Cube 3D printer community

General Category => Cube 3D printer discussion => Topic started by: storm4077 on December 17, 2014, 09:49:09 pm

Title: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: storm4077 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Corey Peoples 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.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: storm4077 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: storm4077 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?
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Dan 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.   
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: HittinBottom 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?
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar 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.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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. 
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 17, 2015, 11:16:26 am
I am going back and forth about using cubeitmod and just setting up kisslicer without it.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek 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
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 17, 2015, 11:56:15 am
I have added the setting for KISSlicer without CubeitMod in the same post @ Kisslicertalk.
http://www.kisslicertalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=353
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 17, 2015, 12:59:09 pm
Can you post both .ini ? I'm now typing the entry' s into the windows off kisslicer, but an .ini would  save some work....
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 17, 2015, 01:08:42 pm
Make sure you unload the language .po file when setting up without Cubeitmod
With the CubeitMod I just customized PLA Thickness 0.2 Style but did not give it a custom name
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 18, 2015, 02:14:53 am
Just finished the first test print without the CubeitMod. It's my 'pièce de résistance' , the item I use to test the bulk filament. So these are my first results

This is what I did:
- Use the .ini without the CubeitMod
- Selected the Cube device in Kisslicer
- Selected the Matterhackers filament (don' t know if nescecarry)
- Imported my .stl
- did some small adjustments (infil to 12.5%)
- Let kisslicer do its magic and save the .bfb file
- Used Codex64 to convert it into Cube dialect
- renamed the file and put it on a USB stick

Started the Cube, and selected the file printfile
and behold, it worked! It's not just working, the way kisslicer works is realy a benefit (at least with my filament).
The cube slicer is always filling vertical or horizontal, and filling every gap in a horizontal or vertical path. Kisslicer (at least with my current project) is filling diagonally, and is filling each area seperatly. So no overspill or threads (don't know the correct word for it, but those thin fillament threads that sometimes occur)

The only thing I have to investigate further is something Bobo said, and it seems to affect me to. The first layer is somewhat strange. It' s like an outer circle around the object with a .2 mm gap. So you have a small rimm on the bottom of the object.

So a big thanks to Bobo for his work on this. Never tought it would be this easy ;-) I will report back after I have experimented some more....

Chris.


Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 08:35:11 am
Chris, I am glad you are succeeding with the prints! Mattherhackers is the brand of filament that I prefer and use for all of my printers. You will need to customize the material section to your particular filament. Make sure to measure (use a caliper) your own filament and find out what temperatures the company recommends for the particular material.
The 1-mm rim on the bottom is called the brim and i purposefully added it to the print for better adhesion. To take it off just un-click brim or change just change the brim diameter.  Its in the support section.
My issue is more of an of over extrusion, and i think it only effects the solid infills.
I'll send you some pics tomorrow when i get into my studio.

Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 18, 2015, 10:15:37 am
Well, you are completely right, and I found out this afternoon. Just have to get into Kisslicer. I also adjusted the thicknes off my PLA. The first run with CubeitMod enabled, the flow was too low, and I am now in the middle of a retry. I have included a picture off the initial layer with infill of my testprint (without the cubeitmod).

I normally use a little water to reuse the existing cubestick layer and smooth it using a disposable knive blade. It's not perfect, but I don't see the problem you are having (I think ;-)
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 10:20:29 am
I am glad you are getting into KISSlicer.  I am also working on figuring out simplify3d to work with cube but that will take some more time.  ☺
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 10:25:54 am
About cubeitmod.  Its a littlebit trickier.  When you load the language file .po, the material section's the parameters change.  Theoretically with cubeitmod you control the flow with the changed / added parameters.  Solid% and Infill % and the flow tweak.  I have played around with those.  Also in the extruder section maybe the gain should go up to 0.035 since you and i have been getting good results
with 0.03 flow tweak without cubeitmod... then off course the flow tweaks would have to come down to around 1.
I have not tested changing the extruder gain yet from 0.0225....
Your prints are getting there  :) , I am glad I am not working alone anymore to get this properly working with KISSlicer.
Let me know what you find with playing around with Solid% and Infill % and flow tweak.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 10:38:46 am
Exactly. Those are the molten waves (on your picture they look like honeycombs, those lines should be straight in the solid infill) that I am getting on First layer without cubeitmod!!! First I thought the z-axis offset was the problem that I set it to -.25 (too squished), but if you change that to 0, the gap is huge on the first layer.
First layer is not an issue with cubeitmod and you should set the z-axis offset back to 0.

Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 18, 2015, 02:41:05 pm
There are so many parameters that can influence the behavior, and testing takes time. So there is a need for more testers (at least we have two now ;-). I will create a couple of test designs that address some problem/difference areas. So far (and only based on two quite extensive prints) I have found the following behavior:

With CubeitMod
Arcs (dome) are detailed (smooth)
First infills are better
More threading (bad)
flow seems low, and have to find out what to change to increase (but thanks to Bobo have a starting point)

Without CubitMod
Top layers of objects are coarse (especially domes and arcs)
Sides are smooth
Almost no threading (good)
Infills are better

At this stage I will try to get the parameters with CubitMod optimal. At the moment it seems to have the most going for it....
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 04:02:45 pm
Thank you Chris for this extensive testing this weekend! I will be back printing more this week with the Cube. I agree, the CubeitMod has more potential.
The more threading / horizontal lines cloud be from too much infill pushing out toward the outer layers. But the bigger problem is that it might come from acceleration issues, which cannot be controlled in the cube. I am not even sure if acceleration is enabled in the Cube's firmware.  Decreasing speed could help those lines.
It does seem to be harder to get the proper filament flow with CubeitMod, but further test will hopefully clear up these issues. Chris, did you end up changing the extruder gain in the hardware section from .0225 to .03? I will try to adjust those, maybe it will help with the flow.
My one major problem has been with one section of the stress / torture test. It is with the small columns!
I am attaching the stress test .stl file for you Chris, just to see if you run into similar issues. With the columns, it is skipping layers and there is major corner ringing on the outer walls.
Thanks again for testing
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 18, 2015, 04:08:14 pm
Here is the torture test again, but this .stl file has been modified. I cut away all the parts except the problematic columns.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 20, 2015, 02:41:08 pm
The finished torture test is the one without cubeitmod.  The unfinished one is with cubeitmod.  I am not liking what i am seeing with cubeitmod.  The columns are just not working.  Cannot handle small details...
(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/20/70aac0a155a7aeaebcf5bfdaa833ba1a.jpg)
(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/20/b30ec04fd264805fd6f15d9d5ee93202.jpg)
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Goosey73 on January 20, 2015, 07:34:02 pm
I try to use this but the extruder head doesnt seem to get no where near as hot as i set it and wont print with my filament.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 21, 2015, 11:17:48 am
Just finished my second test print. Now in te middle of third test print. In the picture you can see the massive amount of threading when using cubitmod. But no squishing on first layer. On the slopes of the model the cubitmod is smoother, but not much. The cubify slicer does a better job on this  >:(.

The first picture shows the diffrence between both prints, the top one is with cubeitmod. The second picture shows some more deteil on the treading and the course surface on top.

I will try the torture test tommorrow.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 21, 2015, 11:28:44 am
Stringing is also a sign of the temperature being too high and oozing control problem.  What temp. are you printing at?
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 21, 2015, 11:35:16 am
First picture stringing with CubeitMod
Second picuter is without.
I am printing @ 220 Celsius which is really the upper limit of my PLA.  When i lowered the temperature though i started running into layer adhesion problems. 
I am back right now calibrating without cubeitmod.

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/4789ca991958ec988821c87babe419af.jpg)

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/d2791fb86b639379739aa95c9357c059.jpg)
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 21, 2015, 12:59:49 pm
New test without Cubeitmod.  220 C°
Stringing is in the acceptable range. 
Details quite good, no corner ringing / horizontal lines.
I'll do a test @ 210 C°

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/c269aa8f1308e8a752572c16a8ddfd5c.jpg)

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/e344e6b9c3bc490023c2882c454c4199.jpg)
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 21, 2015, 02:51:05 pm
Flow tweak has been perfected.  Wall thickness is exactly 1 mm with two loops and 0.5 extrusion width.
(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/cb73321da373b4a3655ab34151418219.jpg)
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 24, 2015, 11:04:16 am
You are making progress! I have also been busy trying to optimize flow rate and temperature. Still not happy with the first layer (w/o Cubeitmod).

Just some pics using t=220 and flow 0.035 (default) to establish a starting point. Have mad my own torture test, because at this time I realy have problems with details on domes and arches. Don't like the details now....

Now printing with modified settings t=210 to see if I can reduce threading, but is just takes so much time  :-\




Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 24, 2015, 11:16:58 am
Great custom torture test Chris!
Make sure when changing temp, you also change it in the g-code / M104 SX Value.
210 should help with the stringing, but I started to run into layer adhesion problems so I had to go back to 220. The walls (I usually do 2 loops) started to separate.
I am using 0.0325 right now in the extruder gain and correspondingly 1 in flow tweak.
I also went down to 1.75 mm with filament diameter. That will squeeze out more plastic.
Good luck. 
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: Camstar on January 29, 2015, 04:06:09 am
A bit frustrated now. The slicer without CubitMod realy works great. Quality similar to the Cubify slicer. Nice details. First layer however has some serious weaving, but comparable to the Cubify slicer. Tried all kinds of settings, but could not get the near perfect first layer of the CubeitMod print.

