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Tear down of Cubify cube 3 3D Printer + convert to RepRap

Discussion in '3D printers' started by Oderbang, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    Hi all I am going to pull apart my cube 3 3D printer with the aim of replacing all electronics with RAMPS 1.4 as im fed up with the over priced cartridges.

    Would people be interested in my progress/ findings ? if so would you all want me to post on this thread ?
     
  2. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    While the common thread in these forums appears to be Openbuilds parts, the reality is that the forums exist to spread opensource information and ideas. Any information whether it seems relevant or not will likely become relevant to someone if not many people at some point. So post away! :thumbsup:
     
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  3. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    Yup, what Rick said goes for me too. The more pics the better. :)
     
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  4. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    Okay so good news and bad new good news is that I have figured out ALL of the components required to convert this into a fully working RepRap and will post finding shortly. bad news is I have not taken many pictures :S but I have taken some so ill start posting it all shortly... if there is enough demand i will take it all apart again and take pics the other good new is i have not needed to cut into or inter fear with ANY of the electronics the cube comes with so it should be relativity east putting it back to original (which is important to me as the thing is over £900 and fully working when I started this project!
    p.s I'm dyslexic so please any mods want to proof read this feel free I wont mind people spell checking posts :p

    Build of Materials
    (subject to change)
    Rumba or RAMPS 1.4 with 24v conversion (more on this later).
    DRV8825 drivers.
    some 22/24 AWG (american wire gauge) wire preferable 4 colours makes life easier.
    small cable ties (yes this is a requirement if you want the pretty looking shell to go back on again more on this later).

    so here goes

    Tools

    Soldering iron and solder (if you want to undo the crimps and re-crimp them then this is optional.. but I'm lazy so soldered stuff together).
    2mm hex head (or Allen key) Metric.
    2.5mm or 0.01 inch Allen key (Imperial) yes the sods use both imperial and metric hex head screw!!
    A set of small torx (not sure what sizes) smiler size to the hex above though.
    Flat head screwdriver thin ish blade




    Dismantling the Case
    Please excuse the poor photography as I am not a photographer :-D
    remove the 4 screw and feet in the below image (i have already removed them annoyingly and not in an appropriate stage in the build to put it all back together no doubt will update the image once I have though!
    We will start by taking the front panel off (the rear is slightly more involved)

    [​IMG]

    Feet are a little tricky just need a flat head screwdriver to remove the inner pin once this is out set of pliers can pull the feet off

    [​IMG]

    next remove the screws that hold the cartridges in place

    [​IMG]

    Un-clip the front cover
    The clips are in the upper corners of the front cover (the one with the LCD on)
    This part is tricky to take a picture of so i have taken it apart to show you where the clips are

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The clips receptacle is on the grey cover that protects the extruder on the top. there is one receptacle on each side (left and right) here are more pics

    [​IMG] and from different angles [​IMG] [​IMG]
    once you manage to get your fingers or a flat head screw driver in there you can slide the front of
    WARNING the LCD touch screen is connected buy a short ribbon cable so dont pull to hard you need to disconnect it befor you can completly remove the front cover!
    (see above pictures!)

    And that is it! the front cover should now be off and your printer now resembles something like a broken C3PO!


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    So do people want more ?
     
  6. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    A couple of quick questions. What size steppers is it using and are they anything out of the ordinary. What sort of mechanism is used for raising the print tray?
     
  7. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    @Rick 2.0 The Steppers model are 17PM-k374BN01CN for the 2 extruders and the 3 axis motors are 17PM-K077BP10CN all manufactured by the Minebea co all axis are belt driven and all NEMA 17 i have not measure to see if they are running 24v or 12v but 12v seems to be fine to run them!
    I did run into abit of a snag with the extruder's (which HAVE to run at 24v) as they have a built in thermostat for safety which is actually a feature I like! but more on this later!

    So next up is removing the rear cover
    There are 4 screws holding the rear cover on (took me an age to find two of them!) which need to be removed

    [​IMG]

    Here are some better angles (with screw already removed (sorry!)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Now you can slide the back cover off

    Side filament cartridges
    If you removed the optional screws from the first post you should just be able to remove the obviously un-clipping any wires on the way!
    you should be left with a very naked 3d printer!

    [​IMG]

    Next up access to the extruder's!
     

    Attached Files:

    #7 Oderbang, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  8. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    In the picture where you didn't take the two side off yet, there are two black things at the bottom, one on each side with a black and red wire going to them. Are these fans or what? and if they are fans, where do the blow?
     
