Cubify, the 3D printing company that we've been covering since CES, is almost ready to send out the first batch of its consumer-friendly 3D printers. The Cube, which will begin shipping on May 25th, prints single-color plastic gewgaws up to 5.5 inches (14cm) in diameter. Its $1,299 price includes the printer and a single neon green material cartridge; additional colors cost $50 apiece with a slight bulk discount — a little on the high side, but not extortionate. Somewhat unusually for a 3D printer, Cube designs are loaded via Wi-Fi.
Cubify's is hardly the cheapest printer on the market, but it has gone a long way towards making it simple to create and print designs. The more powerful MakerBot replicator has its own vibrant library, the Thingiverse, but Cubify's apps — like this Lego sword creator — are arguably more interesting for the casual or first-time user. It also offers some interesting creation tools, like the option to build models from a Kinect scan. Unlike with the generally free Thingiverse, however, you'll be paying to download designs from the Cubify store, from $10 for an iPhone case model to over $2,000 for the "Achilles Epic Suit." It's user-generated, so you can create and sell your own models as well; we'll see if the commerce model takes off once people have actually had a chance to start printing.