Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Set Print Jets and Level Print Pads More Precisely!

I am REALLY excited about this one!

I believe that I have FINALLY solved a problem that has vexed me since my first Cube3 arrived.  While there may be less need for the two new tools I am introducing for future Cube3 owners, those of us with early machines might be as excited as I am about what I have discovered.

The Problem

While we all knew that some machines had uneven print jet alignment, and even know how to use the adjustment screws, the difficulty in visually verifying our adjustments left the process a bit of hit or miss.

The 1st Part of the Solution Comes From Harbor Freight (And others)

 What we needed was PRECISE VISUAL feedback as we made our adjustments.  And, as it turns out, in comes in two very inexpensive meaasurement tools from Harbor Freight and other tools companies.  It's called either a DIAL indicator or a DIGITAL indicator.

This is a DIAL Indicator...

Dial Indicator
And, this is a DIGITAL Indicator...

Digital Indicator

As you can see, they both have a shaft that moves in and out.  The distance of that movement is measured and displayed in 0.0001".  The Digital Indicator can also display the distance in Metric.

The 2nd Part of the Solution is a Custom 3D Printed Holder and Tip.

Indicator Holders & Tips
Two different sets of STL files have been created because the two versions slightly differ in size.  Both are sized to be used with the print pad all the way down. 

The tip of the tool goes under one of the print jets and aligned with the small indentation in the tool tip.  I use a fine Sharpie to make it more visible.

If you are using the Digital version, you can 'Zero" to position so that you can more precisely determine the relative offset (or 'runout') of the other head.

Then the tip is moved under the other print jet.  Hopefully, you will see that the numbers match.  But, this is what I saw...

Print Jet Measurement Comparison
OK.  I forgot to mention this small detail.  You have to be able to read upside down.  :)

But, as you can see, my print jets had a difference in height of .11mm.  That may not SEEM a big deal.  But, it is if you ever want to print with two materials successfully!

Keep checking as you make the adjustments on the two screws in the bottom of the print jet housing.  Remember, when you loosen one screw be sure to tighten the other screw an equal amount and vice versa.

You can find these STLs on the Cubify Design Feed site.  A search for "Indicator" should take you to where you can choose one or the other.  (I had a typo on "Digital" and haven't a clue how to fix it.)

Hopefully theses links will also work:

    Digital Indicator
    Dial Indicator

And, I have refined the design of the Print Plate Leveling tool

    Print Plate Leveling Tool

The new design sits a bit lower for easier turning of the adjustment pads and also sits more securely.

 I hope you give these a try if you have a need to check your print jet alignment.  The indicators are a small investment that should reap big rewards.  The Dial Indicator is less that $20 and the Digital Indicator is around $35... both of which is less than a cartridge!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Please Help! Just a little more to get us over the top!

We've got just 44 hours to go to reach our goal of 10,000 and we only need a little under $1,100.

So, once again, I am turning to my readers to help us meet our goal to help us in our efforts to release our curriculum in final form.

YouthQuest KickStarter

I know that most of you already have a 3D design application.  But, even so, I'm asking your help so that we can expand the work we do with at-risk young people.  I hoping to see a last minute surge from you to take us over the top.

Then come back here in a few hours.  I believe that I have SOLVED the problem of how to PRECISELY align the print jets.  My fix is in the printer as I write this and I have to run out and pick up an inexpensive tool to use with it.  But, I think you are going to be VERY pleased.  If it works as I hope, the download will be offered for free.

Student Enthusiam Speaks Beyond Language Barriers!

I HAVE to share this with everyone.  Educators around the world are seeing the exact same enthusiasm in their classrooms when 3D design and printing is introduced.  Perhaps it was a little more than a year ago that I first heard from Alfonso Cabrera about plans to introduce 3d printing to his students.  Those plans have become a reality.  I just received this email from him and I am extremely excited by what I see.

I do not speak a word of Spanish.  But, I DO understand the light in a student's eyes as their brains are turned on to new possibilities they see when they grasp the power of 3D printing to realize imaginations!  So, I urge you to watch these videos even if you, like me, are Spanish challenged.  :)
Dear all,
It has been a long time since we talked about how from Telecor/El Corte Ingles we wanted to bring the 3D Printers into the schools.