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  9. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    The Extruders

    To get access to the extruder you will need to remove the following screw and lift off the top cover
    [​IMG]

    This should give you access to the extruder!
    [​IMG]

    If you are OK with splicing into the cabling on this printer you do not need to take the extruder apart and I will show you the pin outs for the wires that we need. along with a circuit diagram of this slightly strange yet safer extruder set-up!

    If you don't want to cut into the wiring then luckily all the components (eg power resistors, thermistors fans ect are actually crimped to the wiring harness but this is deep inside the extruder so I will cover this later (plus I don't have any good pictures of this yet)

    The connectors are located here:
    [​IMG]

    So here are the pin outs
    15Pin connector
    with he metal contact on the connector face DOWN) pins 1 (left) to 15 (right)
    Pins 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12,13,14,15 are not required and are use for self levelling and making sure the print head are in place (switches) and powering LEDs. as we are not interested in any of that it leaves us with:

    Pin 6 +12v for Extruder Fan
    Pins 7,8 not used
    Pin 9 gnd for the 12v Exruder fan
    Pin 10 is gnd for build platform cooling fan (5v)
    pin 11 is 5v for the build platform
    [​IMG]

    Before I continue with the 8 pin connector it important to understand the way the power resistors are wired to the thermostat
    that is right I said thermostat (not thermistor)
    This extruder assembly contains a thermostat to but the power to the extruders if they over heat!

    Here is a circuit diagram with the pin outs on it.

    [​IMG]

    There are TWO key thing to note from this:
    1) All the components do not have to be in a particular polarity (ie resistors or thermostat) meaning there is no + side or ground side
    2) pins 6 and 8 are common (ie tied together)​
    so you can either apply power to 6 and 8 and control the temperature by switching the ground on and off (which we have to do as RAMPS has + voltage always on, when D8 D9 and D10 are concerend

    OR
    connect 8 and 8 to ground and control the temperature by switching the power on and off (sourcing the power)

    As mentioned above the + pins on D8 and D9 are always on and are switch of and on by MOSFETS that make and break the ground wire.

    so option 1 it is! :)
    and now you know the "strange" way the extruder is wired!

    so here are the pinouts for the 8 pin connector

    8 pin connector (with all white wires)
    This is the one with all the magic!
    With he metal pin facing Upward this time (I know I know! i'm not being consistent sorry AGAIN)
    pins 1 (left) and 8 (right)

    Pins 1,2 control the LEFT thermistor.
    Pins 3, 4 control the RIGHT thermistor.
    Pin 5 is the return for the LEFT extruder Resistor (heater)
    Pin 6 and 8 (not I skipped a pin) are both common and connected to the thermostat (which then connects to BOTH extruder resistors (heaters))
    Pin 7 is the return for the RIGHT extruder Resistor (heater)

    so there is the bulk of it!
    Next i will be posting the part number OR the values (where par number cannot be found) for all the major components.
     

    Attached Files:

    #9 Oderbang, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  10. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    Yes they are Fans (12v) that kool the extruder stepper motors! and are "always on" (very quite to be honest!)

    follow up to this.. although they are rated 12v I just run them at 12v and they are loud.. so i would suggest that running them at 5v is sufficient to cool the steppers

    Update added picture for clarity
    [​IMG]

    one more thing if your wondering what the printed circuit board is under the stepper motor. its the contact that reads the 1 wire chip in the cartridges themselvs (has colour, plastic type, qty left in cartridge ect) its the bit that made me want to do this project the most!
     

    Attached Files:

    #10 Oderbang, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  11. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    With all that stuff in it I guess now you know why this thing cost $1k! LOL

    It's also very sensitive to shaking. If you have it on a table and you happened to bump into the table while it's printing it will skip!
     
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  12. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    I've not experienced a problem with it skipping if the table is bumped! But yes there is going to be a lot of redundant LEDs IR sensors, 1 wire chip reader ect stuff I'm just not bothered about!

    I am waiting for a RUMBA to turn up as I don't currently have a control board that supports 24v so the project it on hold until that turns up!
     
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  13. alain lowet

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    Hello, did you control if the filament was standard 1.75 filament, because some rumors stated that filament was smaller one... ?
     
