Monday, December 28, 2015

While We Will be Supported, the Cube, Itself, is Discontinued.

I woke to a sad message this morning. 

While CubePro production will continue, the Cube series will no longer be produced by 3D Systems.  

Here is the press release making the announcement.

Supplies and support will still be available through 3D Systems, so we are not left high and dry. 

What I don't yet know is if they will continue to develop new types of filament for the 3rd Gen Cube.  As soon as I know more, I will pass it on to you.


  1. Our school invested in the cube3 on a limited budget. I hope the executives can provide a path moving forward especially for the proprietary cartridges.
    We were also very patient during the clogging problems, which did get resolved. I hope to see a response from the leadership at 3d Systems, after all many parents are also engineers that could be in positions to recommend or not recommend 3d systems at their companies.

  2. Yep, it is a sad message from a "major" company. Many people have also invested time and money. And very patient with the issues. How can we trust them again ?!? Change my Cube3 Printer by a CubePro printer! Class actions coming soon!

  3. My experience as an early adopter of technical products goes back to the late 1960's. If I have come to expect one thing it is that great products come and go. The Bally Professional Arcade, a pioneering video game system, went out of business altogether the very month it was named Number One video game by Consumer Reports!!!

    I worked on a game system for Hasbro (NEMO Project) in the mid-1980's where they invested over 35 million dollars and pulled the plug.

    The reality is that market dynamics change radically and quickly in the consumer technology marketplace.

    We own a 3D printer that works, will be continue to be supported for the foreseeable future and will provide us with every bit of the creative potential that it provided us before the announcement. The only down side is that it will not be 3D Systems that develops the next generation of consumer 3D printers.

    On the consumer end... I have had 1/2" reel-to-reel skip field video, 1/2 inch reel-to-reel EIAJ video, 1" reel-to-reel, 1/2" Beta, 1/2" VHS, 8mm, Hi-8, Digital-8, DVD Digital, Hi-Def Digital, etc. Every one of these cost me time and money to learn and use.

    I see the disappointment; but, fail to see the beef. This stuff is small potatoes to having bought a $60,000 plumbicon video camera with a five year lease/buy only to have the same company introduce a digital video camera at less than half the price!!!

  4. I am partially agree with you Tom. But we can't compare evolution and retail. We can't be an early adopter when we buy the 3rd generation product of a "major" company.

    If I would want to be an early adopter I would buy my 3D printer on KickStarter! I don't do this because I mistakenly thought that 3D systems peoples with their experience knew what he was right to do. I'm very disappointed about this end and how they behave with their consumers.

    When I buy the 3D printer, I know this lifetime would be about one-two years but I don't expect this end.

    But in fact, it seems that issues on the cube3 are the clue/key.

  5. No matter what 3D Systems decided to do some would claim they are doing the right thing and others would see it as the wrong thing.

    Suppose they continued to move forward in the consumer marketplace to the detriment of the entire organization. In the extreme that could have potentially meant a collapse of the company resulting in NO support at all for users. With this decision, they ARE able to provide us with support for years to come.

    While I would love to have seen a 4th Gen Cube, I would rather see a healthy, vibrant company serving their core market, which has always been the industrial market.

    They gave the consumer marketplace a shot and it turned out to be less profitable than it needed to be for them to continue down that road. Thee fact that they pulled the plug on new consumer printers while preserving the support for existing customers was the right path to take.

  6. I'm disappointed by this bad news.

    I hope that they will be able to provide at least few years of consumable, not only cartdridges, but spare parts and software minor fixes too.

    The most disturbing fact is that they think the main market will be with professional printers and not personal printers.

    I hope they are mistaken an dnot setting a trend there.

    I'm convinced there is a need to make this devices more reliable and simple to use, like traditional printers, so anybody could own one. This needs huge R&D investment.

    Maybe big industrial actors like HP can build the next generation of affordable-simple to use 3D printers we are calling for.

    1. There is definitely a bit of a shakeout going on. It is very tricky moving from the hobbyist/maker market to a true consumer market.

