Wifi; a sexy form/structure; an easy to use interface; it seems that Cube (or someone else) has the potential to be the Apple of the 3d printing world.
I could see my father buying something like this; while he would never end up with a reprap.
For myself; and most of HN I would imagine they would go the open route; but there are a lot of people (This thing needs to be in Sky Mall) that I think are potential customers here.
To make use of this the person would need to know what 3d printing is, know where to get models or make 3d models (doubtful), get materials and then spend time printing and perfecting.
Not something the average user would do no matter how "sexy" the packaging is for this. If they really wanted something made that they'd managed to design, they would likely go with one of the many online companies that offer 3d printing as a service and offer a wide variety of materials and sizes (without the person having to invest in a 3d printer up front or learning how they work).
As another poster mentioned above, I personally would much rather go with something like the Solidoodle machine which is half the price; not as sexy but I'm not sure that the target market for 3d printing at this time is looking for "sexy".
One day when 3d printing becomes more mainstream and much cheaper (200-300 range and buy it at Best Buy/Target), I could see the sexy form factor and wifi becoming something to have.
I wouldn't recommend the Chinese ABS, (the thickness QA is so poor that whatever money you save buying cheap plastic is then spent constantly recalibrating your printer to account for the thickness changes) but 3dprinterstuff is good enough.
" 4/9/12 - Please note that we have experienced a significant increase in pricing from our supplier. The above pricing partially reflects this increase. We hope that the increase is temporary and that as more suppliers come on-line, that pricing will be able to be reduced."
That is unfortunate, as I believe everyone in the US was getting PLA filament from the same extruder in Ohio.
The joke, here, of which there are two, is that of course you can't print another cartridge. You'd spend 5kg of plastic to print a 4.9kg cartridge.
The second joke is that while you could conceivably print a cartridge housing, and fill it with counterfeit filament, it still wouldn't work. This because Cube uses the same business model as HP or Stratasys (I assume) where the printer's cheap, but the cartridges are expensive. Both HP and Stratasys use cartridges with chips in them that keep track of how much filament's been used, and it's probably too much to hope that Cube cartridges will be as easy to hack as Stratasys cartridges. A $5 cryptocard chip more than pays for itself if it doubles your profit margin, and if the printer phones home, it'll be real hard to break the scheme.
Why would people bother with reverse engineering their proprietary (and expensive) system, when you could go ahead and spend the time improving the fully open systems that are out there?
It doesn't specify what the head speed is, so think "slow". 50mm/s, if that.
"A review of the Solidoodle after numerous hours of printing. But for a few tuneup adjustments here and there, it has been problem free. If only there was a heated build platform the prints would be totally awesome (instead, as you might expect with ABS on a cold piece of acrylic, the first few layers are not even)."
I might take the plunge and get the $549 version. Although I must admit, I have no idea what I'd make with it.
It also doesn't say how large the cartridges are. Or how much they cost. It's also got a pretty small build volume, and a completely proprietary toolchain, including model files. (???)
This is one of the great potentials of even these mini-3d printers: you can truly de-homogenize your indoor environment and make it very interesting.
I'm inspired by Black Rock City to see all the forgotten parts of our lives more beautiful. 3d printing will help :)
I saw them in action at CES, and the quality was pretty poor compared to what the Replicators at the Makerbot booth were doing. Perhaps they haven't improved since then.
I've been shopping around for 3d printers for a few months now, and this is the best resolution I've seen.
How fast can these things make the objects, though? Does it take minutes or hours? Could you build a small business selling toys and stuff with one of them?
On other commercials machines, like SLA/SLS, that use lasers to quickly build material, they're more based about how tall the part is when it's built and the detail required.
Small business wouldn't be based around just printing - this is really tough. You're really going to need to offer other value-adds to actually make money as small plastic 3DP parts are basically a commodity at this point.
Also the page show the image of a sandal in free creations section. Would it be possible use it as an actual footwear?
Given that the build envelope is only 5.5 cubic inches, I also don't think you could actually make adult size footwear.