Well, I am glad to introduce a video of our first project with 3D Printing, in which you can see how is the response from teachers and students.
In this case, we worked with Eduscopi, who is a company who creates educational content for new technologies (we are not teachers nor professors, and we wanted to create something that could be useful for students and teachers... that is why we decided to collaborate with Eduscopi). Eduscopi is not the only company we are working with to reach our goal though...
We have made two videos.I hope you like them. I am sorry they are in spanish (may be we could add some english subtitles??)
This is as an intro. and only takes a couple seconds:

Here is the link to the "long version" video, which is around 3 or 4 minutes:

Please, do not hesitate to give us some feedback of your opinion, adding sugestions if you want...

Right now, what we'd like is to create extra-schollar classes for private schools, and for students from 8 to 14 years.
However, we are also in negotiations with the Ministry of Education in order to bring up 3D Printing, Programming and Robotics into public schools/high schools. We'll keep you informed about it.

Best regards,

Alfonso Cabrera G. de Candamo
Telecor S.A.

Fantastic Alfonso!  I can hardly wait until I get to show the video to our Spanish speaking students and they get the chance to teach me!  I love it.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

It's Going to be a Great Cubify Year

I was just sitting here thinking about the first part of this year and how the introduction of the 3rd Gen Cube didn't go as smoothly as we all hoped and then it dawned on me that the last half of this year is going to be quite a different story.

First, all the Cube and CubePro manufacturing has been consolidated at a nice, shiny new facility that has been described as huge.  Secondly, I am no longer receiving frantic emails about clogged cartridges from new cube owners.  That doesn't mean I don't still get emails looking for help.  but, they are very few as compared to earlier in the year and generally only from people completely new to 3D printing that need help with setting up their machine, like leveling and setting the gap.  I'm happy to hear from them because all of us where there at some point in our journey.

But, that says to me that things have settled down on the Cube 3 front and I am very happy to see that.

But, there is more than that to cheer about as we move through the rest of the year.  3d Systems has already promised a new material for the CubePro... NYLON!  I consider this a VERY big deal.  Of course, I'm also hoping that eventually Cube owners will be able to print in nylon; but, for now at least, that would only be speculation.  If not, then one out of two isn't bad.  :)

Then we have seen big improvements in the Sense software and the introduction of the iSense for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.  I have an iPhone5.  But, having owned the Sense, I am impressed enough with the advantages of a cable free scanner that I'm upgrading my phone just to be able to use the new iPhone scanner.

But, that isn't all.  At YouthQuest we already took delivery of the ProJet 1200 SLA printer suitable for creating castable dental and jewelry objects.  And, it is my understanding that the full color CubeJet will, in fact, be shipping within the next few months and certainly by the end of the year. 

WOW!  I almost forgot the consumer level Haptic device.  I haven't used one yet; but, I was informed that YouthQuest has ordered a couple for our new 3D ThinkLink Lab space that we will be opening in the Fall.  When one arrives, I will definintely let you know if it makes designing in Sculpt or 3D Coat significantly easier.  I'm betting that it does.

So, we have a lot to look forward to as we move forward in 2015.  I'm as excited by what is to come as I was that first time I laid eyes on the 1st Gen Cube just a few short years ago.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More detailed Information Regarding iSense for the iPhone


You can search every article on this blog; but, you will not find a single post were I cut & pasted a press release.  But, because I think the iSense for the iPhone6 is such a huge deal, I'm going to make an exception in the case for the iSense for the iPhone/iPad.

But, first, I am going to try to clarify, to the best of my understanding, what the iPhone/iPad minimum requirements are to successfully use the updated iSense.

Operating System Requirements

The operating system must be iOS 7 or later.  And the CPU must be the Apple A6X, A7.

iPhone Minimum Requirements

The new iSense scanner ONLY works with the iPhone6 or iPhone 6 Plus.  It is attached to the phone with a custom phone case designed specifically for the iPhone 6 series.

