How a TU Wien spin-off is bringing a new innovation to 3D printing.
Cubicure GmbH, founded in 2015, specialises in the additive manufacturing of models, functional prototypes and series parts using innovative plastics based on photopolymers. These are created using patented hot lithography technology in the Caligma 200, a system specially developed for industrial 3D printing. The process uses a high-end laser to cure the plastic layer by layer with the highest level of precision. Components manufactured in this way have exceptional levels of fracture toughness and similar mechanical properties to parts manufactured using high-precision injection moulding. When the Vienna-based company was looking for the perfect housing for the Caligma 200, it knew straight away that it would need something other than conventional, welded steel systems. In other words, it needed a lightweight construction with closed, smooth surfaces and no obvious weld seams. Moreover, the machine base had to be high-quality and look good, while also being cost-efficient. Its search led the company to the Line XMS machine cabins from item.
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Industrial 3D printing thanks to reliable machine enclosure
“The item website showcased a complete, highly functional machine cabin along with all the key facts and figures. That made us curious,” says the Managing Director of Cubicure. The company made enquiries with Haberkorn GmbH, the Austrian distribution partner of item, about the functional and application potential of the XMS components. “We were quickly impressed by the elegant design and many functional aspects of the item products. Above all, the item product videos make it clear how well thought out the profile systems are and highlight the wide range of accessories available.” Cubicure worked in collaboration with Haberkorn to adapt the existing basic model to meet its requirements. The end result was the perfect machine enclosure, as the Managing Director points out: “The huge number of fastening elements gave us a great deal of flexibility during the design process. That says a lot about item. For example, we didn’t have to come up with our own customized solutions, as we had the comprehensive item portfolio of components to work with.”
The machine base for the Caligma 200 consists of two levels. An open working surface has been incorporated next to the industrial 3D printer, which is located in the actual process zone of the system. The printer is safely positioned behind protective transparent panel elements. Even so, this area is still easily accessible thanks to the use of suitable door segments designed to provide protection from the laser. Seals keep everything clean and stop dirt and dust from getting inside. “We divided the system into several modules,” explains the Cubicure Managing Director. The lower level of the item machine base houses the supply connections, laser technology, control system and electrical engineering. These system components are enclosed by tightly sealed, perfectly fitting doors.
Tried-and-tested combination of form and function
Outstanding accessibility for maintenance work is thus assured. Clamping Set XMS prevents the dead weight of the door from causing any distortion. Combined with suitable panel elements, the XMS Door Profiles ensure minimal clearances. With the addition of appropriate caps, the end result is an enclosure made from high-quality materials and with closed, easy-clean surfaces. A number of X8 Door Locks prevent unauthorised access through the doors. “By carefully arranging the system components and achieving an almost airtight construction, we were able to integrate a complex cooling and ventilation system into the machine housing,” says the young entrepreneur. Cubicure uses four item Jacking Castors from the MB Building Kit System to move and transport the entire system for industrial 3D printing. These provide mobility and stability, as each castor is combined with a height-adjustable non-slip knuckle foot. The Jacking Castors are able to compensate for unevenness of up to 12 mm and are perfect for levelling the system when it is being set up at the operating site.
The cable conduits integrated into the profile allow users to lay cables unobtrusively so they are hidden from view.
While the joints on welded profiles are clearly visible, screw-fixed profiles from item have smooth, unbroken surfaces. The design and the clear contours of the semicircular XMS profiles are stand-out features. The aesthetics are the perfect complement to the outstanding practicality of the individual components. As a result, item has already won the German Design Award and iF product design award. One example of this combination of aesthetics and function can be seen in the cable conduits integrated into the profile. These allow users to lay cables unobtrusively, so they are hidden from view, while still keeping them easily accessible and perfectly protected. If necessary, additional cables can be integrated quickly and easily.
The ideal conditions for industrial 3D printing in global sales
Another advantage of Line XMS is the flexible selection of accessories and fastening elements when designing customised machine modules. Compatibility with other components from the item MB Building Kit System thus enables a vast range of variants and add-ons. “By constantly adding to its product catalogue, item is in particular enhancing the aesthetic options when it comes to designing a machine enclosure. For example, there have been intensive exchanges about a continuously growing portfolio of caps and other classic cladding elements,” says the Managing Director of Cubicure.
Cubicure continues to develop materials and processes in the field of additive manufacturing, and is designing production facilities for which Line XMS from item is the ideal solution.
Through its global network, item offers the best possible support for global sales of these innovative 3D printing systems for industrial applications. In addition to numerous branches in Europe, there are also distribution partners in America, Africa, Asia and Australia. This means that if any modifications or adjustments need to be made to the system, materials can be sourced directly in the relevant country, thus eliminating time-consuming delivery and transport routes from Austria. Cubicure continues to develop materials and processes in the field of additive manufacturing using plastics and is designing production facilities for which Line XMS from item is the ideal solution.
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