If you want an easy-to-use 3D printer with relatively high quality (for an entry-level device), you'll want to check out the Cube 3.
South Carolina-based company 3DSystems claims that the Cube 3, the latest in its line of Cube printers, comes fully assembled and is easier to use than ever.
The printer will cost less than $1000 — exact pricing is yet to be announced — and prints in PLA and ABS plastic, the two most common 3D printing materials. It can print in two colors with multiple materials, and users can preselect the consistency of these plastics during the printing.
The Cube 3 can print objects up to 6 inches x 6 inches x 6 inches in size, and features an auto-leveling printpad, which helps ensure that objects print successfully with a minimum of errors.
Through an accompanying mobile app for Android, iOS and Windows phones, the Cube 3's owners can also schedule prints remotely.
3DSystems asserts that replacing material in the Cube 3 is easier than replacing an ink cartridge on a 2D printer, and that the printer is safe for use by children as well as adults.
There are cheaper entry-level 3D printers, to be sure. The da Vinci 3D printer from XYZprinting costs just $499. However, the Cube 3 looks to make up the difference with high printing quality, ease of use and an app that lets users initiate and manage prints from their mobile devices.
Look for an update on the Cube 3 later this week when we go hands-on with the new printer at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
At the same time that it announced the Cube 3, 3DSystems also announced the launch of Cubify2.0, an online store where users can browse 3D-printed products from professionals and major brands, and order customized prints.