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Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress

Posted by vannystick 
Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress
November 26, 2017 07:50AM
The Unicubic U1 is a Prusa i3 style printer that appears to be a cut down clone of the Anet A8.

This printer can be found for sale primarily on Amazon and EBay in the UK for £210 to £240 and sold by DYFeng Store. When I purchased the printer there was an offer on for £160 making it very attractive, especially when I didn't have plans for buying a printer. I wish I had done more research!

I've had a number of smallish problems with the printer and found that there is no technical support or a way to contact Unicubic despite the 1 year guarantee. At the time of writing the Unicubic.xyz website has been down for a few weeks. No response from the seller on Amazon and the 'reviews' are word for word from Unicubics sales media, read into that what you will.



The kit was easy to build, the instructions where okay ish and the unit was mostly pre wired which certainly sped up the build. Some of the pictures in the build guide are of poor quality, skip steps and please don't follow them when making the power connections to the power supply of the magic smoke is likely to escape!

There are no obvious instructions on how to tension the belts, run the cables to the print head or what the plastic tube in the kit was for. Most of this was easy to sort out and pretty quickly I was up and running, printing the demo from the SD card, a simple tube. I spent far far too long levelling the bed. My first print created a not very round tube, so a bit more tweaking of the belts and the 'kneeling elephant' printed out pretty well.

The system board is a 3DYMY RAMPS 'Plus2'.

Obviously I wanted to print the test boat to give me an idea of how good a print I could get. And this was my first major issue.

It was pretty simple to get CURA installed, the model downloaded from Thingiverse, sliced to GCODE and copied to the SD Card. On trying to load the file from the SD card, the printer simply locked up. I tried changing my CURA settings and making other tweaks, but ultimately I found I had no idea what firmware was on the printer. It was clearly Marlin but an older version. So a reinstall was the only way to go.

What I should have done is fire up Arduino, read the settings in a serial window and make a note of them, but I didn't. What followed was 30 minutes of installing the latest version of Marlin, followed by a week of working out the right settings! In the process i've discovered the original problem I had with loading the Boat was actually with the 'Kingston' SD card which is most certainly not genuine.







One issue I am having is lateral lamination, my layers in Z are well bonded but my parallel X/Y lines do not seem to fuse.



I'd welcome any and all input, suggestions etc I'm fluent with the Arduino IDE and 12v electronics, but for 3D printing i'm very much at the start of the learning curve.
Re: Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress
November 26, 2017 11:23AM
The Anets are junks and this copy is obviously a piece of junk too.
The majority of these cheap printers are not worth it but for a very few that can be improved because they have a metallic frame. Not the case here.
Send it back or resell it to someone you don't like.


"You failed to maintain your weapon, son" (Harry Brown )
Re: Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress
November 26, 2017 12:06PM
Quote
vannystick
There are no obvious instructions on how to tension the belts, run the cables to the print head or what the plastic tube in the kit was for. Most of this was easy to sort out and pretty quickly I was up and running, printing the demo from the SD card, a simple tube. I spent far far too long levelling the bed. My first print created a not very round tube, so a bit more tweaking of the belts and the 'kneeling elephant' printed out pretty well.

On trying to load the file from the SD card, the printer simply locked up. I tried changing my CURA settings and making other tweaks, but ultimately I found I had no idea what firmware was on the printer. It was clearly Marlin but an older version. So a reinstall was the only way to go.

What I should have done is fire up Arduino, read the settings in a serial window and make a note of them, but I didn't. What followed was 30 minutes of installing the latest version of Marlin, followed by a week of working out the right settings! In the process i've discovered the original problem I had with loading the Boat was actually with the 'Kingston' SD card which is most certainly not genuine.

One issue I am having is lateral lamination, my layers in Z are well bonded but my parallel X/Y lines do not seem to fuse.

The Y carriage belt should be adjusted to a tension on the belt not tighter than 6.5lbs, as the (sideways) loading of a Nema 17 stepper motor.

Watch video Here

Some SD cards will not work with 3D printers as they are 8 or 16 bit systems I would use a 2GB sd Card, As my 4GB card is to large and fails on occasions.

I am still using Cura 15.04.6 so don't let anyone say it won't work because it does. However I do use Cura 2.X, 3.X, Slicr3 and idealMaker so I am not just using Cura.

The lamination problem could be the belt needs to be tightened, more likely to be that your infill was to low. Start with 30% infill.

I have included my Cura settings you can look see what you like.

Cura15.04.6Settings.zip
Cura2.6.2.zip

If you need any help Post or PM will help you with what I know.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2017 12:08PM by Roberts_Clif.
Re: Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress
November 27, 2017 07:40AM
Check that when you ask "pronterface" or "repetier" to extrude 100mm of filament that it does - within a mm or two.

The China kits are a race to the bottom - this forum and youtube are full of "how-to's" on upgrading these kits to get decent prints.
Re: Unicubic U1 - Review and work in progress
November 27, 2017 08:08AM
Quote
SteveRoy
Check that when you ask "pronterface" or "repetier" to extrude 100mm of filament that it does - within a mm or two.

The China kits are a race to the bottom - this forum and youtube are full of "how-to's" on upgrading these kits to get decent prints.

And I have used all upgrades that make my prints stack up to the best 3D Printers.
Hoping soon to make a Laser cutter, so as to etch enamel paint from copper coated enamel painted boards, as a pre-step for preparing for copper etching>
This will allow a cheaper and faster method for working with other projects that require electronics.
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