Sunday, January 20, 2013

1st Generation Cube in Light of 2nd Generation Cube

Christmas is less than a month ago.  And, perhaps. you purchased or received a 1st Generation Cube only to learn that the 2nd Generation Cube ("Next-Gen Cube") has been announced.  I suppose that one might feel justified in wondering if you made the right decision to be a very early adopter.

I just spent 2 days with the new Next-Gen Cube at Hagley with members of the Cubify team.  It's a marvelous printer.  And, the response was wonderful!

2nd Generation Cube - Hagley Invention Convention

Yes, it's a bit faster.  Yes, it prints in PLA and ABS.  Yes, it's accuracy is approved.   But, did it make me regret the fact that I own the 1st Generation Cube?  No.  Not at all.

Here's why...

The minute I saw the Next-Gen Cube and saw the crowd's reaction and heard their comments, I know that 3D printing is probably becoming a common, mainstream item a LOT faster than even I would have guessed one year ago.  And, this means something very special to 1st Generation Cube owners.

You most likely have the ONLY consumer 3D printer that will ever be released that has the unique advantages of a heated bed.  Not, only that; but, by having a printer that is easily identifiable as THE 3D printer that started it all, when it comes to consumer 3D printers, you are instantly in a very special class of people that was smart enough and had enough foresight to be among the first to recognize the value of 3D printing in the home or personal office.  You have THE 1st Edition.  And, 1st Editions have a special place in the sun.

Personal 3D printing is going to be an enormous game changer.  I'm not sure it will be as significant as the Gutenberg's printing press.  But, that's at least a possibility.  And, you and I have the functional equivalent of a 1st Edition printed on that famous press.  Everybody else that is going to jump on the bandwagon will own the 2nd Edition or the 3rd Edition.

Perhaps an even better analogy is Edison's first phonograph that used cylinder's vs his later phonograph that used a flat record.  I can imagine the chagrin of the buyer that had just purchased the cylinder phonograph only to read that the flat record player had been released!  Yet, I'm sure you can agree that owning THE first photograph invented is a LOT cooler than owning the second or third version!  In the end, who had the most valuable model?  :)

Some day, being astute enough to have owned THE 3D printer that started it all is going to make a difference in a job interview, a college scholarship or perhaps even directly financially from a collector.  It is going to be something you can look back on talk about with a special sense of pride and satisfaction.

While I love the advances of the new Next-Gen Cube.  I see nothing that makes me regret having a 1st Generation Cube.  It only makes me proud that I had the vision to be among the first and that my granddaughters knew what it was to experience 3D printing well before their classmates.

The 1st Generation Cube is more than just a 3D printer.  It is that rare technological seed that grows a massive  movement.  Cherish it.  There will never be another quite like it.

Gee, we were smart to want one!!   :)

In the next post, I will introduce you to the newest member of the Cube family.  It is a beautiful child! And, it now comes in various colors.  My granddaughters insist I get a pink one!  And, of course, I'm told "It's a need, not a want."

They're getting a lot more clever at manipulating PopPop as they get older!   LOL!


  1. Did they have any printers running ABS and printing large parts at the event?

  2. At an event like that at the Hagley Museum, it's important to be finishing up items so that at least some people can have the experience of seeing a finished part being removed.

    One printer was devoted to ABS and the other was running PLA. The rook, a tea cup and a bracelet were printed on the ABS machine. So, aside from the shinier finish of the PLA, I could not see any difference in the output or adhesion to the bed with the new formula glue. Analysis of larger items will have to come later.

    1. I should point out that the same items were printed on the machine using PLA.

  3. I did a lot of experimenting with unheated beds with ABS and I was able to get large parts to adhere, but after I removed the part the unequalized internal forces would cause the part to warp. I definitely would be interested in seeing a large flat part printed in ABS without a heated bed.

  4. The cube was copied off the Afinia/Up! 3D printer, which also has a heated bed. Therefore the Cube was not the first.

  5. Brian,

    I appreciate the Afinia/Up!. From all accounts it is a very nice printer. But, your assertion that the Cube was copied from the Afinia is patently ludicrous. Your timing is a bit of interesting though, since Stratsys has, in the last few days, sued Afinia for violating Stratsys' patents!

    Appreciate the irony...

    But, beyond that, you should pay more attention before posting. The Cube is the first true consumer printer because it is the ONLY printer at the time that passed UL approval for home and school use. I'm not sure if Afinia, even now, has achieved that.

    Word of advice. Everybody can win. One does not have to demean other products to elevate the one they prefer.