Apr 12, 2017 | By Benedict
Coobx, a Liechtenstein-based additive manufacturing company, has announced the launch of its LIFTcell 3D printing production lines, available as three different units with different levels of automation. The largest, LIFTcell 12, handles up to six materials across 12 3D printers.
As useful as desktop 3D printing can be, the future of additive manufacturing looks increasingly like it will be found not in homes, but on the factory floor, where companies like 3D Systems are developing automated production units that allow 3D printers to be integrated into the manufacturing workflow.
Coobx, a 3D printing company from Liechtenstein, is hedging its bets on additive manufacturing heading in such a direction, as it has just released a set of additive manufacturing production line systems under the “LIFTcell” name. These systems, the Balzers-based company says, will “make the change from additive manufacturing to additive production [a] reality.”
The product launch sees Coobx putting out three systems of differing size and complexity. The first, LIFTcell 2, is an entry-level automation system designed for use with up to two Coobx 3D printers. It uses a fully automatic Pick&Place system to facilitate the continuous production of up to 60 3D printed objects, while the resin in the printers can be adjusted and refilled automatically by two CIP (clean in place) hose pumps. An integrated job spooler organizes the print jobs, and post-processing is done manually by the company’s established EXIGO Clean&Cure unit.
The new Coobx LIFTcell 2 3D printing production system
The other two production systems launched by Coobx are LIFTcell 8 and LIFTcell 12, two high-end systems designed to go straight into a production space. Both offer a fully automated workflow that includes a high output rotary transfer post-processing unit that can clean, cure, dry, temper, and collect resin. Each component of the system can be reorganized in a modular way according to user needs, while the high speed rotary transfer system can remove objects from the build platform in just 150 seconds, readying the printer for its next job.
These two LIFTcell systems can handle up to six different materials across a maximum of 8 or 12 3D printers, with all resins stored and processed in a central unit. A central print server organizes all print jobs, while Staubli TX2 robotics purportedly guarantee a “true industrial workflow” and a high level of reliability.
According to Marco Schmid, Coobx CEO, the LIFTcell systems were designed in parallel with the Coobx EXIGO 3D printer launched last month. This means that the 3D printers and the production systems work perfectly in tandem, providing manufacturers with a viable option for high-volume 3D printing production.
The new Coobx LIFTcell 12 3D printing production system
“LIFTcell is the [logical] extension of the EXIGO printer series,” Schmid said. “Having really fast single printers is a curse and a savior at the same time. Changing every 20 minutes building platforms and handling them in a non-qualified post process has nothing to do with additive production. We had the modular, [automated] systems already in mind during the design process of the EXIGO printers.”
All LIFTcell systems are made to work with EXIGO 1-110 or EXIGO 1-350 3D printers, and can be combined to form larger systems.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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