Showing posts with label 3D Systems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3D Systems. Show all posts

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chris Crowley's CES 2014 Report

Editor's Note:  Chris is a 1st Gen Cube owner and excellent CubifyFans contributor.  When I heard that he had traveled to CES, I knew that we HAD to have an eye-witness report from him.  He did NOT disappoint.  :)

Hello Everyone -
This is Chris Crowley, your guest reporter in the field for the CubifyFans blog.

I attended CES this year, and was in phone contact with Tom Meeks every day as 3D Systems made their announcements….

My summary:  WOW!!!!

Cube 3 & Cube pro

First - This is my first CES visit… it's touted as the largest trade show in the world. Boy is it ever huge! Tens of thousands of people in the hallways.  We walked for three full days, and barely covered two-thirds of the show. I'm not sure you could actually see the entire show one week.  Reportedly, Las Vegas is the only city in the world with enough hotel rooms to house the attendees.

Second - the 3D printing TechZone was jammed with people and exhibitors! There were many vendors, showing many low- and high-end printers and associated services. There were cloud printing services, filament manufacturers, photo "sculpting" systems, scanner manufacturers, etc.   The visitor "density" was very high in the 3D printing zone.  See Tom's post about a "tipping point"… I think we are very close.  We even heard talk about 3D printing at a blackjack table from non-technical people one evening.

And a description of the "TechZone":

Third - the 3D systems booth was by far the most crowded booth that we saw in the entire show.  

3D Systems Booth (Note: can see in CubePro from this angle)

We pushed, we jostled, and we elbowed our way through people ten deep to see the new products.  I know several people at 3D systems, and Tom had given me another list of good contacts... But we couldn't meet with any of them, because they were all too busy with the press! Our main contacts were busy on Thursday from noon until 6 PM straight with press interviews.

As a sidenote, I am a member of the National Speleological Society (i.e. "Caving"). I've been 100 feet underground in the pitch dark, covered with mud, crawling through a slot too small for a bicycle helmet to fit through. That slot pressed solid granite against my spine and my sternum such that I had to exhale in order to squeeze my way through. In short, I am NOT claustrophobic! However, I got the heebie-jeebies in the 3D systems booth, because it was so full of people!

This portends good news for the company, the stockholders, and the phenomenon that is 3D printing.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to handle or use any of the machines!  It was just too crowded. I wasn't able to hold any meaningful discussion with booth attendants, and was not able to handle output parts from any of the new devices. This was disappointing especially for the Cube 3, because that's next on my shopping list.

Cube3 Printing in Dual Color

We did see the new fully enclosed CubePro (both the Duo and Trio versions.)  These machines are nice, but the tinted front glass prevents getting a good look inside the CubePro given the lighting in the booth.   The inside was only observable from an extreme angle as in the images above.

CubePro Side-by-side with Cube3

We did see the Sense scanner. I won't cover the scanner, because Tom has done such a good job in his previous posts.  See my attached pictures of the face scanning demos.

Sense Scanning Display

The ChefJet Sugar Printer was pretty cool!   Do you remember WIlly Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper?  

Well - you can have one now!!!!

ChefJet Prints

This device prints in sugar, with a dizzying array of food coloring and flavors.  

ChefJet Candy with Large Confection Print

You can see some of the "candies" in my photos, but be sure to check out the AMAZING printed edible sculptures - about the size of a wedding cake - maybe they are wedding cake stands or decorations?

ChefJet Cake Tiers

This company was an acquisition of 3D systems last year, and boy does it work well.    I won't be needing one of these, but certainly there is a market in the cake making / food service industry.
Here is a nice article on the ChefJet with close-up images and video.

The TOUCH Haptic mouse (see Tom's previous post) was not on display (I asked).  Also, the CeraJet ceramic printer was not on display… It is possible that they were being shown in the special press event, but we didn't have press credentials.

You may remember that I am a mechanical engineer and project manager, mostly in the medical equipment industry.   The Cube1 has changed my entire workflow, and has gained me many new clients because I can actually offer 3D printing for free with my designs!   However, I'm bumping up against resolution and accuracy issues that the Cube3 should be able to solve.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Signing out….

