printer number third
3D Systems Cube (2nd gen)
Many apologies for this image. I seriously considered not including this printer because of it's current state of disrepair, but I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. The temperature control for the hot end on this machine failed, and the print head is currently pulled apart for repair. Hence the dangling print head and exposed . . you get the idea.
The cube was an interesting experiment. It uses cartridges for the filament. I believe this was an attempt on the part of 3D systems to make sure you bought your filament from them. Printers are a one time purchase, but filament you need to buy for the life of the device which makes it a much better income stream. In the 2nd gen (which is what I have) they even put a chip in the cartridge so it wouldn't print without one and the cartridge tracked how much filament you had used and would tell you when it was time to replace it. The print volume was small (only 5x5x5) and the slicer and control software that came with the printer doesn't allow for much in the way of adjustment of settings. The cartridges are considerably more expensive than buying the same amount of filament on a spool.
All of that having been said, I used this printer a great deal prior to the print head breaking. It produced good quality prints and it was fairly reliable. I could put a print on it and pretty much ignore it until it was done. I used it to print pulleys for robots, spacers, mounting brackets and replacement parts for my other printers. It would print in either PLA or ABS. It had a USB interface, which is much better than the more common SD card. It used this water based liquid glue to adhere parts to the print bed (which was not heated) and the print bed was held on with a magnet so when you were done with a print you could just pull the whole print bed off and submerse it in water, the water would dissolve the glue and the part would pop right off. It was a pain to have to purchase the glue to print, but it was sorta a cool system.
Unfortunately, 3D Systems no longer sells replacement parts for this model and even if they did, they were overpriced. I doubt I will be able to repair this machine and ultimately I will probably strip it for parts and build another printer more suitable for my needs.