Drawing of handshake. Source: Aiden Jones, Creative Commons
Drawing of handshake. Source: Aiden Jones, Creative Commons

By Contributing Writer, Jennifer Jarrett

Many households are split between being a hardcore Mac household or a hardcore Windows household. I limbo between the two using a Mac for specific tasks and using a Windows operated PC for other tasks. While researching Cubify's Cube 3D printer online, I learned that I could download software for either the Windows or Mac. When the 3D printer arrived, I was ready to start printing.

After completing the setup and customizing a project, I was ready to print. The Cube gives you a couple of options for printing your files. You can either transfer your files from your computer to a flash drive, (one comes with the 3D printer) or you can print through the cloud. I was attempting to print through the cloud. I had downloaded the software to my Windows 8 operating system, however, upon attempting to print my file, the computer wouldn’t connect with the Cube printer. I tried a few different things and ended up transferring my file via the USB flash drive and it printed perfectly.

On my next attempt to print wirelessly via the cloud, I decided to use the Mac because it has a cloud-friendly OSX operating system. I downloaded the software to the Mac and transferred the file from the computer to the printer through the cloud. It worked perfectly! The printer immediately began accepting the transfer and once the transfer was complete, I started the print job. Another excellent outcome.

I was confused as to why I hadn’t been able to wirelessly print using my Windows operating system. I did some research, and finally contacted the Cubify customer support team. I found out that the Cube 3D printer is not yet compatible with Windows 8. Windows requirements for the Cube 3D printer are: Windows 7 and Windows XP Professional or Home Edition with Service Pack 3. So in order to print wirelessly using Windows, I needed to install an older operating system. I created a virtual desktop on my computer with the Windows 7 operating system and then installed the Cube software to the virtual desktop. The older operating system did the trick, and I was able to wirelessly transfer files and print my 3D creations.

To wirelessly transfer files using the Mac, the requirements include: Mac OSX 10.8. While I didn’t find any significant benefit to using Mac over Windows, all of my subsequent files were transferred and printed using the Mac simply because the Cube wasn’t compatible with my Windows operating system. Using a remote desktop was more of a hassle than it was worth; it was equally as simple to transfer files to the USB stick and then load them into the printer through the USB port. Once transferred to the USB stick, it was just as easy to transfer the files and print as it would have been to print using the wireless option available with the Cube printer software and transferring through the cloud.

Overall, as mentioned above, there is no great benefit to using a Mac or a Windows operating system to transfer your files. The only recommendation we have is to ensure you have the required operating system for your computer. If you don’t, the USB stick is a great option, just not as convenient as an automatic transfer. Whichever way you choose to transfer files, the Cube makes it a simple process and allows you to start printing only moments after your file has been completed transfer.