »
Hello,
Thanks to the discussion I read on the http://cube3d.createaforum.com/general-discussion/crap-hack-bulk-filament/ thread, there is a tool called CodeX which can encode and decode the .cube files into actual gcode, the instruction set that gets processed.  The tool is available at https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=fr#!topic/kisslicer-refugee-camp/ZMuIrtn5Mfo

I have a 2nd gen cube as well.  I used the bulk filament trick successfully but found that I needed more control than what the Cube software offered, specifically ability to control heat.  3D Systems seems to do everything in it's power to prevent us from using the system effectively.  My co worker has a couple of 3d printers and has a lot of experience with slicers and settings and was shocked that we don't even have the ability to specify a temperature.

Using the Codex tool, I was able to decode a .cube file by selecting Cubepro as the format and specifying the .cube file.  This decoded it to a .bfb file, which is simply a text file of gcode.  The headers are set specific to us.  Cube:2 means 2nd generation cube.  Type:1 means PLA, 0 means ABS.  Time is the (estimated) number of minutes for completion.  I am still trying to understand the Material value, maybe amount used?.  Here is an example from the file:

^Firmware:V2.08
^DRM:000000000000
^Cube:2
^Type:1
^Time:80
^Material: 5424.965

The rest below it is GCode values for the printer.  GCode itself is nice and well documented, http://reprap.org/wiki/G-code.  Other slicers will allow for more control (if you can configure the printer settings to match the Cube system), but it will have to have these headers specified in order to work.  The google groups thread had a guy testing and if the values are removed or incorrect, it fails to decode on the printer.  I've been decoding and modifying the temperature setting so far so I don't have any alternative slicer experience yet, but if you take a gcode text file (with these headers) and encode it to .cube using the codex tool with the cubepro setting, that should allow you to use any slicer that you want.

Best of luck to you.

storm4077

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 08:08:31 pm »
Thanks for the response,

I am quite a tech savvy person, but am a complete rookie when it comes to code. Could you walk me through the steps of doing this as I have no idea where to start.

Thanks

storm4077

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 08:22:01 pm »
for example, ive decoded both; and stl and .cube file, and when i try and open the bfb with notepad, it has nothing but lots of chinese letters appear!
whats happened?

Dan

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 07:30:47 am »
Just an idea.  I did notice the cube software writes multiple files then deletes them just after it creates the .cube file.  Not tried but perhaps if you could change the permissions of the folder cube software writes to, you could prevent it from deleting its "working" files.  Perhaps they could be modified???  Open the folder containing the to-be-saved .cube file and watch the files cube software uses then deletes as it does it's thing.   

HittinBottom

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 03:13:31 pm »
I can't get anything out of the bfb file either.  What program are you using to read the headers of these files?

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 11:07:27 pm »
Thank you Corey for your input.  This is pretty much how far i have gotten too.  Codex is great to convert the cube file to bfb and gcode and changing the extruder temp.... but not much more without a proper slicer.  I have played around with kisslicer using cubex settings and Simplify3d then exported to gcode or bfb.  Added the header and encoded back to a cube file.  The prints come out crazy horrible.  :)
Flow control is somehow absolutely screwed up.  Have you made any progress on figuring  out the proper 2nd gen cube slicer settings? I am also working on it but somehow i have a feeling i am not not getting anywhere with it. 
Thanks
Best
Bobo

Camstar

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 08:21:21 am »
Hi Bobo,

Just to clarify for me: Is it possible to use codex to "decode" the cube file to bfb, change the extruder temp and encode it back tot .cube?

I thougt the temperature was controlled (or read) by the chip on the cartridge depending on PLA or ABS filament.

This could probably solve my intermittent problem using bulk filament. ;D

Chris.

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 10:13:40 am »
That is a good point Camstar.  By changing the material to ^Material:-1 in the gcode prefix in kisslicer i thought would override it. Codex does work just make sure that you choose Cubepro not CubeX and then rename to. Cube
I have gotten very good results with Kisslicer both with and without cubeitmod. 

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 10:17:13 am »
Camstar.  Check out my kisslicer settings at kisslicertalk.  Here is the link: http://www.kisslicertalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=353

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 10:33:18 am »
This is my Select Extruder Settings in Kisslicer G-code Section

; Select extruder, warm, purge

; BfB-style
M227 P100 S100
M107
M204 S10
M104 S210
G4 P90
M228 P0 S100
M104 S210
M108 S40.0

Camstar

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2015, 11:05:33 am »
Thank you, and great job Bobo. I will try your settings for the kisslicer and report back!

Chris

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2015, 11:15:24 am »
Are you going with the cubeitmod setup or without it? The link that i posted is the cubeitmode settings for kisslicer

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 11:16:26 am »
I am going back and forth about using cubeitmod and just setting up kisslicer without it.

bobobobicsek

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Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2015, 11:22:26 am »
Small details print better without cubeitmod.  When i print the 'torture test' with the cubeitmod the small columns have quite visible ringing.  On the other hand the setup without cubeitmod prints very nice details but don't like the first layer.  (molten polimer waves).  Do you want me to post the kisslicer ini settings without cubeitmod? You should experiment with both approach and let me know if you can fine tune it