Monday, January 6, 2014

Cube Game Changers Announced at CES

CES is here again!

If any of you ever entertained the idea that I work for 3D Systems, the fact that I seem always to be the last to know about new products should put that thought to rest!!!  LOL!

While I assumed that 3D Systems would be making some big announcements at CES, I was floored by what I have read in the press releases!!!

I am not going to insult your intelligence by simply copying and pasting the 3D Systems press release.  Instead, I will refer you to the newly designed Cubify web site.

There you will find the announcement of two new Cube printers.  Both of them look awesome to me!

Official Cube3 Press Release
Reported expected price around $1,000.  I've NO confirmation on that price.

Cube 3 3D Printer

At the consumer end of the spectrum, the Cube3 adds the ability to print 2 different colors or materials at the same time.  While I didn't know for sure, in the back of my mind I expected this one as it is the next logical step for the Cube series printers.

I also expected the resolution to be improved.  One of the reasons for this was that one of the update releases of the Cubify client displayed .20mm layers before it was pulled and replaced with a version reporting the standard .25mm layers.  But, that did not prepare me for the HUGE leap from the current Cube2's 250 micron resolution to a phenomenal 75 micron resolution!  WOW!!!!

It appears to accomplish this at TWICE the speed of the Cube2.  What is not clear is if the 2X speed is at the 75 micron resolution or the new 200 micron resolution. In either case.... DOUBLE WOW!!!!

The Cube3 also sports an automatic leveling print table.  I have spent the better part of the last few months successfully designing a print leveling tool for the Cube2.  But, I am MORE than happy with the fact that the newest member of the Cube family makes that issue disappear.

It also appears that loading and unloading filament has gotten a bit more automated.  It has been my experience from contact with many users that most clogging issues can be traced back to user loading and unloading issues.  Automating the process should go a long way to minimizing clogs.

While the design of the Cube3 is still relatively open... meaning no closed print environment... it appears to me that designing an attachable enclosure as an after-market product might be a lot easier for this version than it is for the Cube1 and Cube2.  This, combined with the dual print jets, may make printing with ABS a viable option again.  Up to now, I have reserved trying to print ABS to the 1st Generation Cube with the heated bed.  The Cube3 could be a game changer in this regard.


Official CubePro release
Officially expected price under $5000. 

CubePro 3D Printer

Last year, the CubeX 3D printer won the Best of CES Award for 2013.  It sported some impressive specs.  But, it just didn't hit me as something I'd follow on this blog.

I do, however, plan to follow the CubePro.

There is one overriding reason for doing so.... the CONTROLLED print environment.

I love printing in ABS.  That is one reason why I would never get rid of my 1st Gen Cube, with its heated bed.  A controlled environment means minimal or no warping.  Yes, I know that the CubeX had an enclosed environment and that the CubePro may cost considerably MORE than the CubeX.  But, with that CONTROLLED print environment, I'm drooling already!  Enclosed is definitely  different than CONTROLLED!

I'm not going to even attempt to make any kind of comparison between the CubeX and the CubePro until I have a chance to see and work with one in person or talk with users that have experience with both.  While there seem to be some similarities, I see enough subtle differences in the CubePro video to feel that this is a very different animal where it counts the most... performance and reliability.

In any event, I will keep you updated as I learn more.

My Thoughts

I had no idea where I would be taken when I made the decision to follow the Cube 3D printer about two years ago.  But, I have not only enjoyed each of the Cube printers I use on almost a daily basis; but, love seeing the fact that 3D Systems continues to be enthusiastic about the consumer 3D market.  These latest additions to the Cube family are a remarkable testament to that commitment and enthusiasm.

I've been holding on for the ride since 2012 and what a ride it has been!!!  I see nothing but good things for 3D printing fans in 2014.  It's already started out as a great year for us!

Congratulations to the Cubify team at 3D Systems!  Well done.  :)


  1. I love all these new machines but are they also working on upgrades to the software IE Invent. It has a few quirky little 'features'! Russ

  2. I don't kniow. But, I will find out. Based on the responses to the few tutorials that I posts, a LOT of people are interested in using Invent. I have steered more toward Moment of Inspiration and Sculpt as my own 3D design favorites.

    I do love certain features in Invent that are different in Moment of Inspiration.