Now, I know that is small comfort for those who have had a Cube3 languishing on the shelf as we waited for the solutions to be found. But, with this latest combination of Cubify Client software and firmware updates I'm trusting that your faith will be at least a bit restored and that mine will be proven justified.
Getting a 3D printer to work is a LOT more difficult than it may seem on the surface. Just go back through countless countless Kickstarter campaigns to see how many actually delivered to happy doners. And, in the case of the Cube3 there was an added wrinkle.
That wrinkle was the desire to create a long term solution to be able to deliver a true consumer 3D printer. That this was an important design consideration was obvious to me the very first time I tool my Cube3 out of the box. The 3D Systems' designers had gone over all of the impediments for widespread consumer 3D printing and created a platform that answered each of those impediments.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, they may have taken on too many challenges in a single generation by introducing BOTH the self contained cartridge/guide/printjet system and two color printing. So, it, no doubt, complicated a total solution taking more time to get to the point where I believe we are with these updates.
I print a LOT. It is rare that my 3D printers aren't going day and night. So, I've had opportunity to make some observations. The first was that incorrect gap could not have had anything to do with failures that would occur well after a print had started. The updates address this issue.
NEW TEMPERATURE TABLES
Temperature for each combination of material type and material color is controlled by a table of values in firmware. These have been refined in this update. I am told that "...the new temp tables have proven to be very effective for cartridge reliability." It also explains why we found a reliability difference between colors.
NOTE: If your printer continues to repeatedly clog in the upper layers of a print job, it may have a bad heater block. Contact Cubify Support to troubleshootIt will take some more observations to understand the behavior of the new temperature tables starting, running and ending a print job with different colors, etc.
REFINED FILAMENT FLOW CONTROL
As you, no doubt, have observed, the extruder gear both pushes and pulls the filament. It pushes while feeding out filament and then pulls to retract the filament as it travels over distances without printing. While it has not been officially confirmed, it is my understanding that the push/pull process has been refined to prevent pulling the heated filament too far back into the guide assembly where it could cool and create a blockage. I'm making an assumption here that this is also addresses in these updates.
While a permanent fix is still in the works, these updates begin to address an issue where Auto-Level goes into an endless loop. What is happening is that the firmware is seeing a value that is right on the edge of acceptable limits. It's like finding yourself sitting right on top of a fence and not being able to decide to move to one side or the other.
If you have this condition, simply move the plate to the font of the printer, loosen the front knob and turn it 1mm to the left or right. You should then be able to properly level.
They are aware of this and a future firmware update will address it.
ADDRESS YOUR PRINT JET LEVELS
None of these updates will solve your printer's issues if you install both cartridges and the print jets are not level. I suggest testing the update with only one cartridge installed to verify that clogging is eliminated before adding the second cartridge. Only then would I suggest moving on to two color printing AFTER ensuring that both print jets have the same gap.
WHAT I WILL BE LOOKING FOR
My fifth grade teacher would be horrified by that sentence; but, I can't think of any other way to say it. One of my as yet unconfirmed observations is that a cartridge would print just fine for multiple print jobs and then fail right at the beginning of a new print job. To me, that only made sense if something in either the Cubify Client or the firmware miscalculated the position of the print jet to be lower than a proper first line of print. In other words, it seemed likely that the printer was told to raise the print table higher than it should.
I will be paying close attention to this issue. I BELIEVE it is supposed to have been found and fixed. But, I have no confirmation that either is true.
While I do not have a comprehensive list of improvements, those that I do know about seem to go a long way to addressing the clogging issue. Let's hope we can concentrate on producing beautiful 3D prints time after time. :)