Cube 3D RepRap Conversion

The Cube 3D was released by 3D Systems in 2014. It is a nice printer but was mostly locked-in to their ecosystem. Since support and cartridge production has mostly ceased these can be found on eBay for <200 USD. I saw some posts on Reddit and Thingiverse about converting these to open-source RepRaps, and remembered that these have quite nice motion systems. Some nice features:

  • Die-cast frame, nicely milled for squareness
  • Linear ball-bearing rails
  • GT2 belts with 14 tooth pulleys on X,Y,Z
  • Lots of holes for mounting components

I patiently watched eBay over the summer and sniped two Cubes for $80 and $120. So $100 for stepper motors, linear rails, pulleys, belts, and a frame. Quite a good deal in my book. I started the build in July, but due to grad school I only finished in December. Fortunately my work-horse Mendel90 is still alive and kicking, and was able to print the parts for the Cube build. The Mendel90 is a great design, however mine has been through four moves in college, travel to-and-from schools, and left for dead in a sub-freezing garage during NY winters. But, it still prints pretty darn good for being almost 5 years old, albeit with poor tolerance. I wanted something a little smaller, more robust, and with the latest features. I came up with the following feature list for the build:

  • Trinamic drivers
  • Auto-leveling bed
  • All metal construction
  • Self contained (PSU + Filament spool onboard)
  • All Metal Hot-side
  • Total Cost <$600

As a personal challenge, I did most of the design in Fusion 360, and some parts in FreeCAD. I would normally do something like this in OpenSCAD, but I wanted to learn more traditional design tools. Fusion 360 now runs on Linux with Lutris, which is quite nice and does not need a Windows VM. I could have gone out an bought a Prusa Mk3 for a little more. However, I think this printer is more compact, accurate, and keeps the RepRap lineage going:

Bill of Materials

The high-level Bill of Materials is quite good. I had pretty much all the hardware and connectors on hand to finish it up. Overall the big ticket items added up to just under 400 USD. Adding in all the extras I had on hand, I am probably still under 500 USD for the build.

Part SourceCost Link
Cube 3DeBay$100
350W PSU
Rambo 1.1
E3D V6
(Bowden, 24V)
Titan Extrudere3d$78

Approx. Total:$393

Marlin Config:

Github Repo:

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