Chris Crowley, reporting from Las Vegas
Table Mountain Innovation, Inc.
Engineering Design and Project Management

Editor's Remarks & Observations

I want to thank Chris for taking us into the 3D Systems booth and giving us a preview of what we can expect over the next few months.   There is one image that I think deserves a special comment.

Cube3 Printing in Two Colors
I see a few things in this picture that are especially interesting to me.  First, the print table material seems to have been changed and I see no sign of glue having been used.  Secondly, one of the issues we've had with the Cube2 is that the very first portion of the print can sometimes be blank because the filament came out during heating.  It appears that the Cube3 automatically goes to the side of the table to take care of this phenomenon by laying down some material before starting the new layer.  And, it appears that it does this each time the color is changed.  We'll have to wait to see if this is the case.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Cubify Sculpt and the SpaceNavigator

Good News!

The SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse device from 3DConnexion works well with Cubify Sculpt!!!

I had noticed that the Options Dialog had a tab for "SpaceBall Device".   Since I knew that the original SpaceBall had been discontinued, I asked Sculpt Support if that feature would work with the SpaceNavigator that seems to have replaced the original Spaceball.  They indicated that it would.

So, yesterday, I ordered the SpaceNavigator from B&H Photo and it arrived today!!!  That was a big surprise since I expected it no sooner than next Tuesday.  B&H Photo must have UPS trucks lined up at their loading dock because that was amazingly fast shipping from New York to Kensington, MD!''

I will include a short demonstration of the control that the SpaceNavigator provides in an upcoming tutorial.  It's going to take some practice to isolate just the motion I want without affecting other motions.  But, I can already see that it is a great investment and works quite well.  The speed with which it works can easily be controlled either from Sculpt or in the SpaceNavigator control form.

Control Includes...
  • Pan Up and Down
  • Pan Left and Right
  • Zoom In and Out
  • Spin
  • Tilt
  • Roll

Monday, January 7, 2013


Knowing that this was CES week, I decided to check out the Cubify site early this morning.

The first sign that my instincts might be right about something special on the horizon was that the site was initially down.  But, a few minutes later I found out why.

I was shocked!!!  AND VERY PLEASED.

Not only was there an announcement of a 2nd generation Cube that is faster and more accurate than the first.  There was also an announcement that the the Cube has a big sibling!

It's called the CubeX and it's not just a little update.  It's a whole new printer capable of printing both PLA and ABS in up to THREE colors!

I don't have time to do it justice this morning.  But, go to

Be ready to be VERY happy!

UPDATE:  Pictures 

As you can see, it seems to be using cartridges similar to that of the Cube.   A puzzling thing for me is that it is apparent that the bed is NOT heated.  As you know, one of the things I love about the Cube has been the heated bed which reduces warping of ABS.  As the new Next-Generation Cube seems to have dropped the heated bed in favor of a special glass bed, I'm hoping that they have found a way to control ABS warping WITHOUT having to have a heated bed. 

 I can't imagine a scenario where 3D Systems would go backwards in this regard.  So, I am REALLY anxious to see the new beds in action and to test them for myself.

The goal is NOT to simply have a heated bed.  The goal is to be able to print ABS without warping.  I don't care how that is accomplished as long as it is accomplished.  :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another User Review

DEELIP.COM has posted an excellent step-by-step article about their "Opening Experience" and a follow-up article about printing a shark that was downloaded from

Opening the Cube Package

The images are especially good at showing not only the contents that come with the Cube.  But, the LCD screen used to control it.  It's a MUST READ if you are interested in the Cube or afraid 3D printing is too complicated.  Here is a sample image from the article...

Test the Limits of the Cube - Printing the Shark

The first article was followed up by a second covering the printing of a hammerhead shark that was downloaded from  What is impressive about this test is the both the orientation and thinness of the fins.  Again, a MUST READ.


I have no idea if Deelip Menezes owns the company in India that is responsible for the programming and designing the Cubify site or simply works for them.  But, that relationship is stated right up front along with their complete lack of experience actually using a 3D printer.

And, it is success of printing in the face of Deelip's lack of experience with a 3D printer that is going to be indicative, I think, of all first time users.  The other common experience, for those of us with children or grandchildren, is enjoying how excited they are at being able to print their own objects.

Deelip captures this very nicely in a third article called The Joy of Creation.

I love Deelip's writing style and will provide a permanent link to their blog.

