3D Systems targets families with sub-$1,000 3D printer
By Nick Lavars
January 6, 2014
After first catching our attention with its out-of-the-box Cubify 3D printer back in 2012, 3D Systems is again looking to make inroads beyond the hobby market with its family-oriented Cube 3. Announced at CES today, the new sub-US$1,000 unit undercuts the $1,299 price of last year's Cube 2, while also upping maximum creation size and adding a new mobile app for more convenient printing.
The Cube 3 is slightly larger than its predecessor, measuring 13.3 x 13.3 x 11 in (33.5 x 33.8 x 28 cm) and weighing 17 lb (7.7 kg). The latest version also has the ability to print two materials and two colors at the same time. Using recyclable ABS and compostable PLA plastic available in a range of over 20 colors, dual jets allow for mix-and-match dual color and dual material objects.
Its maximum creation size of 6 x 6 x 6 in (15.25 x 15.25 x 15.25) is a slight upgrade on the 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 in (14 x 14 x 14 cm) output of the Cube 2, and although not revolutionary, is generous for a 3D printer at this price point. It also features an auto-leveling print pad and 75 micron resolution prints, courtesy of preloaded filament jets.
The company is emphasizing the Cube 3's appeal as a 3D printer for the family home, its website stating the device is recommended for children over eight years of age. This is complimented by the companion smartphone app (iOS, Android and Windows compatible), which lets users browse through other people's designs or connect to the Cubify online platform that features dozens of pre-designed objects, such as bottle-openers, dinosaur fossils and NBA figurines, and then print them remotely via the printer's built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.
3D Systems also announced its high-end 3D printing solution, the Cube Pro. Geared toward the more professional end of the market, the device is capable of printing objects a considerable 10.75 x 10.75 x 9.5 in (27.3 x 27.3 x 24.1 cm) in size and three colors simultaneously.
The devices are set for a a 2014 Q2 release with the company yet to release specific pricing information, saying only that the Cube 3 will retail for under $1,000 and the Cube Pro for under $5,000.
You can watch the promotional video for the Cube 3 below.