Showing posts with label Cube Failure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cube Failure. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Care and Feeding of the Cube 3D Printer (Video)

I've been wanting to create some better videos about the Cube 3D printer, itself.  This is the first attempt in that direction.

I have received a number of emails from users that have described this or that issue they've had with their Cube printer.  Some have had clogged heads and others have asked about the using the CubeStick glue to best effect.  This video covers the following topics...

Setting the Head Gap

Nothing will clog a 3D printer faster than when the print jet is hitting the print bed.  Yet, we need a very small gap to ensure that the first layer of filament is properly laid down on the print bed.  A TWO STEP process for setting the gap is demonstrated along with the paper I've found that works the best for me.

Applying CubeStick

One of the most challenging thing for me, when going to the new 2nd Generation Cube from the 1st Generation Cube was the different behaviors of the two different glues.  The first generation Cube used a heat activated glue and, frankly, was a LOT easier to use both before, during and after the print job.

I found that I was having a LOT of trouble getting parts to stick immediately after I'd cleaned the print bed.  And, I didn't realize that by trying to solve the problem by applying thicker coats of glue only resulted in transferring glue to the little rubber cap over the print jet... essentially gluing the flowing filament to the cap and not the bed.

Finding the proper gap helped.  But, finding a more reliable system for applying the CubeStick was the real solution.

A Tip When Changing Cartridges

For a long time, I created some problems for myself because I did not understand the correct timing for pulling on the filament when removing it to change cartridges.  When the Cube team explained the steps of the process that the Cube takes when removing filament, I came up with a visual clue for myself that allowed me to more easily go with the flow when removing filament.  The result is no more instances of broken filament inside the print jet!

The Correct Way to Insert the Cartridge

While teaching a 3D printing class at Freestate Challenge Academy, we had two different instances where the little metal contacts in the cartridge slot were broken as the student loaded cartridges.  From this experience, we learned two things.  (1) The correct process for inserting the cartridge and (2) how to solder in replacement contacts.  We will show the latter later.  But, for now, this video demonstrates the SAFE way to insert new cartridges to avoid the potential for breaking the contacts.

The Video...

This is the first of the videos that I hope to bring you regarding the Cube 3D Printer, itself.  As will be clear, I do not write a script.  So, you will hear some obvious errors... such as when I talk about lowering the head when I really mean the bed.  But, I'm trusting that the information is useful enough that you will forgive my slips here and there.  I have to do these videos and tutorials in the limited time that I have to do them.  So, perfection is NOT an option.  :)

I have made the difficult decision to use the YouTube "Monetize" option to help offset the costs of the investment required to bring a higher quality of videos to you.  I know that it's annoying. But, hopefully you will find some of the products and services advertised useful enough to click on at least some the ads.

That investment, by the way, included a new Panasonic HC-X920 video camera and new LED 100WA-56 / LED 200WA-56 lights.  I mention this because these products have only recently been introduced and some of my fellow members of the DPReview forums have expressed an interest in seeing how well they perform. 

If you have the bandwidth, try viewing the video in HD 1080p, to see why I feel that investment was well worth it.  I love this combination!

Well... with that said... here is my first 2nd Generation Cube video!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thaw Iced Cubes Carefully

This comes under the heading of "What NOT to do with a Cube".

I managed to short out the control board or power supply on my Cube due to condensation that formed when I left my Cube in the trunk of my car overnight in sub-freezing temperatures, brought it into a warm room and immediately tried to start it.

Bad idea.

I should have known better.  Back in my years of video production with reel-to-reel video recorders I learned that condensation instantly can form on cold equipment when it's brought inside.  The tape would actually stick to the head drum from moisture forming on the drum.  We ALWAYS waited a few minutes before turning on our video tape machines that had gone from very cold conditions to a warm room.

Now, I know that leaving a Cube in the truck of my car in sub-freezing temperatures requires that same patience in starting up that Cube in a warm room.  Even a few minutes would have made a difference.

It's not that the Cube cannot survive the cold.  The outdoor studio in which mine usually sets regularly goes down below freezing.  But, I always warm of the building before firing up the Cube and so no moisture is formed due to the differences between the ambient temperature of the air and the Cube.  Both air and Cube warm simultaneously.

In this particular case the air was warm and the Cube was cold.  As we all learned in Science this can cause the water in the warm air to condense on the cold surface.  Water on electrical surfaces is NOT a good thing.

It's now in the hands of the good Cube doctors who will be performing open Cube surgery.  I'm told the prognosis is good and it should be back home shortly.  That is very good news.  I'm suffering a severe case of Cube withdrawal.  I've still got my RepRap; but, it's just not the same.


It's OK to let your Cube go below freezing.  But, when bringing a freezing Cube into a warm room, give the Cube some time to warm up before turning it on. Better safe than sorry.


Keep watching the comments to this post as Mike continues to troubleshoot and make additional discoveries.  Thank you Mike for taking the time to chase this down!