We’re excited about the addition of the CubePro 3D printer, as part of our Prototyping and Usability Lab. This 3D printer is the 4th in a line of printers that included MakerBot and a LeapFrog 3D (both purchased last year). We’re continually investigating new technology, and this latest model has the highest resolution (70-micron), with greater accuracy than earlier models.
Specifically, we are using our new Cube Pro Duo 3D Printer to design prototypes and, in some cases, produce small, internal parts for some of our custom systems. With stabilized print mechanics and the easy-feed cartridges, the printing is more streamlined, which supports rapid prototyping.
This 3D printer is just one way we’re able to investigate bringing design, research and development into the manufacturing process in ways never before envisioned. We’re able to speed up our R&D process, and bring our new models to market faster.
We’re continually looking to experiment with new materials and tools to improve our development process. The CubePro naturally meshes with that goal–it has the capability of printing nylon, as well as other materials (as they become available). It will also be able to print conductive filament, which has exciting applications in the development of custom systems. It allows us to create strong custom, non-conductive brackets and enclosures for delicate and expensive electrical components (our stretch-monitor “reading rails,” for the Field Museum, used custom Control-board mounts).