Cube 3D printer community

General Category => Cube 3D printer discussion => Topic started by: geoff.sim on November 05, 2015, 09:24:23 am

Title: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: geoff.sim on November 05, 2015, 09:24:23 am
I thought I'd share how I upgraded my Cube3D 2nd Generation 3D printer.

My first foray into 3D printing was almost dashed when I bought this Cube printer on eBay.

I was seduced by the size and looks of the machine. Compared to the leviathans I had been looking at, this one could actually sit on my desk and look at home with my iMac. After my first few prints, my hopes were dashed, as the results were very hit-and-miss.

I could have just sold the printer on, but as I liked the size and look of the printer, I decided to follow the lead, and install new electronics and marlin firmware, in the hope that I could make the printer do as it should, and with a reasonable quality.

Here is a picture of the results of my labour.
Currently, the printer can be connected to using bluetooth, and the SD card option is available through the LCD screen.
I'm not convinced with the Bluetooth connection, as sometimes the printer cannot receive commands quick enough, and the printer will "stutter".

My latest plans are to remove the bluetooth and screen, and install a Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint. I am testing this option now.

Here is a photo of the original and updated printer. In future posts, I will show how I did the upgrade, and will make the modified Marlin software I use available.
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: n00b on November 22, 2015, 01:21:09 am
Big Kudos for this hack!

Could you pleeease provide a tutorial? I would love to do this to my cube, but im a noob in electronics...

I like the cube as its small and simple to use, but its just so limited in options (Print speed, other filaments (ninjaflex etc). I would love to use it longer, but if i cant change the limitations i will have to sell it.
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: geoff.sim on December 05, 2015, 09:55:28 am
I'm not sure I can do a full tutorial.
However, I can run through what I had to do to get my printer to this state.

First things first. Remove the screws from underneath. Four short ones hold the top case, and three longer ones at the back hold the vertical steel frame.
Gently lay it out on the bench, and separate the top cover by disconnecting the ribbon cable attached to the main board.

Then pull the four plugs from the front of the motherboard, and unscrew the main board from the bottom case, including the earth wires screwed to the main board near the power socket.

The last picture shows the printer standing up (if you do this, fit the center screw at the back to hold the steel frame upright, and tie the z axis to the top of the x axis) with the main board removed.

That's the easy bit.

Next comes the fitting of the replacement RAMPS board, and wiring it all up...
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: geoff.sim on March 25, 2016, 10:35:28 am
The Ramps board was just hot glued into place.
I designed and printed a replacement power socket holder, and screwed that into place.
The normal 12V input is run at 24V (D1 is removed), and the bed input is run at 12V from a BUK board. The BUK also supplies 12V to the Arduino via the power socket on the board.

I build a simple FET switch, running off the 24V supply, and connected the input to pin57 to run the case fan when the stepper motors are enabled. This means the machine is totally quiet when idling.

The hot end fan only runs when the nozzle is 30 degrees C or hotter.

I wired up a long IDC connector so that the cube's control cables would just plug in to this, and I soldered 4-pin connectors to the appropriate pins on the IDC. This is the hardest part, as it's not just pin1 to pin1, etc. However, it is easy enough to work out.
Title: Hot End Replacement
Post by: geoff.sim on March 25, 2016, 10:39:45 am
The whole point of me doing this was the the hot end on my machine broke (well, I broke it).
I designed and printed a custom holder for a HEX AO and fan, and here is the result.
Most of the original metal mounting was removed, leaving enough for me to screw this mount to.
The extruder is now a bowden setup, as it was easier to do.
Title: Finished.
Post by: geoff.sim on March 25, 2016, 10:50:11 am
After sitting with the printer half finished for some months, I put some time in, and completed the build.

And here it is.

The finishing touches were to blank off the original holes; add a switch to the front; screw the Ramps LCD to where the cube cartridges used to go; fit the extruder stepper to the side; and add a spool holder.

The last thing I did was to level the bed accurately.

What a think go beauty it is, now. It looks similar to the UP Plus 2 printer.
It also sits nice and neat next to my computer. Not something I could do with my new XYZ printer - that takes up 0.5m cubed!

This printer was instrumental in my learning about 3D printing, and what I wanted out of one.
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: geoff.sim on March 25, 2016, 11:14:34 am
Further to this build, here are the specs:

Firmware: Marlin 1.1.0.
Build volume: 140x140x146.
Hot End: Up to 290 degrees C. I have installed a 70 degree C fuse to the fins of the hot end.
Movement speed: up to 300 mm/s (X and Y), up to 25mm/s (Z), up to 60mm/s (Extruder).
Quality: 0.1 to 0.32 mm layers.
Materials: Mainly PLA. ABS can be used for small parts. I have yet to try Nylon.

The print quality is excellent, and I find painters blue tape is the best thing to use on the build plate.

I will probably sell the unit now, as I now have an XYZ Pro 1.0 printer.
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: m@uri on April 13, 2016, 01:47:30 pm
Thanks for sharing your conversion. It looks pretty neat.
Can you please share the stl of your reel holder? I really like it!
Title: Re: My Cube 3D 2nd Gen Upgrade
Post by: geoff.sim on April 25, 2016, 03:06:50 am
I will  see what I can do.