Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Ekobots - Rubik´s Cube "As one piece".

by jsirgado May 30, 2016
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can this be scaled down?

Hi skitcher.
I believe you can do it, but you need a real good printer to do it.
In the actual size, it is hard to print in a filament 3D Printer.
I believe you will need a powder or resin 3D Printer to do it.

Kind regards Juan.

I scaled down to 50% after customizing it to have double the tolerances and it broke on one side, stuck on all others but the opposite side, which turned. :l

I took a quick look at OpenSCAD file. Dots come out convex (i.e., sticking out) as opposed concave (i.e., sunk into the cube). Is there a way to control it? Thank you!

I figured it out. My OpenSCAD rendering settings were set to stop rendering at 100K elements. After a setting change the preview renders correctly

Ok. I always start with my cheapest filament for my first print just to uncover any potential issues. So I was able to do a complete print with HIPS. The outer squares seemed ok with only minimal cross overs except for the base. I need to use a raft to lift the base up away for more even print overall. But the center sphere seems to fuse more with the center square "anchors". I noticed that as the cube was being built the sphere would "wobble" when the extruder worked on it until the axis of the side center squares started being built. Maybe that wobble is contributing to the fusing? In short, using HIPS I couldn't get a cube with any moving part. Do you recommend another filament for "dimensional accuracy" for more precision printing?
That problem seems like something PVA would prevent. In order to use a secondary extruder for PVA I will need another object at the exact same coordinates that is only all the "gaps". I use Cura and it does an extrusion merge with the two objects.
I am using the new TAZ 6 from lulzbot.

Hi sirwejiv!
Please, give one week, I will buy filament and make some tests.
I believe the problem is the proportion between size of each layer and the distance of each piece.
I give feedback to you as soon as possible!

Regards Juan.

ok. I look forward to your adjustments.

Hi sirwejiv!
This weekend I made some tests.
I printed a small cube(70%) with a ratio of 1 to 2 between layer size and distance between parts.
All parts are good but the core melted.
Then I created an object with 2 pieces with the same size to simulate the core "ball-joint",
after some tests I found 0.75mm distance between the pieces and 0.25 layer height.
With this ratio, all parts are good and the object works great!
I believe that the 1 to 3 between layer size and parts distance
is a good ratio, and I used cooling all time in 100%.
I do not printed the full size cube yet because it will take more than 20 hours!
I will return you when done!

This is great news!

I also have been researching for a better slicer and have purchased and experimented with Simplify3D. I am not ruling out Cura. I just want to optimize our chance at success. I successfully printed a digital sun dial which involves intricate and delicate parts -although not moveable.


What slicer do you use?

I know that HIPS is not the best filament either. I want this to work for you as your cube has real potential!

Digital Sundial

Hi sirwejiv!
I use Cura now, but used Slicl3r for years.
I printed a full cube with .25mm layers and .75 pieces distance, and:

  • The core do not fuse and the rotation works great;
  • I lost the botton of the centers (now I added support pins);
  • The 0.75 distance is too big, the pieces are a bit loose, not good;

The printed cube is not a good object to put in the "Make" yet.
I will try again in time, but first I need:

  • Improve my cooling system;
  • Change the printer nouse from a .5 mm to .3 mm;

I changed the code, now it is customizable in the site!

  • different distances for the blocks and the core pieces.

I download 4 new objects with some print improvements.
I believe with the changes, it is great to print with PVA and Resin.

Regards Juan.

Hi jsirgado,
what if I wanted to double it's size? say, make it 120mm instead of 60mm. What do you recommend for the parameters of your openscad code? Do you think it might print "in one piece" .at that size? Currently the TAZ6 only provides .5mm extruder.

Hi Sirwejiv.

I recomend use 3 layers for the core distance and 1 or 2 layers for pieces distance.
Remember, if you double the size of the cube you need use half of the distance value in the customizer.
Please, look in your slicer software(Cura, Slic3r, ...) what is the size for the layer height and start with it.
I do not recommend use too big or too small distances independent of the cube size.
I uploaded 6 pieces with different "core distances", than you can verify the best distance for your printer.
The objects are:
The objects have support pins inside the parts, just shake with care until free all parts.

Regards Juan.

Thanks for the test pieces. They gave me the confidence to skip my test with HIPS and to go ahead with the expensive INOVA 1800 CoPolyester filament.
I printed all of the test pieces in one print to see which ones didn't work. I suspect alot of other people will do the same. May I suggest that you embed the core distance on the test pieces themselves? That way you will know which is which.

Good tip!
I believe is easy to do it with the new version of OpenScad.
I reply you when done.

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Thanks for the tip! Yes sure, I will try it! ;-)