CUBE -The 3D printed 3D printer

by Webca Jul 27, 2011
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Is there any info on the firmware used?

video of it working would be nice. also files...files would be nice too.

Can you post all the pieces in individual stl files. I'm planning to make it.

hi there , this things awsome, ive been envying it for a while now, i currently work at a plastic molding company makes custom parts and skidplates , anyways i wanna make one from scrap plastic here and the cnc, give me some more info? can i get a bom, parts list or any other helpful stuff please and thanks

what the full price to do it

Can you post a complete BOM for this? Thanks!

How about a 3D printed Ultimaker now? :-P

Wow! I have come and looked at this for some time now and shown alot of people at my school and it never ceases to amaze me; the time, effort and money spent. If you were a design student this would have made a killer thesis! Too bad the parts have to be so small but it adds to its narrative and awesomeness. Your cupcake is equally astonishing. Again so much time represented. Hats off to you my good man!

Thank you for your kind words.

Such praise from a design-student really means a lot to me:)

Yes, this is adhesive backed film type kapton. A kapton board would probably be a lot lighter than the thick aluminum plate i am currently using, but i don't know how well it would heat up then;)

What about using pop rivets instead of screws?

Pop rivets is more of a permanent solution. This project is a prototype, and several things have been changed during the 8 month build. So drilling out rivets every time something need to be changed was definitively out of the question:)

How is printing on kapton sheet for you? Is that the quarter inch thick stuff or just like the tape only bigger? I was thinking of using it for a printer I'm working on...

I got the same thickness as the makerbot HBP. And the sheet is in one piece, not several tape lenghts.

The thickness is 5 Mil (125

I am very happy with printing on kapton:)

So this is adhesive backed film type kapton? Or is it more like kapton board? I am asking because I think it would be cool to build an entire platform out of kapton...

Webca you are amazing!! Great work!

This looks similar to the prototype design for the maker wave. This could have all the panels laser cut.

What was the most expensive part(or parts if many were used)?

How many bolts did you use?? :-D



Where can i find info about the maker wave?

The most expensive part is definitively the heater element for the platform.

I lost count on the bolts a long time ago, but its alot;)

Funny enough, when the CUBE came out I found this wonderful video on Vimeo...


Speed up to 6:44 and Zach Hoeken will be talking about the Maker Wave :) if anyone is a real fan of 3D printing and or Makerbot, I recommend watching this video, it's a real treat.
Zach talks about the design process and evolution of the Makerbot; it seems the video was
made a few months prior to the birth of the Thing-O-Matic and probably the Maker Wave was shelved for the time being.

CUBE is pretty much the closest desired thing to the Maker Wave that anyone can have, the community has you to thank Webca :)

PS: I love your rendition of the CupcakeCNC :-D

begining to wonder if this will make a push for the Maker Wave to go public ;)

Thanks for your kind words:)

It really was a strange experience watching that video to see how similar the two machines are. My jaw actually dropped a few inches. The Gen4 Interface kit really makes the Cube and Maker Wave look like twins.

I wonder why they never went forward with the Maker Wave. I am really satisfied with m
y "Cube" :)

Are you sure you didn't get the idea from that video or the designs that used to be in the SVN repository?

Yea, im sure.. I started with the heating element from the Makerap ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4142http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... ) and designed the "Cube" around it. The thing that makes it look alike is the interface, and that is from Makerbots Gen 4 Interface Board Kit v1.1.

by Webca

So this pretty much has the same aim of the Reprap project? The plastic alone for this must cost about $180 right? Pretty cool though.

No, not really. It was more a personal challenge to see if i could do it:)

The Reprap is a cost-efficient and easy way to get a 3d printer, my project is not.

I cant imagine this machine to catch on as a DIY 3d printer, but if so people should use other materials to reduce build time.

How many build plates do yo think this would take to build itself again?

Im guessing somewhere between 20-30.

CUBE printing has started!!! Just 750+ parts to print. I'm loving it. Thanks again Webca. BTW I breaking it down with 3DS Max Design 2012 on the trial version.. I love this program but not for $3,500.00 US Ouch!! I tried Blender but I just could not find a way to break it apart, Oh well..


To break apart an object, select the vertices you want (the object basically. Tip: Use the 'b' key to select everything in a dragged square) and push 'p' to separate it.


