3D Printer Reviews – Cube 3D Printer: The Reality of Consumer 3D Printing
There’s no denying the fact that being able to print a 3D object has a tremendous ‘cool’ factor. The first time I fired up the Cube 3D Printer and it started laying down the filaments of hot plastic to create a rook from a chess set — complete with a winding staircase within — there was a crowd to watch the print head zip back and forth and up and down.
That’s one of the rubs, though. It’s slow. Imagine printing an e-mail and having your laser printer start spitting the paper out so slowly that it took two or three hours for the full page to appear. And nothing else could be printed in the meantime. Some of the 3D models took eight hours to print. At this rate, 3D printer reviews require having access to the test unit for weeks in order to have sufficient time to assess their capabilities.
Despite DDD’s efforts to make the Cube 3D Printer as user friendly as possible, there is still some user intervention required in the form of threading the plastic into the print head, aligning the printing platform before every job and applying glue to the platform (otherwise the model moves around and is ruined).
Finally, manufacturers and even 3D printer reviews don’t always mention this (it’s assumed that you know the basics of the technology), but those cool 3D printed models you see don’t actually come off the machine looking so polished. The printer has to add support structures, there are stray filaments of plastic and sometimes some minor flaws (see the photo at right of a 3D printed ‘Minion’ from the “Despicable Me” movie).
To get the polished results you see on promotional material, you need a knife and some sandpaper after the 3D printer is finished.