Liechtenstein-based Coobx has launched several LIFTcell production lines that have been built around its new EXIGO 3D printers. It is claimed that these production lines make design to automated end-use part production at volume a reality.
The name LIFTcell pertains to the light initiated fabrication technology (LIFT) on which EXIGO 3D printers are based. LIFT enables accurate and reliable 3D printing of ultraviolet (UV) curable materials at speeds of up to 300 millimeters per hour (11.8in p/h).
There are three LIFTcell production line models—namely LIFTcell 2, LIFTcell 8 and LIFTcell 12—offering different levels of automation to suit customers’ quantity requirements.
LIFTcell 2 is described as ‘an entry-level’ model yet is still claimed to achieve exceptional output. It is designed specifically for service providers, workshops and laboratories.
LIFTcell 2 accommodates one or two EXIGO 3D printers that are capable of handling two materials. As such, it provides up to 60 build platforms. An integrated job spooler is responsible for organizing the print jobs.
Geared towards creating a smooth workflow, LIFTcell 2 also features a fully automated pick-and-place system that ensures the continuous production of parts as well as two clean-in-place (CIP) hose pumps that automatically adjust and refill the resin in the printers.
An EXIGO Clean & Cure unit takes care of the post-process cleaning and curing steps separately. A new product introduced alongside the EXIGO 3D printers, the EXIGO Clean & Cure unit is said to be capable of matching finished parts’ properties to the most suitable finishes.
LIFTcell 8 and LIFTcell 12 are intended for industrial mass production. They are able to run independently 24/7 and require minimal maintenance.
LIFTcell 8 accommodates 4 to 8 printers that can handle four materials, and LIFTcell 12 accommodates 8 to 12 printers that can handle six materials. The resins are stored and processed in a central unit for easy handling.
LIFTcell 8 and LIFTcell 12 provide up to 180 and 240 build platforms, respectively. A central print server organizes all print jobs.
Both models deliver a fully-automated workflow, integrating a high-speed, rotary transfer post-processing unit that can clean, cure, dry, temper and collect resin. The sequence of these steps is defined according to process requirements but can be reorganized.
Furthermore, the rotary transfer unit allows for processing of the build platforms at a 150 second cycle rate.
Marco Schmid, chief executive officer (CEO) and head of research and development (R&D) at Coobx, said: ‘LIFTcell is the logical extension of the EXIGO printer series. Having really fast, single printers is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Changing build platforms every 20 minutes and handling them in a non-qualified post process has nothing to do with additive production. We had the modular, automatizable systems already in mind during the design process of the EXIGO printers. We are proud to show off now these high productivity solutions for the industry.’
The LIFTcell production lines can be equipped with either the EXIGO 1-110 or EXIGO 1-350 model 3D printers as well as a combination of the two. The main difference between the models is the build height; for the EXIGO 110, it is 110 millimeters (4.3in), and for the EXIGO 350, it is 340 millimeters (13.4in).