This post is designed to catch up on some observations, etc.
Filament Color MAY matter
I wanted to report that of the colors I have been able to obtain of PLA, the least troublesome, so far, have been black and tan. That is not to definitively say that they are THE best colors; but, simply that I've had excellent results from these two colors.
I'm mindful that the colors may not be the issue at all. 3D Systems has instituted a rigorous testing program on all of their filament and it just may be that these cartridges were the first I owned under the new testing program. Whatever the reason, I am grateful.
Storing Your Filament
As I've pondered filament, more than I actually care to over the last month or so, I've been impressed that it is going to be absolutely critical that we develop a more pro-activein our care of the filament we purchase. The cartridges of the CubePro, for instance, actually have a little pocket to held a moisture reducer packet!
Both PLA and ABS deteriorate reasonably quickly in moist environments.
So, I have decided that (1) I will not open a new color unless I am ready to use it immediately and (2) I will keep all opened cartridges inside a closed plastic storage box with a sizable package of moisture absorber. The two I'm testing are DampRid and DryOut. Both are available at The Container Store. AirBoss is another option.
Print Quality of the Cube3 is Impressive
The print from the Cube3 is, by far, the best I've been able to achieve and I am not talking about printing in 70 micron layers. I'm comparing the prints at 200 microns, and quite frankly, I like my Cube 3 prints better than the CubePro prints. Of course, I get the CubePro prints considerably faster so it's a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison.
One of the things I've noticed over the years about 3D Systems is that they are constantly improving a printer series within the same model run over time. This was true of the Cube2 and I think I see that in the Cube3 printers YouthQuest has purchased that are of more recent origin than mine. The differences are subtle; but, as much as I use all the printers, I can tell.
Multiple Cube3 Printers with Cubify Software
Aside from cartridge improvements, where I'm hoping big changes will come is in the Cubify software. It doesn't appear to handle the existence of multiple Cube3 printers all that well. So, that needs to be improved. The first step might be to give us more manual selections like the ability to specify ANY filament type and color as we build a .cube file for export no matter what color is in a connected printer. I have to unplug the printers to accomplish this now.
Remember to Check for Firmware Updates
Lastly, whatever you do, remember to check for firmware updates at least on a weekly level. The Cube teams has been great about responding to our requests for features or refinements; but, we don't benefit unless we keep our Cubes updated.
I'd like to hear which colors you've found to be the best for your printer.