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Need Information
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BillDempsey
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Post: #1
Need Information
I have a CubeX Trio printer, which is a mechanically excellent machine. I have a real problem with the locked-in electronics, though. What I'd like to do, now that it's out of warranty, is to swap out the electronics for something more generic and easy to tweak. This would also allow me to feed regular filament through the machine. Unfortunately, I'm not very knowledgeable about the available replacement options.

The current hardware configuration is this:
1 x stepper for X
2 x steppers for Y
1 x stepper for Z
3 x steppers for the 3 extruders
-----
7 total steppers

6 fans on the print head. (3 face platform - 3 cool filament path)

3 J-head style hot ends.

Would also like to add heated platform, if possible.


My Question is:
Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf controller board which can handle all of this hardware?


I saw that RAMBo has 6 stepper drivers, but as I mentioned above, I need 7.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
09-13-2013 03:51 PM
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BillDempsey
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Post: #2
RE: Need Information
* sorry, I meant RUMBA has 6 steppers... RAMBo has 5, it seems.
09-14-2013 12:02 AM
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art3d
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Post: #3
RE: Need Information
Hey Bill. Buy a mega and ramps board (ramps is a plug in component that has all the outputs for your steppers and heaters), then use Arduino firmware and repetier to run it and generate the gcode. I'm sure some one would of already done this mod to a CubeX, so hopefully you will be able to get a firmware for the CubeX of someone. If you can't find the firmware you may have to do the config yourself. Its not hard but can take a long time playing around with what settings are best suited to your printer. Ohh yeah you might need to get a small lcd screen and some buttons to control the mega and see what she's doin. You can get those at most places that sell Arduino mega boards and ramps boards.

Don't skimp on cheaper mega or ramps boards would be my tip.
Keep us informed buddy. Best of luck.
And don't forget we are here to help, so give a shout out if you need more help.

Ohh, I forgot the heatbed request. Ok, so some 3d printer manufactures think its a good idea to make printers with no heatbeads. I don't. One of the things some manufactures do is skimp on the power supply because you no longer need a 350w+ psu to make a few more bucks of you. Then when its closed sorce, one has no choice to do a mega conversion and go back to open sorce so you can then add/change the things you want, like a heatbed or better extruder.
11-25-2013 04:25 AM
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BillDempsey
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Post: #4
RE: Need Information
(11-25-2013 04:25 AM)art3d Wrote:  Hey Bill. Buy a mega and ramps board (ramps is a plug in component that has all the outputs for your steppers and heaters), then use Arduino firmware and repetier to run it and generate the gcode. I'm sure some one would of already done this mod to a CubeX, so hopefully you will be able to get a firmware for the CubeX of someone. If you can't find the firmware you may have to do the config yourself. Its not hard but can take a long time playing around with what settings are best suited to your printer. Ohh yeah you might need to get a small lcd screen and some buttons to control the mega and see what she's doin. You can get those at most places that sell Arduino mega boards and ramps boards.

Don't skimp on cheaper mega or ramps boards would be my tip.
Keep us informed buddy. Best of luck.
And don't forget we are here to help, so give a shout out if you need more help.

Ohh, I forgot the heatbed request. Ok, so some 3d printer manufactures think its a good idea to make printers with no heatbeads. I don't. One of the things some manufactures do is skimp on the power supply because you no longer need a 350w+ psu to make a few more bucks of you. Then when its closed sorce, one has no choice to do a mega conversion and go back to open sorce so you can then add/change the things you want, like a heatbed or better extruder.

Thanks for the reply!

I just checked out RAMPS and it only has 3 thermistor circuits. I have 3 hot ends and want a heated bed, which I think means I'd need 4 thermistor circuits, right? Is there a way to get a 4th thermistor circuit out of the board? Sorry, if that's a dumb question, but I'm still learning about the electronics of all this.

I already have a couple megas lying around here, so I'm good on that end.
11-26-2013 05:19 PM
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art3d
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Post: #5
RE: Need Information
(09-13-2013 03:51 PM)BillDempsey Wrote:  This would also allow me to feed regular filament through the machine.
If thats all you want to do, I heard its just a matter of cutting the tube and feeding filament in from another spool.
11-27-2013 03:52 AM
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BillDempsey
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Post: #6
RE: Need Information
(11-27-2013 03:52 AM)art3d Wrote:  
(09-13-2013 03:51 PM)BillDempsey Wrote:  This would also allow me to feed regular filament through the machine.
If thats all you want to do, I heard its just a matter of cutting the tube and feeding filament in from another spool.

I used the word "also" to signify this as a secondary benefit. I'm already feeding regular filament from external spools by necessity. I have had a 100% failure rate on their cartridges. Tried 8. All failed. If I can change out the electronics, I won't have to leave empty cartridges installed in the printer in order to feed decent filament into the machine.

My primary reason for wanting to do this is so that I can use an open source tool chain for operation of the printer. Their software is horrid. Their firmware is bizarre. They use a proprietary print file rather than standard gcode. All of these elements hold this printer back from achieving its potential. It's lock-in at its worst.

There is a back door work around that lets us use KISSlicer with the printer now. For some reason, 3DSystems left the ability to print .BFB files in the firmware. A guy on the KISSlicer forums wrote a utility that converts the output from KISSlicer into a .BFB file. This is working for now, but 3DSystems could (and likely will) remove that capability at some point. Then, we'll be stuck again.

What I really want to do is use Cura or Octoprint directly with the printer. To do this, I would need Marlin compatible electronics installed in the printer. I'm still looking into it, but at some point, I'll have to make an attempt. It seems nobody else has tried it yet, so I guess I'm going to be the guinea pig when I finally do it.

Wish me luck.
11-29-2013 09:23 PM
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