Innovative new development from Cubicure gets the perfect housing

Line XMS from item in 3D printing

A suitable frame for innovative technology – Vienna-based start-up Cubicure was looking for the perfect housing for its new Caligma 200 3D printing system. It needed to combine aesthetic appeal and functionality, and the company’s search led it to item, and a Line XMS machine base. Using the basic model as a starting point, a design was created that perfectly met Cubicure’s specifications, including rounded aluminium profiles. The modular construction of the machine cabin consists of two levels – an open, easily accessible working area that houses the printer, and below that a switchbox with lockable doors. The compact system has four Jacking Castors, making it mobile and flexible. 

Cubicure GmbH was founded as a spin-off from TU Wien university (Vienna) in 2015. It specialises in the additive manufacturing of models, functional prototypes and series parts using innovative plastics based on photopolymers. These products are created using patented hot lithography technology in a specially developed 3D printing system. This involves a high-end laser curing 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 precision injection moulding parts. The system has been on the market since 2017, and sales are rising continuously. “In the first twelve months, we built ten Caligma 200 production systems and our staff has grown from four to 17,” says the Managing Director and co-founder of Cubicure. The company has received a number of awards in the last few years, including being named “Start-up Star Vienna” by the Vienna Economic Chamber. The Economic Chamber Austria also awarded the company the prize of “Champion. Of Passion 2017!”

From basic model to finished frame

Cubicure wanted something different to conventional welded steel systems to house its innovative Caligma 200 3D-printing system. Specifically, 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 aluminium profiles and components of item. “item’s website showcased a complete, highly functional machine cabin that ticked all the boxes. That made us curious,” says the Managing Director. Cubicure made enquiries with Haberkorn GmbH, item’s Austrian distribution partner, 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. “The huge number of fastening elements gave us a great deal of flexibility during the design process,” says the Managing Director of Cubicure. “That says a lot about item. For example, we didn’t have to come up with our own customized solutions, as we had item’s comprehensive portfolio of components to work with.” 

A functional machine housing

The machine base for the Caligma 200 consists of two levels. Alongside an open working surface, the 3D printer is in the actual process zone of the system. This is securely 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 getting inside. “We divided the system into several modules,” explains the Cubicure Managing Director. The lower section of the item machine base houses the supply connections, laser technology, control system and electrical engineering. The system components are surrounded by tightly sealed, perfectly fitting doors that provide outstanding accessibility when maintenance work has to be carried out. The 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 air-tight 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. These provide mobility, and also 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. 

Impressive aesthetics

Whilst the joints on welded profiles are clearly visible, item’s screw-fixed profiles have smooth, unbroken surfaces. The clear contours of the semi-circular XMS profiles and timeless design are remarkable. As a result, the system looks both simple and elegant. The aesthetics are the perfect complement to the outstanding practicality of the individual components. As a result, item has already received the “German Design Award” and “iF product design award”. One example of this perfect 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. Cubicare makes the most of this function for the Caligma 200, too.

The modular system provides flexibility – worldwide

Another advantage to 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. “Since item is constantly adding to its product catalogue, the aesthetic possibilities when designing a machine enclosure are constantly growing. For example, there is a lot of dialogue about a continuously growing portfolio of caps and other classic cladding elements,” says the Managing Director of Cubicure. Through its global network, item offers the best possible support for global sales of these innovative 3D printing systems. In addition to numerous branches in Europe, there are also distribution partners in America, Africa, Asia and Australia. This means that if customers need to make any modifications or adjustments to the system, they could source materials directly in their own country, eliminating time-consuming delivery and transport routes from Austria. Cubicure continues to develop materials and processes in the field of additive production using plastics, and is designing production facilities that would make the ideal partner for Line XMS from item. “The components and machine modules from item are aesthetically pleasing, practical and versatile,” says the Managing Director. “Customised machine bases and frames can be created quickly and easily to suit very different production processes.” To make workflows and engineering processes even more efficient, item is now offering its customers end-to-end digital support. For example, the Engineeringtool is a smart solution for configuring customised systems and plants in next to no time. Designs can also be modified directly online. The software always selects the perfect profile along with suitable fasteners and provides a complete 3D design, the associated CAD draft, the assembly guide and project documentation. It even gives users the option to order the components directly online. 

Length: 8,574 characters including spaces

Date: 04 March 2020

Images:4 by © Cubicure

Caption 1: Cubicure GmbH’s 3D printing system uses patented hot lithography technology to offer a simple means of processing high-performance photopolymer-based plastics. 

Caption 2: The specially developed Caligma 200 system turns innovative plastics into models, functional prototypes and series parts.

Caption 3: Cubicure uses item components for the enclosure of its innovative 3D printing system. Sensitive areas of the machinery are carefully protected but still easily accessible.

Caption 4: The lightweight construction with closed, smooth surfaces is high-quality, cost-efficient and looks great. The clear contours of the semi-circular XMS profiles and timeless design give the system a simple yet elegant appearance.

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