Monday, January 7, 2013

New Cube 3D Printer - 2nd Generation

The Cubify blog has a brief description of the new Cube 3D printer that also includes this photo.

ICube 3D Printer - 2nd Generation

Here is the description...

Meet the new Cube – the second generation at-home printer that can make anything you can imagine up to 5.5 inches cubed. Keeping all the features that are loved from the original Cube like the easy touchscreen UI, the new Cube printer now prints at 2X better accuracy and 1.5X faster speed with more material choices, and more colors and print modes available.
Along with more options, the new Cube has added safety features such as a glass plate that can hold a 3D printed object without heating up, making it even safer for your home and your children. Cube is the only 3D printer officially certified for home use with IEC regulations.
Another great feature about the new Cube is the user will be able to choose to print in both ABS and PLA plastics without adjusting any settings. The print head detects which materials are in the cartridge automatically. The Cube sells for $1299 or you can purchase a special print pack that comes with 4 cartridges, 25 files and cubify invent for $1399.
 First Analysis...

The specs are spars on the Cubify site.  But, the vertical (layer) resolution has been refined from .25mm to ,20mm.  This should make for nicer looking curved surfaces.  I have no idea if the horizontal accuracy has been improved.  But, this is something I will be testing the first chance that I get.  It's worth a trip to 3D Systems to find out for you, after they get back from CES.

The second thing to note is that we will not be limited to just ABS plastic.  The Next-Generation Cube, as they are calling it, is also able to print PLA.  This probably means that the print jet temperature can now be varied to match the different characteristics of the material.

But, there is also something else hidden in the above description and image that is a bit puzzling.  And, that is the phrase, " the new Cube has added safety features such as a glass plate that can hold a 3D printed object without heating up..."   For all practical purposes, the image of the new version and the original version appear to be identical except for the GLASS bed that is clearly seen in the image.  The glass appears to be frosted.  And, the description says that it no longer needs to be heated.  

This is something that I definitely plan to follow up on as soon as possible.  If they have found a way to print ABS without a heated bed, this is BIG news.  I will try to get to see one as soon as I can to run some tests on the new bed.  I love the toughness of ABS.  But, it needs to be able to be printed without lifting up.  


Note:  If anyone should have any false ideas about my connection with 3D Systems, the fact that they posted their notice about the new version on January 3 and I didn't even know about it until today should set the record straight!  LOL!   I am typically woefully late hearing about new developments because I am concentrating on how to use the Cube more effectively than waiting for press releases!  :)


  1. I've been using a glass plate on my Afinia coated with a slurry of ABS dissolved in acetone with great success. It is not water soluble as "Magic Glue" and probably a little more toxic but it peals off of the glass when in water far easier than the glue. I have also used Magic on glass with good results. Haven't run anything large and flat on glass to test the impact on warping. Will probably start using the slurry on the Cube also.
    Damon Swanson

    1. Hi Damon,

      It is going to be interesting to see how well the glass/CubeStick combo works out. I hope to see one of the new printers in action at the Hagley Museum's Invention Convention later this month. I say "hopefully" because I'm not absolutely sure what 3D Systems plans for the event.

      I'll create a post about the event with links so that you can follow to see what they bring. :)

  2. If they've solved the lifting problem, it'll sure speed up the overall printing process for ABS, without the build plate warm-up and cool-down delays.

  3. Hi Mike!

    Wow! Am I happy you pointed that out! It hadn't even come into my mind until you mentioned it. But, it will save a at least 8 to 10 minutes on the front end and a fair amount of time on the back end. This is going to be particularly nice if we abort a print for some reason.



  4. I'm also wondering if they'll offer a replacement build plate and firmware update for the existing Cube printers, to convert them to that operation. I'd buy a new plate in a heartbeat, if that happens!

  5. I'll try to find out after they all return from CES. I'm also anxious to see how much more quiet and precise it is. I HATE having to wait! LOL!

  6. From the blurb I just got in an email from them, the Cube Second Generation can print either "hollow" -- I gather that's just how the original Cube does -- or "solid." If that can be included in a firmware update to the original Cube I have, woohoo! I have one tool I printed that has a small piece in it that really, really wants to be a solid plastic piece, for strength.

    1. No reason why it couldn't be enabled for the 1st Cube in the software. It won't be, as Cubify has said they didn't test it on the 1st Cube, and say it wasn't designed to do it. (Which is BS).

  7. The one time of the year when I don't even bother to try to contact anyone on the Cube team is during CES. Having been in the same situation at CES when I was with Astrocade, the video game company, I KNOW they are totally swamped. That is one intense few days. LOL!

    But, after they have a bit of time to wind down, I DEFINITELY am going to try to sort out what will or will not be available for those of us that have the original Cube.

  8. Hi Tom,
    Darn, just bought my Cube only a bit over 3 months ago. I hope they have a decent upgrade plan for us early adopters! I'm really interested in the glass plate as well. Can't imagine how much time will be saved if there's no preheating or post cooling of the platform. Thanks for keeping us all up-to-date!

    1. You are SOL. Purchase the new Cube to get the new features. Those of us that purchased the 1st Cube a mere few weeks before the 2nd Cube came out are hurting pretty badly.