Click to see the iPhone6 iSense Case Detail

Even though the iPhone 5 has the proper connector, the scanner is NOT designed to work with the iPhone5.  The iPhone5S uses the A7 chip, so it's confusing as to whether we could get it work or not, aside from the case size differences.  I have an iPad Mini 2, so I should be safe there, and iPhone5S that may or may not work.  But, I have to say that the iSense for the iPhone is important enough for me to happily upgrade to the iPhone6.  :)

 iPad Minimum Requirements

It's a little more difficult to determine exactly which iPads will work with the new iSense.  The press release simply says "Discover the power of mobile 3D scanning on your iPhone, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini with the new iSense."  But, it does not specify WHICH iPads work.  We have two defining requirements, the need for the lightning connector and the fact that the iSense  requires the A6x or A7 CPU.

The iPads running on the A6X are:
  •  iPad 4th Gen (Wi-Fi Only) 
  •  iPad 4th Gen (Wi-Fi/AT&T/GPS) 
  •  iPad 4th Gen (Wi-Fi/Verizon & Sprint/GPS)
Those running on the A7 are:

  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini 2 
  • iPad Mini 3
So, it is VERY important that you make sure that the iPhone or iPad that you plan to use with the iSense is compatible.  The original iPad Mini used an a5 chip and probably would not be powerful enough.

Ordering the iSense for the iPhone

At first, if you want to use the iSense with the iPhone6 , you will need to order the iPhone6 version because the custom iPhone6 case will not be available as a separate option for a bit.  But, brackets for the iPads should be available as an extra option so that you can use the iSense across several platforms.  (I expect we could even print the brackets for the iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Mini; but, don't quote me.)

For current iSense owners, the updated software applications are available for download on the iOS App store.

Here is today's press release.  Yes, it's a cut & paste...... A first on these pages

3D Systems Expands Popular iSense 3D Scanner to iPhone 
  • iSense now available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones
  • New iSense 2.0 app for iOS improves vibrancy of full-color scans for iPhone and iPad users
  • Updates include higher speed, enhanced auto-tracking and texture mapping

ROCK HILL, S.C., June 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) 

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that the popular iSenseTM 3D scanner is now available for the iPhone®, making it more portable than ever. Designed with an exclusive 3D printed case from Cubify® users can simply snap the iSense case onto their iPhone and immediately begin to transform real life people or objects into digital three-dimensional scans anywhere and anytime. Watch a video here to see the iSense in action.

The new iSense also includes a major upgrade for the iSense app, available for both iPhone and iPad® users for free. The new app upgrade offers enhanced tracking, increased speed up to 3 times faster than previous versions, and full-color vibrancy via texture mapping. Improvements made to the tracking and speed deliver a smoother and easier scanning experience, quicker average scan times of 5 to 30 seconds, and an enjoyable user experience. This major app update is available for free to all existing iSense owners in the iOS app store.
The iSense is the only 3D scanner that provides easy, quick, precise, instant physical photography in full color that works with an iPhone or iPad. The versatile scan volume allows for iSense users to capture objects in a variety of sizes with ease and quality. The intuitive interface makes it simple to edit 3D files and prepare them for 3D printing, making it easy to convert the physical world into digital before returning it to physical again.
The iSense 3D Scanner uses a scanning engine by Occipital for its capture technology, and the 3D Systems iSense software app for processing and editing the data as part of a collaboration between 3DS and Occipital to innovate and optimize mobile 3D scanning for 3D printing.
"Working with 3D Systems has let us bring the latest improvements to our 3D scanning engine from the iPad to the iPhone for the first time ever," said Adam Rodnitzky, Vice President of Marketing for Occipital. "The iSense for iPhone and iPad brings the powerful and unique capabilities of content optimization for 3D printing designed for consumer use."
The iSense for iPhone is immediately available for pre-order on Cubify with commercial shipments expected to commence July 7, 2015. Priced at $499, the iSense for iPhone and iPad will be available on Cubify as well as at retailers B&H Photo and BestBuy.com.

Product Features:

Physical photography for iPhone and iPad

Discover the power of mobile 3D scanning on your iPhone, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini with the new iSense. Its integrated design makes it easy to capture every dimension of your favorite moments on your Apple device. Scan your family and friends, everyday events and adventures, all on your iPhone or iPad, all in 3D.