      Perhaps it is more of a 'reset' since they had put a lot of energy into the whole 'Cubify' marketplace concept. The Cubify web site with the consumer focused offerings is going away. But, the educational market and desktop engineering will become a major focus and I expect some entry level offering eventually designed specifically for those marketplaces.

  7. Tom;

    Saddened to get the news about the Cube 3 and 3D Systems consumer division however that happens.

    I too have a bone yard full of products that showed great promise and cost a bundle - video cameras, cell phones, televisions and such.

    I am not mad about it and as a matter fact can understand and support their decisions. A healthy company, supporting their customers is much better than having no support at all.

    It is good to hear that they will continue to supply the consumables for our 3D printers as I have had a few expensive graphic printers that were discontinued with no consumable support.

    I learned a lot through experimentation with the Cube 3, your blog and the support provided by the team at 3D Systems. I would have gladly purchased a 4th generation version of the Cube when it became available.

    While I am not an engineer or in the business of selling 3D prints, I have found that I am becoming more interested in designing the parts rather than printing them. So, I will continue to use the Cube 3 as a tool for the foreseeable future and as a matter of fact, in the last hour I placed a large order for more cartridges.

    The CubePro models are a little rich for me, but I would seriously consider one if 3D Systems was to offer some sort of trade-in program for Cube 3 owners.

    I will not "cry over the spilled milk" and I will continue to use my 3D printers.

    I just hope that just as 3D Systems will be continuing support for the Cube 3 you will continue with your Blog and your program for the kids.

    Keep on keeping on Tom,


    1. I will DEFINITELY keep this blog going with a focus on ways to improve our Cube 3D experience. I will be adding Intel's RealSense to the coverage and get a little deeper into a variety of software packages.

      It's still going to be fun.

  8. I really hope they can at least send out an update to let us use non-proprietary filament.

  9. Hi Tom

    I have not been able to find any information about the cartridges. They are going to stop producing the Printers (we have 4 3rd gen Cubes) but what about the proprietary cartridges? Do we need to start stock piling?

    And thank you for your blog and all your work. I know your not a 3D Systems employee but you should be with the sheer amount of good will and information that you share about their printers.


  10. I expect the cartridges to be available for a long time to come. So, that does not concern me at all. Stock piling is not a good idea because filament can deteriorate over time.

    At a MINIMUM, I would expect to be able to obtain ALL support items for three years and filament much longer. Beyond that, even if 3D Systems discontinues filament, I expect that there are some very clever people that will fill in the gap.

    However, it is in 3D Systems' best interest to continue to supply cartridges for a long, long time.

    1. 3D Systems needs to come out and allow 3rd party filament because due to the chip and DRM laws anyone who tries (at least in jurisdictions that matter) will be breaking the law. It would be a great move on 3D Systems part to open up the ecosystem.

  11. This is a real shame. It would have been better if 3D Systems could have found a buyer for the consumer business rather than just walking away from it. Thanks for letting us know Tom. If it had not been for this blog I would have only known that they were transitioning to Pretty shoddy that they didn't bother to email this news to their customers. I think I'm going to sell my Cube3 on eBay and switch to a different vendor. One who doesn't limit my choices and lock my into DRM'd supplies.

  12. Has anyone tried the latest firmware update on the Cube 3 (V1.13A i think)?

    I just updated mine and now I cannot access the Settings menu.

    Does anyone know the solution to this? I cannot access the settings to connect to the WIFI

    Essentially, if I cannot access the Settings, or install a previous firmware, the printer seems to be effectively bricked!!

    I tried contacting customer support, but their servers are auto responding error to any email/messages I send them.

    I am not sure if this is a result of their move to stop producing the Cube 3?

    Any help/suggestions welcome.

    1. The current firmware is 1.14 on my Cube's. I have had no issues at all with any of the upgrades.

      I wonder if you power down, remove the power cord for a bit and then power it back up if it will help. If not, immediately get back to us and let us know.