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Cubiio 2

Abstract

  • Back in Spring 2020, I have backed a project on Kickstarter – an attempt at making a thin desktop laser cutter/engraver – that project was Cubiio 2. They succeeded at raising a ton of money from multiple crowd-funding platforms and the project has started shipping in December 2020.
  • I have received my unit on December 18th, 2020 and immediately started seeing a lot of rough edges around software, documentation and tooling for what seemed like a really nice device.
  • After fighting through a number of issues, working with support and a ton of experimentation, I have ended up with a set of notes on my experience. To help the community cope with the lack of official resources, I have decided to publish my Roam Research notes in more-less raw format on this page. I'm going to keep the page up to date with my experiences and new information I find on the project or figure out myself.
  • If you have any additional resources you think would make sense adding here, feel free to raise an issue or a pull request on GitHub.

Last update: January 1st, 2021

  • See Updates History below for more details.

Setup and installation

  • Installed the app from Apple's App Store
    • The app is pretty much useless on anything smaller than an iPas mini
  • Connected it to wifi using the iOS app on the iPad
  • Switched the device to a static IP address
    • Checked my router to see what ip did it assign to the device
    • Mapped the device to a static IP
    • Restarted the device to make sure it gets the new IP
  • Opened the Web UI by accessing device's IP address
    • No auth!
  • Updated the firmware:
    • http://IP.ADD.RE.SS/fw_update.htm
    • Downloaded the latest firmware
    • Uploaded it to the device
    • It has restarted automatically
    • Checked the firmware page again to make sure it was running the new version

Known Issues

  • "System is not ready. \nPlease perform initialization first."
    • According to support:
      • This error message means that the machine did not execute the "Go Home" program after completing the connection, or the "Go Home" did not complete.

        After clicking the "Go Home" button, you will see the laser head move in the x and y directions, and finally stop at the upper right corner of the machine.

    • After some troubleshooting, we've realized, that the machine has two separate sensors to detect if the lid is closed and it refuses to execute any commands if it is not.
      • In my case, the lid was not closed completely on one side (had to push it to the side a little bit for it to close properly).
  • No SVG support in iOS app

Tips and Tricks

  • Here I try to collect different settings, processes, etc I've used for engraving/cutting different materials, different content, etc.
  • Engraving Black Walnut

    • Burns really quickly, which allows for very high-resolution detailed engravings
    • 20% at 25 mm/sec with two passes produce a really detailed and stable/deep engraving
  • Engraving Olive Wood

    • Much harder to burn: sapwood is dry and burns easily, heartwood is really oily, which leads to lower details in engravings.
    • 50% at 25 mm/sec produces pretty good results both on sapwood and heartwood
  • Printing vector graphics

    • So far, the best process I've found for this is pretty counter-intuitive
      • Render the vector picture into a 300-600dpi PNG image
      • Send it to your iOS device
      • Save the image into your photos (Share -> Save image)
      • Add the image to your Cubiio app by clicking the picture icon and selecting the image from the photos.
        • This produces a really high-resolution engraving with a lot of small details that are often lost when converting vector to G-Code
    • For high-detail engravings, I have found that using lower power initial pass (20-25%) creates a nice detailed foundation, that could be deepened by a subsequent higher-power pass without the loss of detail.
      • Doing a higher-power pass in one go produces more burned wood and reduces the details visible in the final result.
  • Alternative installation (no DHCP tweaking, no IP address).

    • Your Cubiio 2 has a pretty name. It is called cubiio2-<serial number> where <serial number> is specific to your machine. For example cubiio2-a0d5.
    • It is the same name as
      • the WiFi SSID you found when turning on the Cubiio 2 for the first time
      • the name of the Cubiio 2 in the Cubiio 2 app
    • You can connect to your Cubiio 2 from your browser by referring to
      • http://cubiio2-<SN>.local (for example: http://cubiio2-a0d5.local).
        • The .local is very important.
    • See mDNS for details on how this works.

G-Code

  • Inkscape

    • Resources:
    • G-Code Generation parameters (from official docs):
      • Laser ON command: M03
      • Laser OFF command: M05
      • Travel Speed : 600(the max of speed)
      • Laser Speed : 600(the max of speed)
      • Laser Power : 255(the max of power)
      • Suggestion:
        • Setting the max power(255)/speed(600mm/min).
        • You can adjust speed and power in the APP.
    • Notes:
      • Did not work, generated G-Code file crashed the app reliably when loaded
  • LaserWeb

    • Open-source software for controlling Laser and CNC machines, allows you to use all kinds of vector files with machines working on G-Code
    • Official site: https://laserweb.yurl.ch/
    • I've used the hosted version so far: https://laserweb.github.io/LaserWeb4/
    • Notes:
      • After opening it for the first time, you need to set up device parameters in the settings view:
        • Machine section:
          • MACHINE WIDTH: 300
          • MACHINE HEIGHT: 220
        • G-Code section:
          • TOOL ON: M03
          • TOOL OFF: M05
          • PWM MIN S VALUE: 0
          • PWM MAX S VALUE: 255
      • G-Code generation from SVG files:

        • Add svg files
        • Select objects
        • Set up G-Code for laser engraving (without fill)
          • Click "Create Single"
          • Select "Laser Cut"
          • Enter laser power: 100% (the app will override this)
          • Enter cut rate: 600 (the app will override this)
        • Set up G-Code for filling
          • Click "Create Single"
          • Select "Laser Fill Path"
          • Select black color for stroke and for fill
          • Line distance: 0.5 mm (for wood)
            • Official Inkscape docs say it should be 0.1, but wood ends up burning too much at that setting
          • Enter laser power: 100% (the app will override this)
          • Enter cut rate: 600 (the app will override this)
        • Click "Generate"
        • After it is generated, click the green "Save" icon
        • Rename the resulting file to something with a .txt extension
        • Select it from the iPad app, move around as needed, scale, etc
        • Then proceed to engrave
          • Params I used for wood
            • Power: 30%
            • Speed: 100 (I have a feeling this is not mm/sec, but % because it does not allow you to go higher than 100)
            • Passes: 1
  • Commands Reference

    • G0 - TRAVEL XY
    • G1 - LINEAR XY
    • G2 - CW_ARC XYIJ
    • G3 - CCW_ARC XYIJ
    • G20 - UNIT_INCH
    • G21 - UNIT_MM (default)
    • G90 - ABSOLUTE (default)
    • G91 - INCREMENTAL
    • M03 - LASER ON
    • M05 - LASER OFF
    • F - SPEED 0-600 (mm/min)
    • S - POWER 0-255

Useful Resources

Updates History

  • January 1st, 2021
    • Added the Updates History section
    • Added a Tips and Tricks section
    • Added the official FAQ link
    • Added an mDNS tip from TotallyFred
  • December 23rd, 2020
    • Cleaned up the notes and published the initial version of the document

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My notes, links and resources for Cubiio 2 Laser Cutter/Engraver

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