Nice job!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cubify Client Software - Introduction & Tutorial

My primary business for the past 30+ years has been as a software designer.  I've designed video games, children's activities, the first professional desktop video application for the PC and business applications.  So, I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to control structures in software applications.

Both the art and the work flow of the Cubify Client pass the test.  It's nearly perfect for it's intended audience and intended application.  They've done a nice job.

The Cubify Client, which can be downloaded from the Cubify web site, converts an STL file into code that the Cube 3D printer uses to print a 3D object.  There is a work flow that makes this job complete and the Cubify Client presents this work flow in an extremely clean and easy to use manner.

So, let's see what that work flow looks like.

As you can see, it's pretty hard to get lost with this software.  The one improvement I'd like to see is a feature that alerts us that the object we just imported is too large and offers to automatically fix it.  It's easy to see if the X or Y axis is too wide.  But, not so easy to see if the Z (Vertical Height) axis is out of bounds.  But, that is easily checked manually using the Object Information button.

Nice job!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Second "Included Print File" Printed - Shoe

Here is the completed Macedonia Shoe that was printed in Delaware over the weekend,  The top view does an excellent job of showing how smoothly the Cube prints contours.

Macedonia Shoe Printed on Cube - Top

From the side, we see how it deals with large areas and holes.

Macedonia Shoe Printed on Cube -Side

Notice that there was no raft and no support required to print this very complex object.  There was not sign of warping and the only hint of anything but SMOOTH can be seen in one tiny flaw best seen in this view.

Full side view

This little extra extrusion material was easily flicked off.  In a design this demanding, this kind of performance is astounding to me.

But, there is something else that should be mentioned.  To simply print out the included free creations as novelties would be a big mistake.  They are excellent opportunities for learning.  Freedom of Creation is a company having designers that are masters at designing for 3D printing.  It is highly informative to check on the progress of the print in an object created by them.  It will reveal some helpful hints at how to design so that rafts and support are not needed.

Opposite side view

In this shoe, there are some interesting INTERNAL features at the part where the ball of the foot would be and also where the top connects to the back end of the shoe.  It's worth studying these.

Internal Support designed into Shoe #1
The pad in the sole of the shoe (above) seems to be one of the keys to the lack of a need for support.  But, the most interesting thing for me was the upper internal support design.

Cantilevered Support Structure
Kudos to Freedom of Design for coming up with these innovative solutions to reducing the need for external support structures.  And, kudos for the Cube in being able to pull it off.

Click on any of these images to see a 21mpx image that is more than capable of revealing every flaw.  NOTHING stands out as even worthy of notice over 99.9% of the print. 

To See all of the images of the finished show go to..

The Cube Print Longwood Gardens Field Trip Slide  Show

I continue to be impressed.  Very impressed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fume Question Settled for Me

Some legitimate question has been raised about ABS fumes and the Cube.

This is not a definitive answer.  But, it's the one that counts for me.

I did not mention a thing about smell or irritation to my family as I set up the Cube in my daughter's home.  I wanted to see what my family would say without any influence from me.

The Cube printed for well over 8 hours and not one of my family mentioned anything at all about any smell or fumes.

After we left for home, I directly asked my wife if she noticed any smell.  And, her answer was, "No."

I can't speak for everyone.  But, I do know that my wife and daughter have what I would consider very sensitive senses of smell.   If there was even a HINT of something obnoxious they would have noticed it.

It passed the test that counts for me.  And, while I know that is a completely subjective observation, it's the only measure that I can offer.

I hopes this helps those that might be concerned.  :)

The Cube Travels Well

A lot of thought was put into the design of the box in which the Cube arrives.  My advice is to NOT throw it away.  It makes for a great travel case for your Cube.  I know because my Cube went on a visit to see my granddaughters yesterday.

How many times do you hear somebody praise a BOX?  Not many.  But, the Cube box is designed to travel well and the Cube is one of those products that you'll want others to see and experience.

Putting the Cube back in the box to prepare for travel was a piece of cake!

If you have children or grandchildren in that 9-12 range you know how eager they are to be able to do things for themselves.  Taking the Cube out of the box and setting it up was no exception. With very few prompts from me, they had it up and running in no time.  They even figured out, on their own, that they had to remove the little screw in the cartridge that keeps the filament locked in place while traveling.