Are you going with the same color scheme? If you encounter any problems with the build, don't hesitate sending me a message ;)

color is going to be white and safety orange. I printed out the pulleys and man are they big..Also I'm starting the front face wall, So I need to buy a bunch of screws and nuts for this printer. :-D Thanks for offering me assistance and I will use it if I need to.. Thanks again


Cant wait to see some pics:)

Wow, it was popular in one day!

Yea, i'm loving it :-D

This heater must be 120v or 220v to do 800w I think.

This is awasome dude!! :P

Thank you, nabo;)

great! And I thought I was impressed by the 3d printed makerbot...thinking you could event top this one makes me scared!

Could you post the printable parts files individually (or as zip) just for the sake of completeness? Maybe somebody is mad enough to print that machine, too! ;-)

Don't be scared, i come in peace;)

I regret not organizing the files during the build, as i couldn't imagine anyone else making this. Now that i am "finished", i lack the motivation required to make the individual pieces ready for printing, as it is probably a full days work.

Maybe if someone else makes this they will send the fil
es to me, so i can add them to this page:)

You Sir, are quite frankly, mad.

Well done.

Thanks, but i assure you, i am sane;)

Simply Beast. Awesome work!

Just when I was starting to get lazy, I see this. No wonder we haven't seen anything from you in a while.

You sir, are an inspiration! Awesome work.

Wow. That's a hell of a lot of bolts.

I guess you were quite determined not to build that large case out of MDF boards...


I loved making the makerbotted makerbot, and this is kind of the same concept, only times ten;)

It looks like an industry machine. far cry from a hobby version. Dare I say, Iprinter? I think it's a job well done! Can you post a couple of prints?


For testing the machine i have just made small pieces, so nothing to show for the moment. But when i make something worth showing i will absolutely upload it:)

Wow, so are you going to use this 3d printed printer to make a bugger 3d printed printer? And then use that 3d printed printer to make a bigger 3d printed printer? And use that bigger 3d printed printer to make another bigger 3d printed printer that will print a biggerer 3d printer that will print me a house?

Phew, that gave me a headache!

its a good thing he does not have a laser cutter...

What, a laser cut laser cutter? :-D

they have those

go to http://instructables.cominstructables.com they have some cool guides for laser cutters

Yea, a laser cutter would be a great addition:)

Yeah, good thing!

Its on my wish list :-D

yea, wouldn't that be something :-D

Kinda looks like a microwave or toaster oven.

I think you should try frying an egg on the heated platform :).

I bet it could;)

THAT IS INSANE!!! I love it!

Its like an upside down scaled up thingomatic!

Incredible, man. This is amazing!

I want to send you a printed 'WOW' this is amazing!

ha ha, thanks ;)

How big is it ?

How big can it print ?

Now all the specs are added.. Cant believe i forgot to paste it in the description.

Thanks for reminding me:)

omg, that's... wow
I don't know if it can fit in the gada-prize but it's always nice to see a 3d printed 3dprinter ;)

Had to flatter this one and to the designer so a double whammy here... This is a printer I really want to print out. I was just getting ready to print out the Cupcake until I seen this one. It has everything I want in a printer and more. PLEASE post or e-mail me the complete STL files.. I have a bunch of plastic wanting to be printed into something worthwhile and this is it..

Jax :-D

Thank you:) Great that you like the design.

I dont have every little piece made as an STL, as i was pretty sure no one would ever make this. If i where you, i would make it out of plexi-glass so it would become unique.

Otherwise you can pick apart the files i have added here, and start printing away;)

If you decide on building one, you can contact me whenever you need any help:)

Not sure how to pick apart the files as you say. I did pull up the STL file to see the complete assembly but not too sure what a MAX file is, yet I did down load it and can not open it. Making things that use large electric tools is out for me because of my MS, I can no longer do things like I use to. That's why I love these printers, I have no problem printing out stuff and putting it together as long as I can see what I'm doing.. So with any help you can provide for me I would appreciate it else I'll just stick with another MakerBot unit that you provided already.. Thanks again,


Just download http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/trial/?nd=1http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-ma... and you will then have 30 days to pick apart the Cube.max file into printable stl files:)

Sweet Thanks for that...