The CubeitMod print however is awfull on details. Especially domes and arcs. I have not found a way to improve this.

So now I will concentrate on the first layer. My next step is to create two identical 1 layer prints (like Dan's design to level the printbed) and compare the bfb's.

My findings seem to concur with Bobo's. But happy with the Kisslicer without CubeitMod, because this slicer gives you much better control on how the design is printed.

Later today I will post the three pictures of my latest test.

Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on January 29, 2015, 07:51:50 am
I agree with your assessment.  I  have made up my mind to stick with without cubeitmod for awhile.  The problem is that cubeitmod introduces gcode very specific to the cubex which we cannot really control.  Kisslicer has great options and control vs.  the stock cubify slicer.  Much better raft skirt brim and support generation.  First layer doeas have strong molten waves but i can i think live with that...
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: ssstraub on April 05, 2015, 11:28:05 pm
I did the torture test with columns only and am amazed at the difference between the Cubify slicer and KISSlicer using Bobo's settings (without CubitMod).  :o It's easily 10x better!

I also did the "CTRL V Test" model comparing the two and it's like night and day. The Cubify print looks like utter and complete crap except for perfect bridging while the KISSlicer print looked 10x better in every detail except for nearly a complete failure at the bridging test.

So far I'm thinking KISSlicer is GREAT except in cases where bridges are required. Kind of a bummer because those are required rather often and KISSlicer doesn't seem to have any ability to recognize and prepare for bridges at all.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on April 06, 2015, 07:32:17 am
I am glad you like the settings ssstraub.  Yes,  bridging is a known issue with Kisslicer.  (there are no specific settings) I would recommend using fans.  Cooling usually helps with PLA.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: ssstraub on April 06, 2015, 08:38:14 am
Thanks a lot for uploading the KISS settings so everyone didn't have to redo all that work! Did you find that this those settings were the fastest (when set to "fast" quality in KISS) that you could get from your Cube and still produce accurate prints? It's noticeable slower than the Cubify slicer, so I'm not sure if the settings are simply conservative or you found that it wasn't worth going any faster due to significantly lowered quality.

Did you have any luck getting Simplify3D to work with the Cube? Everyone seems to rave about it and I wouldn't mind paying for a license if it truly is the "one slicer to rule them all" it seems to be.

I'm going to try to get Cura working next and see how it compares to KISS. Slic3r doesn't seem to be capable of outputting BFB-style g-code, so I've given up on that one.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: bobobobicsek on April 06, 2015, 11:21:33 am
Sadly, i have not be able to make it work with the Cube.  My favorite slicer indeed is S3D.  That is the only slicer i use with my flashforge (FFCP).  Let's see what cura can do.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: rvalotta on April 13, 2015, 07:42:55 am
I was pretty much just given a Cube 3d printer and have a question. Seeing as you are able to adjust the temp at the gcode side, does this mean i really don't need to hunt out a pla cartridge to scavenge a chip from?

Rocco
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: ssstraub on April 13, 2015, 09:30:07 pm
I only have a single PLA cartridge but it does seem like changing temps from g-code only works fine. I have only tested between 180 and 225 so far.

BTW, one of the support people at S3D sent me a bfb file generated from the S3D software including the Cube header and the print did work on my Cube. I have not pulled that $150 trigger yet though as I'm still a bit wary if bobobobicsek wasn't able to get it to work even if this support person did.

Having some problems with Cura making cube-compatible bfb files for some reason. I keep getting "protected file" messages even though the first time I created a file from Cura it worked fine.  ???
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: ssstraub on April 18, 2015, 08:46:04 pm
Just to update from my last post in case anyone is reading this... The copy protection expects Windows style LFCR line feeds and I generated the file on a Mac. I edited those line feeds (Google it to find out how) and now the Cube is happy. I also updated the g-code section in KISSlicer to make sure it uses Windows style line feeds, even on my Mac.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: rvalotta on April 19, 2015, 07:03:44 am
What exactly did you do on your Mac? and while i'm thinking about it were you able to find a cubex for osx?
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: ssstraub on April 20, 2015, 05:34:54 pm
No I would love a Mac version of CodeX (or a Windows version that doesn't put an "always on top" box over the center of the screen).

You'll have to Google about line feed differences between Windows and Mac. Basically I took a known good file from Windows and copied and pasted the Cube header section to KISSlicer on the Mac.
Title: Re: Alternative slicer to the cubes standard software
Post by: rvalotta on April 20, 2015, 06:43:35 pm
Thanks for the info... Sadly I had to put the printer away. Damn thing kept turning itself off mid print... Waiting on new electronics and then taking it from there.

Going to start with just a brain transplant then decide what i want to do from there. seriosly considering a new extruder as well but thats going to take getting some $$$ to do that

Happy 3d Printing.