Having now had the experience of following the loading directions, I knew it would make it easier for them to cut off the filament about 6 inches above the printjet when packing it up.  That made it very easy for them to follow the Cube's on-screen directions.  Nothing baffled them in the process of setting it up.

They then chose to print the Macedonian shoe...

Macedonian Shoe - Early in the Process of Printing
Now, the shoes are among the largest objects of the creations that come free with the Cube.  The time estimate showed 6 hours and 33 minutes to print and it actually took longer.  It's amazingly intricate and, even more amazing, was set up to print without raft or supports.

3D printing, by it's very nature DOES take time.  But, that doesn't mean you have to sit around waiting for it to finish.  You get it started and go off to do other things for that period of time.  In our case we decided to go to one of our favorite places, Longwood Gardens.

So, while Henry the Cube... yes the girls decided to name it... did its thing, we did ours.

However, there is one thing that needs to be mentioned that happened before leaving for Longwood.  My youngest watched the Cube build the shoe and, with a huge smile, said...
"I feel so proud... even though I didn't do anything"
THAT is a pretty significant statement about the emotional aspects inherent in 3D printing in the home.  Watching the Cube print is an inherently SATISFYING experience.  And, even though she only selected the item and pushed the LCD to get it started, she felt a deep sense of being part of the process.  I feel this every time I start a piece, whether it is one of mine or was designed by somebody else.  And she felt it too.

I had one Rook that I'd printed on the Cube and several others that I got from the 3D Systems people before the Cube shipped.  I thought it would be nice to take them on an outing while the Cube did its thing.  So, off we went!

Here Red Rook and White Rook survey the topiary garden for the first time.

Red Rook and White Rook overlooking the Topiary

 Liking what they saw,  they sped off to play among the topiary.

Frolicking among the Topiary
They even joined my granddaughter's for a game of hide and seek!

Green Rook enjoying Hide and Seek

While most of the rooks played hide and seek, Blue bracelet contemplated how the Cube might be able to create a sundial of their own.  Red rook, having worn itself out, joined bracelet.

Blue Bracelet planning a Cube Sundial
But, Yellow Nano, being made of VERY tough stuff, preferred to hang around with the tough guys at the topiary garden entrance.  None of that "sissy" stuff for her!  If only stone lions had Nanos!  What a pair!

Moving inside the massive conservatory, after all that exercise, Red Rook demanded to be carried as they contemplated the beauty of these magnificent indoor gardens and fountains.

Red Rook taking in the Conservatory Fountains
But, while they found the indoor fountains fascinating, all of the Cube prints agreed that the most spectacular of the many fountains to be found at Longwood were those that could be seen from the Conservatory's patio. 

Cube Prints taking in the front lawn fountains
But, like any field trip with a bunch of eager kids, this one, too, almost had a tragedy.  While you can see it in the above picture, it's better shown below.  Why do Cube pieces ignore the warnings about not going too near the edge???  A gust of wind and off went Green Rook!

Fortunately, I had a monopod and was able to rescue him.  And, I THOUGHT he'd learned his lesson.  But, I was wrong.  There was a Wine & Jazz festival going on.  Some rooks just CANNOT hold their alcohol!

There's always one... sigh...
A little food in his stomach at the Italian Gardens helped and we had no more trouble with Green Rook the rest f the trip.  He does love cookies!

Great cookies, great fountains, great friends... Life is good!

I had a wonderful time combining three things that I greatly enjoy... Longwood Gardens, photography and 3D prints.  There are many more photos on my Flickr site. You'll see dragons, tree houses, fields of light and the full beuty of the Italian garden.  To experience a slide show of the full Cube print field trip go to...

The Cube Print Longwood Gardens Field Trip Slide  Show

In the meantime, let's get back home to see how things progressed with the Cube!!!

By the time we arrived back to the house, 6 hours had passed.  The Cube was still printing.  But, the girls and I could see that it was doing a phenomenal job!  We were amazed and pleased by what we saw.

The detail of the Macedonian shoe is impressive
 This was the first time I'd printed out a large object on the Cube.  They still need to work on getting the estimated build time just right.  But, that is a minor issue when one sees the quality of the print with such an intricate pattern without raft or support.

