Cubicle Labs

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Cubicle Labs
Company
Founded: 2016
Location: United States
Years Active: 2016-present
Areas served: Worldwide
Website: [1]
Production
Products: Magnetic cubes, Boron treated cubes, DNM-37 lube, Lubicle 1 lube, MagLev Tensions etc.

Cubicle Labs R&D is a division of TheCubicle.us, one of the most popular online cube stores, and is led by and was founded in 2016 by Chris Tran. Cubicle Labs has been responsible for releasing many new cubing innovations and ideas to the public, including magnets in speedcubes, boron treated cubes, MagLev tensions, as well as longer-lasting water and silicone based lubricants.

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets have taken a huge role in popularizing Cubicle Labs and have been the most widespread cubing innovation produced by them. Neodymium magnets have since been used in setting world records for the Rubik's Cube, 4x4x4 Cube, 5x5x5 Cube, 6x6x6 Cube, Megaminx, Pyraminx, Skewb, and more.

Magnets are able to increase the stability of cubes and decrease lockups and catches dramatically, which is why they have helped many speedsolvers achieve lower times and produce many new world records.

However, magnets don't always improve all twisty puzzles. Although they give added stability, they can add up to be too heavy for some cubers in puzzles where you would need a lot of magnets, such as in the 7x7x7 Cube. Also, magnets tend to not be widely liked in 2x2x2 Cubes because the added stability does not necessarily make up for the slightly lowered speed. This is because 2x2x2 Cubes generally take a fraction of the time to solve compared to more complex puzzles such as the Rubik's Cube, so therefore the speed affects results more than the stability that the magnets give.

DNM-37

DNM-37 is a blue-purple, long-lasting, water-based lubricant and was the first lubricant developed by Cubicle Labs. It was inspired from how Maru Lube would dry out quite fast due to being water-based, meaning that Maru Lube would often make puzzles slower after they dried out rather than keeping the puzzles fast. Because of this issue, DNM-37 was released in order to resolve this issue. It is made from a special formula designed to retain moisture from the air, allowing it to remain effective for a much longer period of time compared to Maru Lube, as well as Z Lube.

Boron-22

Project Boron-22 is a project that focuses on changing the structure of the plastic in cubes to make the puzzle feel softer and smoother. The project was the first project that Chris Tran wanted to work on, but instead released magnets first. The idea of Boron-22 came about because of DaYan switching the plastic type in their ZhanChi 2x2x2 cubes to a generally more disliked plastic type that was harder and scratchier compared to the original plastic. Because of this, Cubicle Labs started on developing boron-treated prototype cubes for not only the DaYan 2x2x2, but as well as other cubes and puzzles. Although the project has not been fully been released yet, Boron-treated cubes are expected to be sold under Cubicle Labs soon.

Boron-treated plastic has been used to accomplish the current (as of 11 Jul 2017) Megaminx single and average world records by Juan Pablo Huanqui (29.93 single; 35.15 average).

Generally, twisty puzzle plastics are made from Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS). The reason that some cubes have different feelings to them may be because the manufacturer ran the plastic at different temperates, has different additives added into their plastic, has different dyes, etc. By modifying the Acrylonitrile and the Butadiene in ABS plastic, the feeling can change in a twisty puzzle. Butodiene controls how soft or hard a plastic feels, and the Nitrile group in Acrylonitrile controls how "grippy" the plastic is. Hydroboration, hence the name "Boron-22," is done to eliminate double-bonds in Butodiene which leads to a softer feeling.

Lubicle 1

Lubicle 1 is a white, long-lasting, silicone-based teflon lubricant and was the second lubricant developed by Cubicle Labs. The idea came after DNM-37 was developed when Chris Tran wanted to create a silicone-based equivalent of it. The bottle that Lubicle 1 comes in also contains a ball bearing inside to help the particles in the lube disperse.

MagLev

MagLev tensioning uses magnets in Rubik's centers for tensioning instead of springs. Chris Tran has said before that MagLev will likely never be sold publicly at Cubicle Labs.