Big or small, scan it all

From shoes to SUVs, iSense has the most versatile scan range in its class with auto-optimized settings for objects large and small.

Edit with ease

With quick cropping, enhancement and solidifying tools, iSense can prepare 3D printable files within minutes.

Scanned for 3D printing

Physical to digital, and back again. Fully integrated with Cubify.com and your Cube 3D printer, iSense allows you to upload scans directly for 3D printing, either at home or through cloud printing.

Zero in on what matters

Automatic object recognition extracts precise targets from the busiest of backgrounds.

Upgrade your iPhone or iPad and get inspired on the go

The compact snap-on design of iSense instantly transforms your Apple device into a 3D scanner, giving you the freedom to scan spontaneously wherever you are. Purchase multiple brackets to fit all your iPad and iPhone sizes. Take it with you and allow your physical world to spark your creativity.
Learn more about 3DS' commitment to manufacturing the future today at www.3dsystems.com and the company's consumer offerings at www.cubify.com.

MORE Good news! iSense for the iPhone!!!

You may have already been sent an announcement; but, in case not. I just HAD to let you know about this one... the iSense for the iPhone.

iSense for the iPhone

The description implies that this new release fits both iPhones and iPads having the Apple Lightning connector.

Lest you fear that the small screen on an iPhone would be an impediment, I have mated an even smaller display to my original Sense and KNOW that being able to see the scan directly in line with the scanner makes an amazing difference in scan reliability and quality.   I absolutely trust that the same will be true of the iPhone.
I would post a picture of my modified Sense; but, it's on loan to Animal Ortho Care, a very cool company that regularly uses the Sense in their work creating orthopedic devices for animals.  They've had a Sense for a long time; but, wanted to evaluate the usefulness of attaching a small monitor to the Sense.  But, picture or not, I know that being able to view the scan directly, even on a smaller screen, is highly beneficial.

I am a fan of the Sense.  I know it works when used properly for the applications for which it is intended.  But, the iSense for the iPhone takes the concept to a whole new level.

Think about it. With the full color CubeJet potentially shipping by the end of the year, the full color iSense, with the upgraded software that was released earlier, is a perfect accessory.  And, even for those of us with the Cube and CubePro machines, the iSense only adds to the fun.

I can tell you this.  The cadets in our YouthQuest 3D ThinkLink Lab classes are going to go bonkers over this one.  As Uncle Sy Robertson would say. "That's a FACT Jack!"**  :)

** Sorry about that; but, the redneck in me just breaks loose at times. Especially when I get as excited as this over something.   LOL!
dear buyers
dear buyers

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Good News! Wider Availability of Cube3 Cartridges from Reliable Vendors

While shopping at a local MicroCenter store I stumbled across an entire shelf of 3rd Gen Cube cartridges.  This is great news because it means instant availability of filament when I need it.  Then I realized that I had not checked online vendors in a while.  So, I decided to find other retailers where we can order 3rd Gen Cube and CubePro cartridges.

While not as convenient as my local MicroCenter store, B & H Photo's shipping usually gets things to my door in one day... at either free or standard shipping costs.  So, if you don't have a local source and you need it fast, check out B & H Photo.  Adorama is another very reliable vendor.  And, they were the only one to advertise a Cube 3D printer at a sale price ($860.97) .and free shipping at the time of this writing.  But, they often use FedEx Ground which can take a few more days than B & H Photo provides.  I'm told that B & H Photo has their own UPS terminal and I believe it.

So here are some great options for you when you need that next batch of filament in a hurry.

B & H Photo 

Online with very reliable and fast delivery.

Search Terms:  "3D Systems Cube 3 PLA", "3D Systems Cube 3 ABS" or "3D Systems Cube 3" 

B & H Photo carries the entire 3rd Gen Cube and CubePro lines including printers, cartridges, glue and accessories.  They also carry filament for the 1st and 2nd Gen Cube printers.

Products arrive the next day in the Mid-Atlantic region even with standard shipping   I've trusted this company for decades and can't say enough about their reliability and honesty.  Ask any professional photographer.


Online and local in 25 locations. 

Search Term: "3D Systems"

Most if not all, local stores carry some cartridges in stock.  Local stock can be verified through the online store.  They also sell the 3rd Gen Printer through their online store.  They do not carry CubePro cartridges.


