Monday, November 3, 2014

CubeStick for the 3rd Generation Cube 2D Printer - Let it Dry

I am still learning the differences between previous Cube printers and the new Cube 3.

Among those things is the way I apply and use the new CubeStick glue used with both the Cube 3 and the CubePro.  As I write this, I am printing an ABS object on a print table having glue that was purposely allowed to dry for more than an hour or more.  That would have been unthinkable to me with previous Cube printers.  Yet, it is holding perfectly.

Now, I'm told that 3D Systems actually suggested that the Cube 2 glue should have also been left to dry before printing.  But, that certainly wasn't my methodology and as soon as I get my Cube 2 printers back, I want to chase that oversight down and test it.

But, I HAVE tested the Cube 3 with both immediately applied wet glue and with completely dry glue.  And, these test were used with ABS, not PLA.  With wet glue, ABS has a tendency to warp and I've even seen pieces being moved around.  With dry glue I've seen far less warping and a rock solid build.

The real test, of course, is to designed an object that I know would have a serious tendency to warp in ABS and then to systematically apply glue and wait specific intervals with a known ambient humidity.  But, that probably won't happen for a while.

I'm simply going to suggest that Cube 3 owners apply glue sparingly in two directions and wait until the surface of the glue appears to be dry before printing.  This takes some discipline and patience.  But, it sure seems that it will provide us with much better adhesion which, in the end will save time because we will not have to restart print jobs due to glue failure.

When I see an ABS object whose length is just millimeters short of the width of the print table and there is no visible lifting at the edges, I have to be excited.  ABS is such a nice material to use once the warping issues are resolved.  And, so far, it looks like being patient with the glue seems that it does the trick.

I'll be taking pictures of the object being printed in a future article about calibration and auto-gapping.  We'll see how straight it stays for the entire 1.5 hr print job.  :)

I love the Cube 3 printer and I'm starting to get more comfortable with the Cubify software and learning a bit more about what it takes to design a two-color friendly STL.


14 comments:

  1. Tom: it has always been my practice to let the glue dry, though being impatient, I have often helped it along with a low heat setting on a hair dryer. Typically that gives a dry to the touch surface in 3 minutes or so, as long as it is thin.

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    1. NOW YOU TELL ME!!!! LOL!

      I did everything possible to print while the glue was wet and to NOT let it dry out with the Cube 2! So, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. And, that is the great thing about a blog community. ALL of us learn.

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  2. I keep running into problem of the print object not sticking to the platform! I did wait for the glue to dry for 10-15 min, but it didn't seem to help. I did have a success where the object has a big surface area in direct contact with the print platform (the octopus model from Cubidy design feed). But when printing something with a small contact surface area (e.g. a Polyhedron), I have not had any success so far. Any tips?? thanks! Btw, this is my first 3D printer and it is AMAZING!!!

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  3. Make sure you are applying relatively thin layers of glue.

    Let the printer start printing until the first layer is laid down and then abort the print and look at the pattern produced. If the first layer is "stringy", with gaps between the lines, your gap may be too large for that print jet.

    You might also want to try forcing the print to the other print jet to see if you have better result.

    Feel free to send me a video documenting what you are experiencing. We're all learning this new printer and what each of us finds will be helpful to all. THANKS!

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  4. that was a quick response! you really are a big fan! I will try again in the coming days with a variety of printing jobs and let you know how I get on! I will remember to use a thin dry layer. Now that you mentioned, the two failed prints did have stringy bottom layers!

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  5. Stringy bottom layers indicate that the gap for the print jet you used was too large, dropping the filament on the print table rather than pressing it on so that it sticks well.

    Be careful that while setting the gap for one print jet that you do not lower the other print jet too much. If you find difference between the print jet heights, check that the lowest print jet gap is set and the other should be OK.

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  6. Thanks for your tip on the Glue. Have you tried for the PLA Material as well? Does it work better too when the glue is dry ??

    The 1st few layers of my PLA doesn't turn our very well but as the model gets build up, the remaining layers is fantastic.I also tend to experience the first few layers of the printout peeling off easily from the build object.

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    1. PLA always prints better than ABS, with very little tendency to warp.

      From your description, I would urge you to contact Cubify support via email right away. And, if you'd like, feel free to email me using the email in sidebar. That first layer is critical not only for the printed object; but, to prevent clogging. They want to hear what people are seeing in the field.

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  7. Tom, I'm curious about this statement: "I'm told that 3D Systems actually suggested that the Cube 2 glue should have also been left to dry before printing."

    I happened to see this post earlier today, then I happened to be looking at my Cube 2 manual which says in big red letters: "WARNING: APPLY ADHESIVE JUST PRIOR TO STARTING A PRINT. ADHESIVE WILL DRY IF YOU WAIT TO
    START A PRINT AFTER APPLICATION. ADHESIVE SHOULD STILL BE WET AT START OF PRINT."

    Did they change their mind later on or something?

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    1. They might have. One of the engineers mentioned that they had suggested the glue dry; but, you and I remember it differently. It could have been an idea that developed over time, with experience. And, they suggested it when someone called into Support.

      Even so, with the Cube 2, I still put on a coat and let it dry. Then, just before printing, I put on another thin layer of glue.

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    2. I tried it last night and it seemed to work fine.

      Now if somebody would just find a technique or fix for the miserable hell that is print pad leveling...

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    3. The Cube 3 leveling is SO MUCh easier than the Cube 2.

      But, if you will email me, I have an STL that REALLY helps. It clips to the print jet housing.

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  8. Any ideas about how to make removing prints with large flat surface areas? I actually broke a print bed (brute, force, and ignorance) when trying to remove a piece... I did not let the glue dry before printing. Is that the real issue? It seems like the water can't get to the center of large flat prints?? Any thoughts?

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    1. A gap that is a bit too small can cause that issue.

      For large, flat prints, I often cut tiny goves into the bottom of the piece just to let water flow under the part to loosen the glue.

      If the glue is completely dry, it does not fill the tiny groves. But, wet glue, of course would move up into the grooves.

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