The 3D Systems CubePro Trio is capable of printing engineering plastics at reasonably high resolutions (~200 micron feature size). We can currently print ABS, Nylon, FLEX, Wood, and Infinity support material.
The CubePro can print 3 materials at once. Although it’s typically set up to print two materials + support.
The software is proprietary and accepts STL files. If you have a multicolor STL that has multiple closed meshes you can select materials per closed mesh in the software. Options for layer height and quality are also made in the software with the default being 200 micro layers. We can generate working files using Simplify3D but it doesn’t work as well as it could. We’re working on custom layer change and tool change scripts to get S3D working better.
Printing is simple. Save the sliced file to a flash drive, insert the drive and select the file, apply CubeGlue to the build plate as instructed by the machine and allow it to print. Removing prints can be done with a metal scraper and a light tap from a mallet. The build plate is removable.
Clean the excess glue using water or alcohol.
Leveling the plate is done using the built-in script and the knobs under the plate. It has been stable long-term and shouldn’t require much adjustment. The plate is not heated, but the chamber is temperature controlled to prevent warping.
Switching materials needs to be done in a very specific way to prevent damage to the catridges. This should only be done by Makerspace staff. There are no user-maintainable parts on this machine – all service will be handled by staff and users shouldn’t attempt to disassemble or adjust any part of the machine.
We’re currently in the process of replacing many parts of the machine and are anticipating full operation by Jan 2017. Some projects may be printable during this time depending on material requirements.