Online with very reliable service.

Search Term: "3D Systems"

Like B & H Photo, Adorama is famous for reliable and honest service among professional photographers.  I've purchased from them as long as I have B & H Photo and have never had a problem. 

They carry both the 3rd Gen Cube and the CubePro along with cartridges for both.

At the current time they are selling the gray version of the Cube3 for $860.97 with free shipping. 


Online and limited local

Search Term: "3D Systems"

Staples' online store carries both the 3rd Gen Cube (free shipping) and the CubePro printers.  But, they only carry Cube materials (1st, 2nd & 3rd Gen).  The last time I checked, very few stores stocked materials locally. 

Print Your Own Games With MakerModel's Clever Designs

The cool thing about blogging is that it brings fun things into your life.  And, what I'm going to talk about in this blog article is at the top of the heap when it comes to fun.

Thanks to a Cube3 owner's (Don Oldham) creativity, cleverness and skill, anyone with a 3D printer can purchase, print and play some games that promise to be a lot of fun for children and grandchildren!

The web site is Maker Models

Maker Models Battle Fun

There are a number of games available. And, the designs are quite sophisticated.

Marble Run

Here is a short video that demonstrates Marble Run Motorized Chutes, one of two versions of Marble Run offering.


I love the reaction of the children.  My own grandchildren are teens now; but, I remember them at the age of the children in the video and that sound of shear joy remains a very happy memory for me.  

Not only do they offer the STL files to print the parts; but, the non-printed parts from a single source that makes it easy to get up and running fast.

The fun doesn't stop there.

Marble Race

Marble Race allows up to five players to race their own marbles around a track that actually allows passing.  Pretty clever!

Marble Race

This is pretty slick.

If my father were still alive, I can visualize him beating all challengers and creating an "All-Time All-Time Champion" badge that he wore proudly each time the game was played.  :)
Among my siblings and our friends, my father is legendary as the person ALL of us wanted to beat and rarely succeeded.  We didn't play Croquet.  We played Cutthroat Croquet were you knew for sure that sooner or later your ball (usually by Dad) would be driven deep into the most dense overgrowth!  :)
I wish there was a video of this game in action.  In its absence I can just visualize the gleeful chaos.  Providing the opportunity for marbles to pass each other is a stroke of genius.

Battle Fun

Soldiers, castles and towers.  This is Battle Fun.

Battle Fun

Not only does Maker Models offer the STL files for the game pieces; but, also make available a case for all those parts and STL files for the case dividers.  The cannons are even able to shoot rubber cannon balls which is my kind of fun.  :)

Fish Line Splicer

Along with the games, there is a useful tool for those that love to fish.  The Fish Line Splicer is a device that aids in the spicing of braided fishing lines.  Pretty clever.

Fish Line Splicing Tool

I love creative solutions to everyday challenges and this definitely qualifies.

The prices seem very reasonable to me.

I actually appreciate the fact that there is a small cost for the STL files.  That is because the lamentable fact is that free files don't provide the support for talented designers like Don Oldham that allows them to continue to design and that is a loss for the whole 3D printing community.  I WANT to see people like the designers being able to design more clever and fun games that all of us can enjoy!

Keep it up Don!

Friday, June 12, 2015

There is a Need for Cubify Invent and Design Tutorials

When I got my first 3D printer, I also picked up Cubify Invent and created some introductory lessons.  But, as time passed and I began to teach Moment of Inspiration to Touth ChalleNGe cadets for YouthQuest, I found that I no longer had the time to continue with the Invent tutorials.

However, I continue to get many requests for help and suggestions for helpful tutorials from Invent and Design users. 

There is genuine interest in more tutorials and I'd love to find someone interested in helping fellow Cubify readers by creating tutorials from where I left off or by pointing us to existing tutorials.

Please contact me if you are aware of additional tutorials or are interested in creating some yourself.  There is DEFINITELY a demand for them.

For Those Interested in Meshmixer Training

I want to point you to a KickStarter campaign that will allow you to get 20 hours or more of training in Meshmixer at a very small cost.  But, you only have 9 more days to take advantage of the opportunity.

