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3D Systems is a positive potent powerplant of press releases. Coming off their acquisition of Geomagic, 3D Systems decided to unleash upon the unsuspecting world their second-generation line-up of Consumer 3D Printers, just in time for CES 2013 (okay, not so unexpected). We asked, what could the ‘X’ in CubeX stand for? Famously, when US Steel changed their name to USX in 1986, Chairman James Roderick said to a curious reporter, “The X stands for Money.”

X Stands For ‘WYSIWYG’

Three big things stick out from this announcement. Size, Extruders and Resolution. Let’s look at the details.

Size

27.5×26.5×24.0 cm (10.8×10.45×9.5 inches) is hella bigger than the 14x14x14 cm (5.5×5.5×5.5 inches) of the original Cube. As neatly demonstrated in the picture below, it’s about the size of a basketball. You cannot print Shaquille O’Neill, however.

Extruders

One, two and three. Rather, as 3D Systems describes it, (blank), Duo and Trio. Yes, you will be able to buy a CubeX with three extruders, which means three colours in one print. But you will have to cough up a eye-watering $3,465 USD. Yikes!

Resolution

This is cool – they added three settings. High Definition (125 Microns), Crisp (250 Microns) or Standard Definition (500 Microns). In reality, these are speed settings – one thing that bothers a few of the newest inductees to 3D printing is the speed….. time seeeeems toooo sloooooow dooooooooooown when you want to make your replacement fork.

CubeX2

3D Systems also announced higher speeds (2x), more colours (18, 2 of which glow in the dark), a touchscreen, ‘cartridges that preserve quality’ and fast printing software. Also, they added a glass printing bed so the first layers stick properly. Oh, and you receive 10 free models that you can download from the 800+ library they have on cubify.com

The Low-Down

There is this feeling that the CubeX is some sort of cross-breed of the BFB-3000 and the Cube. As you recall, UK-based Bits from Bytes was bought by 3D Systems in 2010. I suppose 3DS decided to hybridize their breeds – we can’t be sure. I don’t speculate on 3D Systems stocks with money, but I will speculate on their products with words.

cube plus bfb equals cubex

Nobody at Solidsmack.com has yet to see this CubeX, but if it is what it is, this is looks like a great machine. I’ve seen the Cube and it wasn’t that impressive compared to other RepRaps and so forth. However, if they’ve improved their UI since then, this could be killer. Perhaps even top the great Makerbot Replicator 2, even as their new version is expected shortly.

Consumers are thirsting for better 3D Printers – they want to get what they expect from regularly manufacturing techniques. Smooth surfaces, big sizes, lots of colours. As I said, they want WYSIWYG machines. I bet that the X in Makerbot 2X, slated to come out very soon, also stands for WYSIWYG.

Filed under: NEWS

  • http://twitter.com/Glitch3DModels Andrew Lepper

    Great article JF. The BFB 3D Touch is the more recent model that has been adapted into the CubeX. This printer is known for its crawling speeds and its robust quality. I am interested to learn more about the CubeX’s bed, since the 3D Touch’s has some known issues in ease of use.

  • http://www.dshape.ca JF Brandon

    Thanks Andrew! Since they replaced the bed on the CubeX, it might be better. The truth is, you need a heated build space….. that reduces the chance warping removes the piece from the bed altogether.

  • Johan Loei Gracias

    hello ,, how we can know more information abut the 3D CubeX
    and if we can use it for building design?

  • Simon Martin

    Hi Johan. It looks like you can find out more information about the specs and ordering details here: http://cubify.com/Products/CubeXTechSpecs