Longer Cube2 Mini is a compact desktop 3D printer designed for youths and entry-level users. You can find this 3D printer on their official website. Though the overall 3D printer is small, the actual build volume is 120mm (L) x 140mm (W) x 105mm (H). Similar sized 3D printers have been on the market for some time now. Let’s check out the Cube2’s features and my thoughts after owning one for a few weeks.
- 2.8-inch Touch Screen
- Resume Printing (Power loss)
- Filament Detection
- Flexible & Removable Magnetic Print Surface
- Detachable Hotend Assembly
- Precision motion system for quality prints
- Product Dimension 238x228x267mm (Plus Separate Spool Holder)
- Net Weight 3.5kg / 7.7lbs (Excluding Filament Spool and Holder)
Keep reading to see my opinions and print quality.
Longer Cube2 3D Printer Unpacking and Setup
The Longer Cube2 3D printer was packaged securely in a non-descriptive box. This is perfect for doorstop deliveries or as a surprise gift. Removing the printer is straightforward unless you are taking a ton of photos. The 3D printer itself was shipped with large pieces of foam inside and 3D printed blocks to immobilize the Z-axis.
Setup of the Longer Cube2 comprised four (5) simple steps:
- Remove the two blocks from the Z-rods
- Move the Bowden tube and plug it into the extruder
- Assemble the filament holder with its 4 screw & nuts
- Plug it in and Power on
- Level the four corners using the on screen leveling aid.
- NOTE: they load The SD card with a helpful setup video from Longer which includes the leveling process.
Regardless of your age or 3D printer experience, the easy setup and per-assembled design is ideal to start printing quickly right out of the box.
NOTE: This Cube2 is the 8th FDM 3D printer that I own and the 10th that I’ve set up. The outlined setup really is as easy as it sounds. Learning to use slicer software(s) efficiently is a different topic.
Test Prints On The Longer Cube2
Normally I don’t bother with manufacturers supplied sample files. For the sake of this review, I spent several hours 3D printing the files supplied with the Longer Cube2. Surprisingly, the three designs printed with incredible quality and details. Check out the slideshow to see the results. Upon further inspection of the GCode files, the samples were sliced using 0.10 layer heights at 60mm/s overall speed. That combination is the basis for my own custom profiles used on all of my figure prints.
Typically, sample files a created using thicker layer lines at the machine’s max speed settings. This may provide acceptable prints quickly, but does not show case a machine’s quality capabilities. After printing the sample files, I was eager to start on my own projects. Keep reading for more details and pictures.
NOTE1: The provided sample material is not vacuum packed with a silica packet. The material’s moisture level, brand and quality are unknown. Therefore, I suggest skipping the sample piece and using your own purchased PLA material. Solutech’s Silver Metal PLA was used for all of the 3D prints in this article.
NOTE2: Normally a new machine should be calibrated and finely tuned (Estep Calibration and PID tunes). Fortunately, my Cube2 was nearly spot on from the factory. Google searches and future articles will help you adjust your machines. FYI: E-steps can be set using the touch screen menus!
NOTE3: This printer connected to my PC and a Raspberry Pi OctoPrint/OctoLapse setup without any issues.
Those samples look great! Time to start some more projects.
Longer Cube2 Mini 3D Printer Slicer Profile Setup
Setting up an initial profile in Cura 4.6.1 was for the Longer Cube2 is straightforward. (The SD card also provides an older version of Cura 15.04.3, but I prefer to use up-to-date release). The included PDF manual instructs you to select a generic custom machine profile then set up the machine dimension, nozzle information and filament size. Once the machine was setup, I could use the built in “FINE 0.1mm” profile as the basis for my projects.
Below are a few pictures from the Machine Settings within Cura 4.6.1. The values will apply in any slicer software you use.
Initial Impressions and Comments
After the quick assembly, smooth sample prints and easy profile creation of the Longer Cube2 Mini, I was quite impressed. The quality output without tuning the machine was surprising. Ideally this would be true of all machines, especially ones aimed at youths or first time 3D printer owners. No machine is 100% perfect. That being said, here are a more comments and thoughts about the machine.
Negatives or Room for Improvement – Let’s get this out of the way!
- Noise Level
Quite simply, it’s loud for both the motor drivers and the fans. Technically, it is not louder than any other basic printer. However, I have gotten spoiled by new printer technology, which includes nearly silent drivers. For the price point and “entry level” designation this is acceptable, but you probably won’t run the printer overnight often.