Meshmixer Training KickStarter Campaign

It looks like a fantastic opportunity to me and I signed up as a backer.

And, please don't forget that you still have time to pledge to YouthQuest's KickStarter to complete our Moment of Inspiration online training.  It's not an either/or proposition. Both campaigns deserve a good look for your possible support.  But, we cover complementary training with similar goals... enabling children and adults to ideas into reality through 3D Design.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cubify Client 3.0 - A Significant Improvement

Here is a video showing the significant changes to the new Cubify Client 3.0. 

Downloading this version is definitely worth your time.

We can now stay in the PRINT Tab for the bulk of the time.  We can add items by dropping and dragging from Explorer and delete items from the table right from the Print Tab.

There is a series of help screens that will be really helpful for new users.  And, it is more clear as to whether we have supports and sidewalk turned on.  The latter has been available for the CubePro for some time and now is a highly visible functionality for the Cube3.  The primary benefit of sidewalk s to provide addedd adhesion to the print table and extra stability to objects without supports.

Check it out!

Kudos to the Cubify Client design team!  Nice changes.  :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

The rocking Horse - Video 7 of 3D Coat Experience

Hello again

3D Coat just released Version 4.5. It is no longer in beta. And, I have to tell you it is astounding.

The new PBR Shaders make finishing the completed objects so much easier to do. I have played with most of the major players in 3D software and they all seem to make things difficult unless you spend years learning their way. 3D coat designers seem to be very intuitive as to how to make things work in simplicity.

Okay.  Enough of that.  Lets talk about our current tutorial.

Rocking Horse - 3D Coat (No Texture)

The Rocking Horse.   

We all grew up with one.  And, many of us have one passed down by family.   Just as I've done in previous videos, I'll make our 3D rocking horse from a clip art base. The concentration of this video is in developing a discipline to your modeling structure. Order is always beneficial to the workflow. Coming back to a project, that perhaps had been set aside, it's easy to lose the inspirational momentum. But, it is easier if we understand the order of our modeling and use that progression to continue to move forward.

I'll deal with some common issues that I believe you will encounter, just as I have, in an attempt to relieve frustrations. I took my time in this so you may want to speed it up as you go through it and then watch it as you try to replicate your rocking horse. Feel free to use the clip art I have shared at the bottom of the post to work with the exact parts I did in this video.

The above picture is the end result from this tutorial. After the tutorial ends I go onto finish some of the detailing. And the image below is that result. I plan to add to this lesson how to apply the textures as seen in the video.

Rocking Horse - 3D Coat (With Texture)

So enjoy and we will be posting the next lesson very soon.

Thanks for the comments.  Keep them coming. 

feel free to use this clip art to go through the tutorial.

Clip Art used in the video

I'd like to Ask a Personal Favor of Cubifyfans Readers

Why Am I Coming to You?

It has been a real joy for me to write this blog and hear from so many of you.  I know that many of you agree with me that the whole process of being able to bring an idea to reality through 3D printing sparks imaginations as few other endeavors can do.

Most of you also know that I feel very strongly that young people... especially young people that fall into that category  that the educational system calls "at-risk"... can come to see a new vision for their lives when they learn the most wonderful lesson that 3D printing has to offer... that failure is NOT final.  If an object fails to meet expectations when finally printed, simply make the necessary changes to the design and print it again.  That is a powerful object lesson to the cadets we at YouthQuest Foundation serve.

A Way to Show Your Appreciation for This Blog

Today is the first day of YouthQuest Foundation's KickStarter Campaign to raise funds to turn the lessons we have developed for our Youth ChalleNGe cadets into a full formal curriculum.

Our goal is modest... just $8,000.  But, the proceeds will help us package what we have learned about teaching 3D design to "at-risk" students into a powerful and effective transformational tool for individuals, home schools and educators.  We know our 3D ThinkLink Lab methodology works.  Now we want to be able share it in a form others can use.

So, please take a moment to visit the:
YouthQuest 3D ThinkLink Kickstarter Page 
If you would like to show your appreciation for this blog, I can think of no better way than for you to donate a small (or large) amount to help YouthQuest meet and exceed its goal. 

Any amount would be very appreciated.