Use Other slicers with Cube 3

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Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 12:51 am

Use Other slicers with Cube 3

Post by Mythandar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:55 pm

Use other slicers with cube 3
Information to Start With

Cube 3 uses a type of gcode called bfb (bit before byte). In order to use a slicer with the cube3 it has to support this type of gcode. Simplify3d, kisslicer, and the older cura(15.04.6) all support this. I’ve tested with simplify3d and kisslicer and have made a few prints using cura.
Once the model is sliced into a bfb file, cube print encodes it, then slaps on an image which is what gets displayed on the cube’s screen.

Unless otherwise stated, these profiles are for PLA filament, not ABS.

*PLEASE NOTE* - The slicer settings posted are still a WIP, any issues will be listed with that slicers instructions. Also, all the slicers treat the left extruder as the primary extruder, it’s not as easy to force them to use only the second extruder and none of my settings are setup like that.

General rundown of what’s necessary to use other slicers:
This is the basic process that’s needed for all the slicers. Anything else necessary will be listed with that slicer.

1. Slice your file. In both simplify and kisslicer there are settings to have it make and save the file as a bfb. You can’t just rename it, the gcode for bfb printers is different than for standard reprap type printers that use the marlin firmware.

2. Get cube3-encoder.exe from here, . Put cube3-encoder.exe in the same directory as the .bfb file you have made. Drag and drop your .bfb on top of cube3-encoder.exe and you will get a new file with the same name as your bfb but with a .cube3 file extension.
There is another encoder called codex64.exe, it works the same but is a million times slower.

3. Copy your newly made cube3 file onto the thumb drive and insert it in your cube, then go into the print option and pick your file and start printing.

When the cube print program encodes it’s files it also adds a small thumbnail of the print in the file. None of the third party encoders have a way of putting a thumbnail in the file and as such they cannot be read in cube print, they show up as an invalid file so can’t be started using wifi. That’s why we have to use the thumb drive to print using this method.

The start of your bfb file has to contain certain information for the cube 3 to recognize it as a valid file. The following is what I put in mine :
^MaterialLengthE1: 0.001
^MaterialLengthE2: 0.000
^MaterialLengthE3: 0.000

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Although kisslicer’s interface is far from easy to look at and get around, it isn’t too bad once you get use to it. I’ve been getting some decent prints using kisslicer that were often comparable to what cube print gave me. I know there’s some restrictions that I haven’t been able to get around in kisslicer, which could prevent some prints from being as good, but hopefully we can get that figured out.

Kisslicer Settings:!AtMbZIO7-msPgq1j3uKq3XOJBtLbew

The settings for kisslicer are all contained in 4 .ini files that reside in the same directory as the executable. For everyone’s convenience I’ve packed everything needed into one zip file. Just unzip into a directory of your choosing and your all set.
Kisslicer should be setup to save as a bfb, then just follow the steps at the beginning of the post to convert it to a .cube3 file. Good luck.

*If I decide to get kisslicer pro I’ll update this section with dual printing settings*

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I’m going to update this section as soon as I can but for now here’s the profiles for both 1 extruder printing, and 2 extruder’s. Please note that the print quality of the 2 extruder profile isn’t the best yet, it needs more tweaking.

Tested: (setup for pla only)
simplify3d 1 extruder (left extruder only) :!AtMbZIO7-msPgrVo261uCCYwfrEaLQ
Simplify3d 2 extruder :!AtMbZIO7-msPgrVsjvVDod1pylMB2Q

These untested profiles should be the same as above but are setup for each extruder and filament type. These are all setup for stock cube3 filaments temperatures for now. This only matters during the initial heat up and prime (except for dual extrusion). Future update will have the temperature change to what temp you set.
Simplify3d 1 Extruder (left extruder - PLA):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdmSnywDY_HjBMgeQ
Simplify3d 1 Extruder (right extruder - PLA):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdlM5NmRf8I8MkI1w
Simplify3d 1 Extruder (left extruder - ABS):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdjCX304O3caTVrDw
Simplify3d 1 Extruder (right extruder - ABS):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdk15zooayT_udFHw

Simplify3d 2 Extruder print (PLA):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdohYScVsS0mYAJ0g
Simplify3d 2 Extruder print (ABS):!AtMbZIO7-msPgrdnzcq382TvuAO7mA

*note for 2 extruder* - after you save the .bfb you need to open it up in a txt editor and remove any line above:

Those should be at the start of the file with no other lines above it. For some reason it adds 2 lines above that (M101, and M201).

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To use cura with the cube3 you have to use the old cura, the latest version of old cura is 15.04.6. The newer cura doesn’t make .bfb files so unfortunately we can’t use it. There’s one extra step necessary (hopefully).

STEP 2.5 : Cura doesn’t have any post-processing so we have to do this manually. After you save the bfb we have to remove any lines that start with “;” before we encode it. Or the file is called invalid by the cube. See below for my steps using notepad++.

Update : user MegaloDon has made a script that will perform everything needed for a cura file, including encoding it. Simply put the cube3-encoder.exe, your .bfb file, and the script file in the same directory and drag and drop your .bfb onto the script file. It will remove the lines with ";" that we need then it runs your file through the encoder. Nice and simple. Here's a download link for the script file

Here’s my current profile. It doesn’t make very good prints but is a place to start.!AtMbZIO7-msPgq1kmMbc1HMV3LbFVA

Setup Cura With A Machine

You will have to setup a new machine. Go to “Machine” – “Add New Machine”, then choose “other”, then choose “BFB”

When your back at cura go back to “Machine” – “Machine settings” and for me it named the machine as BFB_test, make sure that’s selected and setup all the settings for the cube3. Here’s a screen shot of how I have mine setup.

Removing those pesky ;’s for step 2.5:
In gcode “;” is used to indicate a comment, however having these in a bfb for the cube3 causes it to call the .cube3 file as invalid, so we have to remove them. It may be possible to replace them with ^ or # but I haven’t tested that.

To begin with, open your bfb in notepad++. Then I hit ctrl-f and go to mark. In the box put ; and made sure bookmark lines it check marked. Here’s a picture of it.

It will say that it’s bookmarked a whole bunch of lines. Close that screen if you have it open still.
Now we just have to go to Search – Bookmark – Cut bookmarked lines. Then save the file and encode it using step 3 at the top of the post.
A pic of that.

In my initial testing I had a bunch more steps that I had to do for it to finally work. Hopefully no one else ends up with that issue. To verify just open your .bfb, after the above step is done, in regular normal crappy notepad. It should look like the next picture. If you scroll down in yours you should see some empty lines, that’s ok.
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 12:51 am

Re: Use Other slicers with Cube 3

Post by Mythandar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Thought I'd just get this up. I'll pretty it up later. I think all the links work.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 19, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: Use Other slicers with Cube 3

Post by buddybu » Tue May 21, 2019 12:35 am

Any chance you could PM me the cura setup you use? What is the normal (works most often) process for using Cura with a Cube3?
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