- Print Bed #1
It does not heat the print surface. Lacking a heated bed is not necessarily a negative, but it is uncommon for most 3D printers in 2020. This will limit printing to mostly using PLA plastic. For many (new) users, this will not be a problem. Additionally, this can be considered a kid-friendly feature, having one less hot exposed component..
- Print Bed #2
The print bed plate is a removable and semi-flexible piece of aluminum with a textured surface. This normally would be an excellent combination because it aid in part removal. However, the bed has four magnets attached directly to the plate near the corners. This allows the center to flex or bow before and during initial printing. First layer height change and leveling was difficult. Combined with a non-heated bed and PLA plastic, RAFTS for most prints will provide the easiest adhesion results.
- Printer Shell
The plastic is a little flimsy. However, it’s not a TOY, so hopefully no one is tossing it around or knocking it off the table. A built in handle would have been a nice to touch to make it more mobile.
OK Features – Fine, just the way they are
Plastic Basic Style – Very strong tension spring – Can be frustrating to load
- Spool Holder
Functional and should accommodate most 1kg rolls
Cube2 Mini 3D Printer Good Points – Great for youth or entry level 3D printing
- Quality Prints
Well tuned from the factory.
- Clean Design
Good looking printer that can be used on a desk or dresser.
- Touch Screen
A nice modern feature that kids of ALL ages can easily use and navigate. Additionally, most advance settings for speed, acceleration, steps, etc are accessible from the screen. Therefore, custom firmware or terminal programs are not needed for many advanced adjustments.
Silicone sock provides thermal and finger protection – Overall carriage design makes reaching the hot nozzle difficult while in use. Safety first!
Cube2 Mini Future Modifications – What is desired?
The possibilities of modification could be endless, but keep the original price and personal budget in mind compared to upgrading to your next machine.
Installing quieter fans is an easy and inexpensive upgrade. If you have basic wiring and soldering knowledge, this can be done quickly. FYI: Raising the printer up helps with some noise. Some 3D printed or store-bought feet will reduce some noise output.
- Silent Drivers
Unfortunately, the noisy motor drivers are soldered directed to the main board with a single large heat sink connected to all four of them.
- Main Board
Swapping the board out to use quiet drivers can be done. However, the cost may become prohibitive. Additionally, the touch screen does not use the standard style connector, so it may also require a new screen.
I have not even considered disassembling the hotend yet. However, I’m sure someone may want to install a different style at some point.
- Fan Duct
The stock part cooling fan nozzle has done a great job so far. However, it may become damaged. You can find one on Thingiverse with an improved duct.
Here are the first two projects I’ve started printing with my Cube 2 3D printer.
Creative Geek MB – Apocalypse Project
- Using Longer Cube2 Mini and LK4 Pro 3D Printer
- Facebook – LINK
- ArtStation – LINK
- Patreon – LINK
- CGTrader – LINK
Here are some pictures of Apocalypse printed at 125% (approximately 450mm tall for complete diorama). Using a 0.10 mm Layers @ 60 mm/s and 200°C. Supports removed and no primer or post processing done on yet.
Marcelo Lopez Vieira – Lady Death Project
Here are some pictures of Lady Death printed at 125% (approximately 1/6 – 300mm – 12inch scaled). I printed the 3D model with a 0.10 mm Layers @ 60 mm/s and 200°C. Supports removed and no primer or post processing done on yet. Impressive prints for a new machine and a minimally adjusted profile.
Conclusion For The longer Cube2 Review
Personally, I love my Longer Cube2 FDM 3D printer. I may not enjoy the loud driver motor, but this is not my only non-silent printer. This is actually my second smallest printer and my largest has a print volume of 400x400x450mm. Why would I continue to use such a small printer? Basically, because of the print quality out of the box. This Cube2 will be my go-to machine for printing figure’s heads, hands and weapons. Beyond that, the 3D printer is more than capable of filling its print volume as seen with somebody parts in my two projects above.
Now you might ask us if the Longer Cube2 3D printer is WORTH the cost?
If you want a 3D printer, that is:
- Easy to set up & ready to print out of the box
- Compact and portable
- Allows for easy part removal
- Easier to maintain with a removable hotend assembly
- Packed of modern features (i.e. touch screen, resume, filament sensor, advanced settings)
- Safer for a young user with limited access to hot and moving components
Then this printer might be for you, your family or your company.
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