Friday, October 16, 2015

Updated Cubify Site is Amazingly Beautiful and Useful!

Opening up the Cubify Site this morning, I was blown away by the latest update.  I remember the first time I opened the Cubify web site and it seems a world and an eternity away!  It is amazing and gratifying to experience the evolution of the site over the years to the point where it is extraordinarily inviting to browse and use.

Most of the time I only have regular contact with the people that deal with hardware and app development.  So, I don't know who to thank for the progressively better web site experience that has burst forth in the last few updates.  So, if you are part of the team, consider this my Thank You!  I LOVE it!

New Filament Presentation

As I went to bed last night I was fretting that PLA appeared to be unavailable.  Not fun.  But, fortunately, I awoke to a completely different reality.  I'm having FUN again!

What a difference a few hours makes!

Every now and then, someone accuses me of being a stealth employee of 3D Systems.  But, it's easy to put that thought to rest by pointing out how many times I have not only been completely surprised by a new product or development; but, way behind in discovering it.  Fabricate is one of the glaring examples and the PLA availability confusion is another.

One of the improvements that I woke to this morning was the new presentation of the filament colors.  After years of flat swatches, we are treated to sculptured objects for making our colored choices.  Shadows are important when it comes to choosing a filament color and the new presentation allows us to compare not only the basic colors; but, the nuances of the colors as printed.  This isn't just a cosmetic update.  For users I consider it an important usability update.

Designs for USERS

One of the side effects of being as busy as I am actually doing and teaching 3D printing is that it leaves less time to spend catching up on what is being presented on the Cubify web site for users.  So, I fail to alert users to the free designs and other perks being offered to users on

I'll try to do better in this regard.  And, in the meantime, I'll point to the Cubify Halloween Page as the perfect example of 3D System's constant commitment to elevating the Cube experience for users.

The new Patterns Pages

 While not free, the new fabric patterns are reasonably priced and are a great way to become familiar with using 3D printing in fabric projects.  I was excited to see the patterns offering because it helps potential 3D Printer owners understand how to integrate 3D printed parts in fabric projects.  The fact that 3D Systems is constantly thinking about new and exciting applications for consumer 3D printing is very gratifying to me.  The patterns made it easier for me to visualize how to introduce Fabricate concepts to our cadets and I KNOW they are going to be VERY excited.

Way to go Cubify team!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Cube3 and Fabricate - Entirely New Horizons!

While I can't spend much time on it right now, I wanted to point you to the fact that 3D Systems continues to add value to your Cube3 investment by adding continuing to open up entirely new horizons for Cube3 owners.

Cubify Fabricate

I need to do a LOT more experimentation.  But, I cannot think of anything that adds more potential for the cadets that I teach than the all new Fabricate concept for blending clothing design and 3D printing.

Tonight's Project Runway's "avant garde" challenge featured the 3rd Gen Cube with the new Fabricate system.  Very Cool!

As soon as tonight's episode is online I will post the link.  In the meantime, check out the Cubify Fabricate link above... and let your minds go wild!


My experimentation will have to wait a bit.  None of the purchase links are live just now on the Cubify site.  Moreover, there are hints that this new capability might mean updated PLA cartridges.  While not a confirmation, I have to note that at the current moment, absolutely NO PLA cartridges are available on the Cubify site and users are being directed to consider ABS.

I will do my best to get better information on this situation.  But, if the two events are related. I will be patient and point you to other sources of filament for the Cube3 in the meantime.

Timing is EVERYTHING.  This morning, I woke to find that not only is PLA available; but, the new presentation on the web site is infinitely better at allowing us to assess the actual colors in real applications by adding images of the color as printed in actual 3D objects!

Apparently, it was a web site update issue rather than an actual availability problem. 

They have also updated

UPDATE #3 - Full Episode is up!

The Project Runway Cube3 episode is UP!  Here is the link.

I am VERY excited about Fabricate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

3D Coat Experience "The Knight"

Hello friends
Continuing from the pawn we go into making the knight. the knight unlike the pawn needs at least 2 reference images we deal with that in this video. We also touch on saving models into the model library for later use. The pawn becomes our base model so that the rest of the set will have the same base contours. I took a little longer than planned in getting this video out due to a beta that kept crashing on me while recording. Now it is all set I went a little longer in this video than planned but it all works for the end result. let me know what you think.

I  am going to move onto the rook in the next video this mode will only need one reference image but will require some other skill that are needed to make the rook create symmetrically correct. see you then.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3D Coat Experience "The Pawn"

Hello again!
I hope you are all enjoying 3D Coat as much as I am. In this video I am going to take some time and explain the reference image a little more clearer. I will do the same with the Lathe primitive tool too. We used the lathe tool quickly when we made the seahorse. this time I will cover the finer details of both of these tools.
 I have been making these tutorials with a completed model as my goal. I am soon to start a sister series that will shift focus from the end result to the tools and what they do. I am considering to keep both running side by side as long as their is an interest for them both.
 I personally like to watch other users make  complete projects, From watching those I am inspired to adapt what I learn to my own ideas and hope that is what these videos have been doing for you.

