3D Systems targets families with sub-$1,000 3D printer


January 6, 2014

The Cube 3 will reportedly retail for under US$1,000, and s targeted at families

The Cube 3 will reportedly retail for under US$1,000, and s targeted at families

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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.

Source: Cubify

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

But can it print a document. Will the cartridge be half full new and last a few pages to find that the cartridge cost more than the printer?


If this trend keeps up, I think it won't be long where the 3-D printer will cost about the same as a desktop laser printer.


Too bad that as for the other 3d system printers you will find yourself to pay 3-5 times more (150$/Kg!) for the material as it uses a proprietary spool. It is the cheap printer, hugely expensive consumable all over again!


The cost of consumables will alwaysbe a stumbling block until one of these manufacturers comes up with an integrated or stand-alone accessory shredder/melter and moulder device that can reuse suitable recyclable plastic stock (drink water bottles?) into filament spools at a dearer upfront purchase cost, but then much cheaper system.

The Skud

Added comment - Perhaps that university guy could adapt his "shredded plastic into fuel" device to get the base stock for 3D spools? Circular thinking!

The Skud

I cannot see a long-term future for 3D printing.


Manufactures will always make wild claims about consumables and products costing while using planned obsolescence. This is the latest strategy by use by Manufactures for, to hell with saving the planet for big bucks.


I'd like to point out to everyone that printers have been selling for $200 - $300 and the prices are rising based on demand/exposure. Classic price bloat and in the end, consumers lose. Build your own and print parts for other people to build them too. The 3D printer movement was intended to be open source but has now gone profit.


If it does not run in Linux its not worth discussing, these guys went to the "lets mess up the planet Business school" I think. The world is paved with the best of intentions until it comes to money.

Eric Brackenbury

The consumables for a multi-axis CNC milling station will always cost less than 3D printing, I'm afraid. And, even using billets of aluminium, which are fairly cheap, the result is tough, tough, tough.

You could plop the part right into your bicycle and ride it. Unlike anything that comes from a 3D printer, oh, except for maybe a headlight case or bottle bracket.


I purchase this printer to print custom parts for my Switch business. After many, many attempts, I got 1 print to complete. The problem is not the printer, it is the proprietary cartridges that you have to buy for this printer that is the problem. The design is very poor. They try a PUSH the filament through 15" of tubing into the print head. Most 3d printers have the feed mech in the print head to PULL the filament into the heated part. The feed mech is two gears that pinch the filament. If it starts to slip, it will grand away the filament and then it will not feed any longer and your part is ruined. The printer comes with 2 PLA cartridges and I purchased 3 additional one from the manufacture 3D Systems through their distributor, ALL 5 cartridges failed with in the first 5 to 10% usage. I started to print 12 parts and only one finished before the cartridge jammed. 3D Systems says they will not accept returns or give refunds. They will only send replacement cartridges. I have already had a 100% failure rate, why would I want to waste more time messing with replacements. They did send me instructions on how to dismantle the cartridges, fiddle with them, and reassemble. I tried that on several and tried to print again and only got a few print layers before they failed again. Do not waste you money on this printer.

Bruce Milligan
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