We ended up having to leave for home before the print was complete.  But, my daughter reports that it is finished and beautiful.  I'm going back to retrieve the Cube this evening.  Yes, I KNOW it's a 180 mile round trip.  But, if you think I'm going without my Cube for even a few days, you'd better think again!  LOL!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Can the Scope be Helpful in Other Ways?

I know that some of you are saying, "Come on Tom.  Things can't be as rosy as you've shown so far!"

And, you are right.  They can't.

The Cube, like any other 3D printer is laying down a series of layers of melted plastic that must adhere to the previous previous layer of plastic that may or may not be positioned directly under it.  Moreover,  that cooling layer is sandwiched between a hotter layer above it and a cooler layer below it.  There can be hundreds of such layers.  I've not seen ANY 3D printer that lays down layers that are perfect at all wall thickness or angles 100% of the time.

ABS is tough, has a feel to it that is a LOT more pleasing than PLA and just plain looks nicer.  But, it has a tendency to warp.  I've already mentioned that I would prefer to use ABS plastic in my other 3D printer.  But, I can't.  Without a heated bed, it warps so badly that I just can't use it.

I love the fact that the Cube has a heated bed.  But, that does not mean that in some circumstances a little warping might not occur.  When that happens, we will see a line that is different in the sides of our printed objects.

One of the reasons I designed my torture test with differing wall thickness and shapes is to see how the Cube/ABS combination performs under completely different circumstances in the same print run.  And, to learn from what I find to design things that avoid potential issues.

A finding is not "Good" or "Bad".  It's "What".

And, the "What" that shows up in my torture test is that wall thickness makes a difference.  That's not surprising to me.  But, if you are a new 3D printer owner, it might be a BIG surprise to you.  Let's take the "surprise" out of it by seeing what it is up close.

I have to apologize for this picture.  All I have here right now is an old Sony Bloggie with absolutely no control over the exposure.  Here is the part that has a wall thickness of 1mm, the thickest of the objects in the torture test.  (I'll replace this picture later with a clearer one)

Part with 1mm walls

As you can see, there is a layer that is not absolutely perfect.  And, that imperfection extends around the part from the sphere to the extruded triangle.  That is what warping looks like.  None of the thinner pieces showed this characteristic.

There is something else that is not so easy to see in this particular photo.  But, CAN be seen under the microscope.  This is the wall of the box from the top.  Notice that it is not solid.

Top of 1mm box

This is a behavior that I have seen over and over in my first 3D printer and in countless images in 3D discussion forums.  Certain thicknesses are more difficult for 3D printers than others.  The trick to avoid this is to know what thickness are optimal and which are not.  Obviously this has repercussions to the overall integrity of the object.

We know we can avoid this by designing our wall at .5mm or .75mm.  We can probably also avoid this by making our wall 1.25mm.  Remember, I said our findings aren't "Good" or "Bad".  They are "What" and the "What" in this case let's me know that I probably am better off avoiding 1mm walls in square boxes.

So, how might this have affected the overal piece?  The clue is to the bottom left and out of focus.  That is a single piece of filament that broke ranks and missed the corner.  And, it's right at the layer that shows evidence of warping.

Seen from the microscope's perspective, it's plain that this errant strand, probably allowed by the hollow wall, started the warping snowball.

Corner of warped layer

This is the picture of the corner and layer where that filament took a shortcut.  As I said, wall thickness DOES seem to make a difference.

But, here is something else that is interesting.  NONE of the prints of the twisted star show any signs of weakness or warping.  The wall is just a little thicker than 1mm.  And, a close look reveals another interesting bit of information that we can use to our advantage.  Not only wall thickness; but, wall orientation seems to make a difference.

Here we see the same wall in two different orientations.  Notice that the bottom orientation shows a different inner characteristic than that of the top orientation.  One seems more solid than the other.  I find that fascinating.

What this seems to suggest that if we have a part that seems prone to warping, etc.  We might just want to try it at a different orientation on the print bed.  I don't know for sure that this will cure the problem.  But, it certainly suggests that rotating the part in the software that we use to convert STLs to Cube files might help.

 In my case, it prompts me to go back into my 3D software and design an STL having several copies of this part with 1mm walls oriented in different ways to see if a different behaviour emerges.

This is a printer/plastic behavior.  Not  a printer/plastic problem.  It's a DESIGN problem.  