  14. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    i use 1.75 with no issues in fact.. measuring the filament from the original cube was quite inconsistent so yeah 1.75 is all good :)
     
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  15. alain lowet

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    Ok, i have the same sickness of you about filament cost... :)
    As i already build a arduino based 3D printer, i'm seriously thinking about 'upgrading' this printer because i still believe the mechanic is well done...
     
  16. alain lowet

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    I suppose you reuse the 'metallic head parts' of the official filament cartridge ?
     
  17. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    Yeah I strip them down, the cartridge print head actually comes apart and clips back together.. at first I though it was sonic welded o something... but its not just un-clips. I then heat it over a soot free heat source and push the liquid material out with a screwdriver I found that happens to fit perfectly. then re assemble the whole thing.

    Also if you do upgrade your cube.. you will need a 24v controller like the RUMBA or a modified RAMPS.

    Also you get faster print speeds.. i think they clock it back in there firmware so its more reliable... but i've increased the speed by about 30%

    if you use a RUMBA i will upload my current firmware for you to use if you like?
     
  18. alain lowet

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    Yes, of course, i will be glad to have the firmware! thanks! :)
     
  19. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    There is so much more that could be added to this firmware. but i have a 1 year old so do nt have the chance atm.

    Thing it does not support
    Self levelling
    cooling fans for both motors and the print bed.

    The cooling fan however for the print head is required and connected to FAN1 on the RUMBA (there is some custom code that starts the fan and shuts it off at 30*C ect

    [​IMG]
     

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  20. alain lowet

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    Thanks for the code , i also have a lot to do because i've buyer a new house... :), but i will try to handle this project as soon as possible, if it is the case, i will give you news! by the way, was it impossible to incorporate the rumba electronic inside the cube case ?
     
  21. Oderbang

    Oderbang Well-Known
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    Unfortunalty not. The pure amount of wiring makes it quite dificult.. you might be able to get it in the base almost under the printer but not likely. When im back home ill get the original board and show tou comparison.. its very long and thin.. as RUMBA is open source it may be possible to make diffrent layout.. which i may look into :) but certainly not in the imidiate future.
     
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  22. JoeyH

    JoeyH Well-Known
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    I'm in the exact same predicament. This DRM tie in is ridiculous.

    Oderbang - do you perhaps have a guide you may have compiled. I want to do the same mod on my Cube 3 but truthfully I have ZERO electronics skills.

    I plan to buy a kit on aliexpress that has the RUMBA board and LCD Panel and any help at all would be much appreciated.
     
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  23. Salo

    Salo New
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    Great Job I am interested and I will help with ideas and upgrade, I got my cube 3 today and I am owner of 4 other types of 3d printers 2 in which I built my self
     
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  24. Salo

    Salo New
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    yes more
     
  25. Salo

    Salo New
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    by the way I got my printer for $150 + $50 shipping I actually calculated the price of accessories to be $366 so I bought 2 more for $150 each with $35 shipping
     
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  26. Nelson66

    Nelson66 Well-Known
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    Hello everyone. I just got a new Cube 3 printer from Ebay for $155, and was wondering if anyone here has the Cubify Client software "pre-version 4.xx". The newest version will never allow me to print unless I upgrade the firmware, currently 1.11A, to the newest 1.14B. I don't really want to do that, as the printer will loose the "loophole" of being able to print using non-3D systems filament. Can anyone help? Versions 3.33 and below should do the trick. Thanks! :)
     
  27. Kyo

    Kyo Master
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    It would appear they have removed all download links for versions prior to 4.03 on their website. However here is their link to download V3.13 Hope that is what you are looking for :thumbsup:
     
    #27 Kyo, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  28. Nelson66

    Nelson66 Well-Known
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    Awesome! Thank so much! I'll give it a try as soon as I get home. :)
     
  29. Nelson66

    Nelson66 Well-Known
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    Haven't fired up the printer (too noisy for this time of night), but I discovered something interesting that may be helpful to others: if you copy the link posted above for version 3.13, and paste it in a new window, you can change the "name" of the file (for example change "3.13.exe" to "3.34.exe" and it will download that version of the Cubify Client instead. It doesn't work for "4.xx.exe" and above thou.
     
  30. Nelson66

    Nelson66 Well-Known
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    Well, seems like 3D Systems got the Cube 3 better protected than a certain Secretary of State's Classified email server. No matter what I tried, no matter what client or firmware I used, the Cube 3 would not print until I updated its firmware to the newest version. Wish someone smarter than me would discover how to hack those cartridge chips... :'(
     

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