|Cubify Cube 3D Printer 2nd Generation Cartridge - ABS Black||3DS-350167|
Your Price: $49.00
|Cubify Cube 3D Printer 2nd Generation Cartridge - ABS White||3DS-350166|
Your Price: $49.00
|Cubify Cube 3D Printer 2nd Generation Cartridge - ABS Red||3DS-350162|
Your Price: $49.00
|Cubify Cube 3D Printer 2nd Generation Cartridge - ABS Silver||3DS-380139|
Your Price: $49.00
- Color: Black
- Type: Recyclable ABS plastic cartridges
- Production: Prints 13 to 14 mid-sized creations
- Not compatible with 1st generation Cube printer
- Product Number: CC3D2GEN-ABS
Reviewed on 10/24/2015
I own two Cubify Cube 2nd Generation 3-D Printers, and they have given me nothing but trouble. So, it was no surprise when the Cubify ABS filament cartridge I purchased did NOT successfully produce a printed product. Cubify has billed itself as the 3-D printer manufacturer for the common man with a device so easy that any home hobbyist can successfully build models.
Not. True. At. All.
The foundations of good design are there. The cartridge comes preloaded with high-quality ABS filament protected in a sealed bag to keep out moisture. Humidity is a notorious ABS filament killer. Also included are instructions are how to return spent cartridges to Cubify for recycling, which fits with the company’s mantra to maintain low-environmental-impact. Loading the cartridge is easy and intuitive – they fit only one way into the printer. Once the cartridge is loaded, the 3-D printer is able to identify what material the filament is made from. This feature is important because ABS and PLA (the two polymers used by the printer) look the same to the casual observer. The 3-D printer also registers how much material remains in the cartridge, letting the user know when the time has come to order more. The filament is easily fed be hand into the print head.
That is where the user-friendliness comes to an end.
It’s as if Cubify fired their brilliant designer right after he conceived the print cartridge and left the design of the rest of the system to monkeys. The print head is invariably clogged with old filament, which must be removed. The printer goes through an elaborate, lengthy process to “automatically” evacuate old filament by feeding new filament into the print head. This process invariably requires human intervention to manually shove the filament into the printer since the internal feed mechanism can’t push it hard enough. Once the old filament is clear, a bit of the new filament squirts from the print head, indicating the machine is ready to print.
Or is it?
Multiple attempts to print various simple model designs with the 2nd Generation Cubify 3-D printer yielded nothing but a stain of ABS filament on my print stage and no part. The filament doesn’t stick to the print stage! After running for a few minutes producing nothing but a smear of ABS residue, the printer declares a print error and stops the job. To start over, the user is forced to go back through the elaborate process of clearing the print head. After about 10 attempts, I have not managed to get any farther in the process since the printer always trips into an error message.
Consulting the company, the user manual, and on-line forums suggests “Print Glue” is needed to make ABS stick to the stage. The print glue for these 2nd generation machines is impossible to find – it is sold out everywhere – leading to the remaining few available bottles being sold for $75 to $100 by shady on-line outfits. So, I spent $15 to order glue for the 3rd generation Cubify printer hoping its formulation is close enough to the 2nd generation stuff to work. Meanwhile, the cartridge reader pins on the printer I was using for ABS filament broke, and I’m now waiting for a replacement from the company. Thus, I have not had a chance to try the glue to see if it does the job.
I’ve read on various on-line forums that these 2nd Generation Cubify Cube 3-D printers simply don’t work with ABS. My application (I am printing customized nose cones for live-fire model rockets) requires ABS due to its robust physical properties over PLA. However, I finally broke down and ordered a PLA cartridge, too, to see if I can get the Cubify printer to work with that ‘lesser’ material. I have not yet received the PLA cartridge in the mail to try it.
In conclusion, the Cubify 2nd Generation ABS filament print cartridge itself is well-designed, easy to install, and should be easy to recycle with the company when all material is spent. However, the printer that is supposed to interface with these cartridges is poorly designed. The filament does not automatically load as the print head is always clogged with old material, and no physical object can be produced because the printer always registers an error a few minutes into each print job. ABS filament does not seem to stick to the print stage. I have had the same experience trying using ABS filament cartridges with two different Cubify 2nd Generation machines.
With all these problems and potential failure points, it is difficult to understand why Cubify would release its 2nd Generation Cube 3-D printer to the masses. The product’s easy-to-use image has totally unraveled, as evidenced by the many negative reviews it had received on the Internet. Perhaps the new 3rd Generation Cubify printers are better, but I will likely never know. I run a small business, and I’ve already shelled out enough money on this failed foray into 3-D printing to justify never returning again to in-house manufacture of parts by 3-D printing. Given my poor experience with Cubify, I will continue to outsource my 3-D printing jobs for the foreseeable future.