OK I just separated the parts using Blender and it takes a powerful machine to do it. I tried on a single core 1.6ghz laptop and a dual core 2ghz laptop without much luck, but I do not have the patience to wait very long. I then moved on to our quad core 3ghz media pc and it still took 10 minutes to do it. If anyone would like the .blend file containing 732 separated pieces I could upload it as a derivative or email it to you.

Now i have added the .blend file to my files, so anyone can download it;)

-Thanks to Sublime-

You will still have to export each part individually. But at least Blender is cross platform and opensource so anyone can do it. Also my single core laptop can handle the whole model at once now that its in blend format.

For you Blender noobs:

Press "z" to enter wireframe mode which lowers the cpu/gpu usage.

Select the part you want to export, then select export stl from the file menu.

After exporting the part I suggest pressing "x" to delete that part before moving on.

"h" hides the selected part

"{shift} h" hides unselected parts

"{alt} h" un-hides all hidden parts

I would like that. Thanks!

Import the Cube.stl in to Blender.

Press tab to enter edit mode.

Press "p" and select "by loose parts"

Press tab to exit edit mode.

Select part to export and export it.

@Sublime, Thanks for that info also. I'll try both versions and see what I can do with them..

I'm quite tempted to do a plexiglass version, I'm guessing you havent got any files ready for that?

I'm curious, aside from the obvious things (electronics, extruder) how much else can be salvaged from the TOM?

It cant be too hard getting the measurements of the Cube.stl file for making the Plexi/Acrylic version. At least a lot less than printing all the pieces.

I dont think you can salvage alot from the ToM, except what you said and M3 nuts and bolts+ power supply. Maybe even the largest belt from the ToM can be used for the Y stage.

Jeg mangler ord... Awesome!

I do have one question though, how many nuts and bolts did you use to hold the frame together?


Who knows... I lost count a long time ago. But its ALOT..

Yeah, looks like might be the biggest multi-part print, but also the heaviest. That's a lot of nuts and bolts. Wow.

My initial goal was to only use bolts and not any glue, but had to leave that idea pretty early. Thats why i went a little overboard with the nuts and bolts:)

Wauw this is a insane print ;-) nobody will hit the [I made one] button on this one 8-)

I wouldn't say that.....

Please post the parts list if you can. I will actually make this if there is enough information.

Thanks! I loved the cupcake one and i'm used to printing hundreds of parts.

Now i have written up all the parts (i think) in the parts list. "All" you have to do now is to pick the 3d file apart and start printing and ordering parts;)

Where would you order the heater board from?

The heating element was ordered from a norwegian company, but is probably easier to find in the US. The specs are in the parts list. The element can be ordered with adhesive on one side, so just adhere it to a 500x300x2mm alu-plate. Then you make the HBP- sandwich,starting at the bottom.

  1. The 2mm alu plate with the heater attached(heater pointing up)

  2. A 500x300x8mm on top of that

  3. And last but not least the kapton sheet

I'm sure youre right;)

Wow! First the 3D printable cupcake, now this. I'm really digging the look for this.

Sweet zombie jebus!!! 15lbs(6kg) is.. yes indeed a lot of plastic in motion/extruded...

Roughly, how much printing material would one need for the "bare necessities" do you think? I am sure that a 'vitamins list' would earn you some karmapoints! :)

I guess there is quite a few areas where the material could be exchanged for something one could "cut" like this: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,90990http://forums.reprap.org/read.... (metal)

I guess you could make the machine in any material you like, even without printing a single piece.

The vitamins are the "usual":
Rods, bars, plexi, screws, bolts, belts etc.

Do you contemplate on making one of these?

As it obviously contains a boatload of awesome, it definitely get a high position on my viable candidates list, in other words Yes!

So, its like a makerbot in a printed shell... :-P

Wow! Very professional looking.

Thanks :)

Wow! This is nothing short of amazing! :) Nice work.

I would suggest that you also provide the 3D file as a STL file. Not all have 3ds Max as a 3D software.

You win 1 internet. Please collect your prize at the nearest phone socket.

This is truly excellent work! You have to use this to build another one . . . . etc. etc.

Ha ha, i think the "family three" ends here. But who knows what the future will bring;)