I consider that it's my job to use up filament chasing down design problems so that you don't have to!  :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Stereo Microscope is My Friend

If there is a tool that I count on more than my stereo microscopes, then I sure can't think of one.  I find a low power microscope will tell me things that I just cannot validate any other way.

And, the performance and precision of a 3D printer is no exception.  So, for the first time, I was able to examine the prints from the cube under 10x to 40x and analyze the characteristics of printed surfaces.

My favorite test shape is an extruded triangle.  It has straight lines, flat surfaces and sharp edges.  It's perfect for analysis.  Most of you know that I already had a RepRap printer before purchasing the Cube.  And, I put its output under the same microscope a while back.  That's how I found out that that one of the rods that controls the up and down motion of the print bed on my RapMan was slightly bent.

Here's what it looked like at various powers from 10x to probably 40x.  This is an edge of a triangle.  Notice the regular pattern of hills and valleys.

Here is probably about 10x...

RepRap - Triangle Edge at about 10x

This is probably at about 20x...

RepRap - Triangle Edge at about 20x

This is most likely around 40x...

RepRap - Triangle Edge at about 40x

Now, in reality, to the naked eye, it is not as ragged as it appears under the microscope.  Remember, the layers are .25mm and that is VERY small.  You can feel it rather than see it.  And, I know that some RepRaps might not show this particular issue.  But, it is so common that it has a name.  It's called Z-Axis wobble.

So, now let's put the Cube print under the scope.

First, the same kind of triangle edge with the grain going the same way...

Cube - Vertical Triangle, Edge at 10x

Look at that smoothness!  That's remarkably flat.  So, what about other grain orientations in an extruded triangle?  The is the edge of a triangle with the grain in a slightly different orientation.  The first triangle was vertical and this one was lying on its side.

Cube - Horizontal Triangle, Edge at 10x

But, the really cool view is at the apex of the edge looking down on the extrusion.

Cubify - Vertical Triangle, Apex of Edge - 10x

What about analyzing other features?  Like a hole without support...

Cube - Hole in Wall, No Support - 10x

The bottom of the hole is on the left in the above picture.  So, now let's look at the same hole.  But, this time printed with support.

Cube - Hole in Wall with Support - 10x

This is very thin support.  But, I haven't tried to remove it.  So, I don't know how clean the hole ends up after the support is removed.

But, all of you know by now that I love the behaviour of Pentagon shaped holes.  They NEVER seem to need support!  And, look how clean they are at every apex!

Cube - Pentagonal Hole, No Support - 10x

Cube - Pentagonal Hole, No Support - 10x

And, let's begin to wrap it up with some up close and personal shots of the smoothness of the edge of a sphere.

Cube - Circumference of a Sphere - 10x

Look how smoothly that sphere's arc is.  That's beautiful.

And we will end our wrap up with a look at the edge of a thin-walled vertical column.

Cube - Wall of extruded Column - 10x

I don't know about you.  But, I think these images clearly demonstrate the capabilities of Cube to deliver precision prints  This is EXTREMELY important if the things you design require tight tolerances.  I plan several microscope to camera interfaces and it is amazing how precisely the center of the camera's lens must be aligned with the center of the microscope's lens.  There is no margin for inaccuracy.  I'm convinced that the Cube will finally allow me to achieve this goal consistently due to the straightness of the walls it prints.

I hope this is helpful and not confusing.  I really do this for myself because it allows me to work WITH what I have.  And, as it turns out, I have a lot with the Cube.  :)

But, there is a reason why I share it with you.  I want YOU to know that my enthusiasm for this little printer is based on cold hard facts and not just emotions.  People can be enthusiastic on no basis at all.  Admittedly, the initial enthusiasm that gave rise to the name of this blog was a gut level response based on years of dreaming what my perfect consumer 3D printer should be.  But, then it was deepened by my driving from the DC area to Rock Hill, SC to see one for myself.  I didn't have my microscope.  But, I could see that the objected printed out right in front of me was remarkably smooth and precise.  But, now I have the objective tools to validate or negate my gut feelings and, as you can see, my instincts seem right on target.  

Let's compare the green Cube output with the white RepRap output one more time...

RepRap (White) vs. Cube (Green)

The scope doesn't lie.  A picture really is worth a thousand words.