One of the Youth ChalleNGe sites that YouthQuest Foundation serves with our 3D ThinkLink Initiative is in South Carolina. Even though we teach 3D design and printing through live video feeds, we like to include at least one site visit for each cadet class so that we have a personal connection with the cadets.
Last week on my way to visit the South Carolina Youth ChalleNGe Academy, I had the opportunity to stop by the headquarters for 3D Systems for a brief visit with the Cubify product manager to talk about the significant improvements in the next generation Cube printer.
So far, I have had two opportunities to see the Cube3 in action. The first was in New York. And, the second was during this short meeting. As you can imagine, the design team is extremely busy. So, I was very happy that the product manager carved out a few minutes so that I could better understand the import of the new design changes coming in the Cube3.
All of the printers that I've see so far have been design prototypes. But, even in this stage of development my opinion that the Cube3 is going to be a true game changer is well-founded. I had a better opportunity to examine and discuss the new cartridge/nozzle system for the Cube3. Had there been no other improvements over the previous designs, this one, alone, would have merited the game-changer claim.
The thinking that went into the design to make it almost as easy as plugging in earphones into an iPhone is remarkable. In the prototype, at least, the cartridges are transparent enough to be able to see how much filament remains. I hope this is true of the release versions. It's very helpful.
I reported that the Cube3's that I saw in New York seemed more quiet than some of my 1st and 2nd Gen Cubes. The goal of making them even more quiet was confirmed on this trip. They are working hard on that aspect of the user experience. This will make it easier to use in classrooms. And, education is a key part of the strategy for 3D Systems. They even have a new web site dedicated to educational 3D design and printing.
But, the most significant impression with which I came away from this meeting was the quality of the prints that I was not only able to see; but, hold in my hands and FEEL the new level of smoothness. I didn't even need my trusty microscopes to know that we are in for some significantly finer results from the Cube3.
I don't know if one of the pieces was simply an experiment or if the capability will be realized in the production machines, But, I was shown a 70 micron layer piece produced on a prototype Cube3 that was simply astonishingly smooth and detailed. Obviously, it will take longer to print such a piece; but, I know for sure that there are objects that will be important enough for me to not mind the extra print times if I can get that kind of smoothness from a print.
We are DEFINITELY going to enjoy the Cube 3!
By the way, I grew up in the south and find that, like so-called "Philly Cheesesteaks" that aren't, there is are a lot of things called "Southern Cooking" that isn't. But, on the way to the SC Challenge Academy I was fortunate enough to find the REAL DEAL. If you ever find yourself on I-20, treat yourself by getting off on Exit 82 (Elgin) to find Bert's Southern Cooking.
I KNOW fried chicken. But, I have never had better than Bert's. I kept going back to try different things while I had the chance and I was never once disappointed. I'm just glad that my wife wasn't along to see my over-indulgence!! I loved the place... as you can tell by my mentioning it here. I want the best for my readers and family run Bert's Southern Cooking is the best.