Jun.4, 2012

3D systems announced its Cube 3D printer back at CES in January. The cube 3D printer is priced up at $1,299, accompanying a spool of neon green plastic filament and "25 Free Creations" from Cubify site, not the cheapest.

Deelip Menezes is one of first consumers who pre-ordered the Cube in April. The Cube started shipping on 25th May 2012 and on Jun.2 the Cube was delivered. Menezes uploaded several unboxing pictures:

"The box contains a Cube, a neon green cartridge (containing the ABS filament spool), power adapter, USB cable (to connect the Cube to a computer), print pad (to print stuff on), magic Cube glue (to apply on the print pad before printing on it), Cube tube (to guide the filament), a putty knife (to clean the print pad and wash off the magic glue), a quick start guide explaining how to activate the Cube and USB stick containing three .cube files that you can directly print on the Cube."

Same as all the Apple products, Cube requires activation process before you can enter the main menu.

The first print test was a file directly imported from USB stick. The process of preparation - "applied the magic glue to the print pad, placed it on the print pad arm, threaded the filament through the Cube tube, locked the cartridge into place and inserted the other end of the filament into the print jet" - seems pretty easy. The cube 3D printer shows a build time of 1 hour 22 minutes, but it took around 2 hours and 2 minutes to finish. Look like somewhere there is still a bug in.

For the second print test Menezes picked a 3D model with very thin features for the fins.

Here we can see what Cube Client software looks like. It is a very simple interface. You import a .stl or a .creation file, the "Heal" icon will fix the file automatically such as filling holes, stitch gaps, etc. "Orient & Scale" and "Center" icon allows you to adjust the model accordingly. When you are ready with the model you can click the "Build" icon the software will slice the model and generate the G code ready for 3D printer.

Press "Print" directly if the Cube is connected; or you can send the file via WiFi, or just save in USB stick for printing later.

The second print test took two hours to build a shark. The magic glue works pretty good here. It should be applied on the print pad before each print to ensure the prints stick. After printing you need to hold the print pad under running water so that the magic glue gets dissolved and the 3D print comes off the print pad.

Menezes shows the final prints, the Cube does a good job with thin fins.

We all know most of low-end 3D printers require a steep learning curve, but looks like the Cube is kind of easy to use. It is suitable for home and consumers who just want to design a model, click a few buttons and press "print". 3D Systems intents to push the Cube to the mass market, if more users find the Cube easy to use, then 3D Systems is on the right track.


Photo credit / Source: Deelip


Posted in 3D Printers



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Bagpuss Nonplussed wrote at 6/6/2012 3:48:39 PM:

Deelip is an employee of 3D Systems so calling him a 'consumer' is a little misleading...

name wrote at 6/4/2012 6:02:56 PM:

not sure he is the first consumer if he works for 3d systems?

Mike wrote at 6/4/2012 2:28:42 PM:

Rather ironic that an American Company would want to copy a Chinese product. PP3DP is a part of Tiertime who manufacture commercial FDM machines. I have heard 3D Systems attempted to buy them (PP3DP), unsuccessfully, which explains the similarities.

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