As Tech.li reports this morning, 3D Systems is now accepting payment for its Cube 3D printer we first learned about in January. For $1,299, you will receive the printer, as well as a spool of neon green plastic filament, and 25 free "Creation" downloads (aka object design files) from 3D Systems' Cubify Web site.
Engadget reports May 25 for the official Cube launch date, which aligns with the "in a few weeks" timing 3D Systems CEO Abe Reichental told me last week.
While I want to get my hands on the Cube, I'm most interested to find out about its software. As Matt Fitzgerald and I learned with the MakerGear Mosaic 3D printer, and as I'm learning again with the Makerbot Replicator, the assortment of free apps supporting the RepRap-derived 3D printers are powerful, but will present most consumers with a steep learning curve.
First hands-on of Cube 3D home printer
3D Systems, on the other hand, is pushing the Cube as a mass market, easy-to-use alternative. With the prebuilt, (though still RepRap software-bound) $499 Solidoodle 2 on the market, even the best interface might not take the edge off the Cube's asking price. If early adopters do find the Cube easy to use though, it will at least put pressure on Makerbot and other 3D printer makers with mass market ambitions to smooth their own user experience.