Let us know what you think.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Keeping Bits & Pieces Out of The Side Vents

We've discussed this before; but, it's prudent to bring the subject up again now that we will be using both print jets and the purging strategy just before printing is different between the Infinity supports and standard PLA.

In my earlier post that discussed a way to keep filament out of the side vents, I had used a rubber band.  I believe that it was Eric Albert that mentioned that he uses the type of plastic used as sheet protectors or transparencies.

I've pursued the latter strategy and have come up with a pattern that can be printed on either inkjet transparency material or laser transparency material.  I am now using the shapes cut out from the pattern in all our printers and it works to keep the bulk of the filament bits and pieces out of the vents and in the trays.

While you will end up with a Word document, I will simply post the .PNG file on this page that you can use to create your printed page.

Vent Guard Pattern

Download this .PNG file and insert it into Word.  Open the "Size and Position" properties for the graphic.  Set the position to  "In Front of Text" and the size to 5" x 5".    If the margins are set to .25" all around, then there is room for two patterns on a page.

Print the patterns to transparency film.  BH Photo carries both inkjet and laser transparency materials,

Once printed, cut out the pieces making sure to cut the slots at the top creating 5 sections.  Tape the cut out shape to the back of each side tray.

It's difficult to see clear transparency held in place by Scotch tape.  So, I have printed a blue paper version and used white tape to demonstrate how the vent guard is mounted.  The vent guard is held in place securely once the tray is clipped into place.

Vent Guard Attachment Demo

The transparency material is thin enough not to interfere with the snapping connectors that hold the tray in place.  And, it is flexible enough not to interfere with the travel of the print jet housing.

It does NOT keep all the bits and pieces of filament and supports from dropping down into the printer.  But, it DOES prevent it from going down into the vents themselves, where it is tougher to remove.

This is a good idea even if you are not planning to use Infinity Supports; but, it is DEFINITELY a good idea if you ARE using the new supports. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rinsing Infinity Supports is Not the Only Removal Strategy

Any reader of this blog should know by now that there was no love lost between me and the old style supports.  I hated them with a passion because (1) removing them was likely to draw blood and (2) it was nearly impossible to use supports with marring the printed object.

So, why do I now LOVE supports?

Well, it's not just because the Water Soluble Supports dissolve in water.  In fact, I only use water when the part makes it absolutely necessary.  Take this part, for example.

Dial Indicator Holder

This part was designed to hold a dial indicator for checking the level of the print jets.  It was printed in a signle piece oriented as exactly as it is being used, upright.  It required a fair anount of support material.

Infinity Supports - Front View

Infinity Support - Bottom View
The supports literally surrounded the part and were even iside the clips that hold the part to the print table.

Yet, I didn't have to use a bit of water to easily and quickly clean the supports from the part.  I simply broke them away in the traditional fashion.  Because of the unique characteristics of the new supports the materials separated quite easily using a pick, a spade, the palette knife and pliers.  It's amazing.

If the part is designed so that supports are easy to access, then there may be no reason to use water to remove them.  But, it's great to know that there is more than one strategy for removing these supports and that both methods work very, very well.

As a side note... this was printed on my early vintage Cube3.  It's my understanding that the waste trays and rubber wipers have been redesigned since my printer was released.  So, that may be why there are bits and pieces that end up on the part and print table.  Fortunately, they do not seem to negatively affest the print.

But, there was a marked increase in the material getting down into the vents on each side behind the print trays.  It's an old issue (I wrote about this issue very soon after my Cube 3 arrived.); but, it seemed to me that the support material increased the incidents.  So, taking a hint from Eric Albert, I created a cutting jig that allowed me to create some plastic 'fences' to keep the material from getting into the vents.  The fences, may, however, be dlipping material onto thr print table.

I will post about it after I have tested alternate plastic sheet sources.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

3D Coat Experience - The Rocking Horse Textured

Hi Cubify Fans!

    I am back and bringing you another video in the 3D Coat Experience. This time I take our last model and texture it in the paint room.

    I took a little time out due to a small trip some surgery (hernia repair) and some rest. But I am back in full capacity now and ready to continue in this series. I got to meet Tom during the trip that I took and it was as if we had known each other all along. Wish I had more time to sit with him and just enjoy each others company however am glad for the time we did have. We talked a lot about shared ideas and interests in 3D modeling and  Printing. I believe we have decide to create another series that will run alongside this series. It will be more focused on the actual teaching of the software in depth. Not as much about an end result persay. The videos will be to the point and focused so as not to lose anyone who wants to learn 3D Coat,

    Last video was long and perhaps for some too long I am going to try and shorten them some perhaps when needed post them in parts. This video takes off where we stopped and takes the Hobby Horse and textures it for a much more refined finished model.

    I am just amazed at the simplicity at which you can color and texture a model in 3D Coat. I have played with many demos only to walk away frustrated. Not so in this video you will see how to make the model look as it is in the image at the top. keep watching and soon you will be making things with ease.  The image below is from my experimenting as well things are starting to get fun.

    Thanks for watching let me know what you think. I would love to know what direction you would like to see the 3D Coat Experience go. So take some time and add a comment at the bottom.