Functional prototypes or wear-resistant plastic volume parts – we offer quick solutions for components for industrial applications from additive manufacturing.
How does 3D printing work? What 3D printing methods does igus® use? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of additive manufacturing? Find out more about:
Practical tips on designing function parts for manufacturing in 3D printing service. In addition to material and manufacturing method, the right component design plays a decisive role in increasing service life, minimising wear, and optimising the coefficient of friction.
Discover our materials and additive methods for 3D printing. Order our free sample box with a selection of printed samples and iglidur materials from igus additive manufacturing. We use our high-performance plastics for our in-house 3D printing service for wear-resistant components and for filament and laser sintering powder production.
Fast availability at a low price and use under hygienic conditions were important prerequisites for this 3D printed gripper. It is used to package cosmetic products and has the special advantage of working without additional lubrication, fulfilling hygienic requirements.
Ultimaker is pleased to announce that igus® materials are now available in the Ultimaker Marketplace. iglidur® I150 and iglidur® I180 allow a variety of industrial applications and fill the demand for 3D printed parts with low friction and great abrasion resistance. Lubrication-free bearings, clamping devices, and complex wear-resistant parts are just a few applications that can be printed with these two filaments. The Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker S5 3D printers and the award-winning Ultimaker Cura software are just what you need to print a large number of high-performance applications.
Senior Vice President Product Management
Our individual requirements have been implemented perfectly and our new accelerator ring for sporty, flat steering wheels works smoothly thanks to the low-friction polymer parts from 3D printing. We are pleased with the very fast and solution-oriented cooperation.
The plain bearings made of the proven iglidur materials, which are supplied from the igus 3D printing service, allow us to design completely new solutions for various applications in our cutting and winding machines due to the individual geometrical designs. The printed components are now also used in batch-produced components. New developments can also be quickly implemented and tested thanks to the test samples that are usually provided at very short notice.
Dipl.-Ing. Ulrich Vedder
Kampf Schneid- und Wickeltechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Easelink, a company from Graz, has developed "Matrix Charging", a charging system consisting of two components. A charging pad connected to the mains is installed in the car park. A connector on the bottom of the e-car drops down when parked over the pad. The charging process starts automatically, without the driver having to connect a cable. Use the igus® 3D printing service to make sure the development of prototypes remains cost-effective while ensuring high quality.
Inspired by Formula 1, the student teams of the "Formula Student Germany" construction competition compete with each other. For constructing their racing cars, the Formula Student Team from Weingarten near Ravensburg needed customised plastic pinions, among other things. Using the igus 3D printing service , these components were not only produced quickly, but also made of wear-resistant iglidur material.
Wear-resistant parts made of durable iglidur polymers for classic vehicles. Whether a car, tractor, motorcycle or plane: 3D printing tremendously simplifies the procurement of spare parts and usually even delivers better quality and durability than original parts.
With its five decades of expertise in wear-resistant components made of self-lubricating high-performance polymers, igus offers new possibilities in 3D printing. The iglidur polymers have been specifically developed for 3D printing and are a lot more wear-resistant compared to regular 3D printing materials. Hence, wear resistance and friction are at the same level as with conventionally produced iglidur plain bearings. This shows that the igus 3D printing materials have been designed specifically for industrial use as durable function parts.
The iglidur 3D printing polymers are thoroughly tested in the in-house test laboratory for wear and friction so that the service life of igus® 3D printing components such as gears and plain bearings can be calculated online in advance. In addition to special polymers for applications in specific surroundings, igus offers expert advice, practical online tools and configurators, as well as free samples of our materials and products made out of them.
3D printing refers to the manufacture of digitally defined objects by the layered application and bonding of material. The term "3D printing" is often used colloquially as a synonym for additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing methods contrast with subtractive ones, in which material is removed. An example of the latter is machining.
3D printing in the proper sense refers to the binder jetting additive technology. Other frequently used synonyms are generative manufacturing, layering manufacturing , additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Among the best-known 3D printing methods for plastics are selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, fused deposition modelling, stereo lithography, and material jetting.
Manufacturing an object with a 3D printing method requires at least three steps:
1. The object is created digitally in a CAD file and converted into a format (such as STL) that the 3D printer can read
2. The object is printed in layers
3. The finished object is cleaned and reworked as necessary (polishing, coating, colouring, etc.)
The exact production technology depends on the printing method. There are many methods that are primarily distinguished by whether the material is added in the form of powder, molten plastics, or fluid, and whether they are cured by light, air, or bonding agent. Depending on application, plastics, metals, ceramics, concrete, food, or even organic materials can be processed with additive technologies.
3D printing is used for a wide and continuously expanding spectrum of applications. For the production of prototypes and models or for use in high-volume production, additive manufacturing is employed in a wide variety of areas, from art and design to the aerospace industry. In addition to simple user objects and toys, 3D printing technologies are used to print components for the architecture of complex geometries for devices in scientific laboratories and to manufacture stressed machine elements and replacement parts.
Industrial 3D printing is used for manufacturing prototypes, tools, and volume parts. It uses materials that, depending on the industrial application in question, must meet special mechanical requirements such as flexibility, rigidity, and wear resistance.
The use of 3D printing in industry has proven especially economical because models and small series can be created, tested, and adjusted for series production much more quickly that they can with usual methods. Unlike prototypes that map only the geometries of the planned component, industrially manufactured 3D printed models allow all mechanical properties to be tested on the machine.
3D printing services are frequently used for industrial prototype manufacture, since procuring an industrial 3D printer is not cost-effective unless the company in question possesses the necessary expertise and uses the printer regularly to manufacture models and series. 3D printing service providers usually have not only the necessary expertise, but also several 3D printers, allowing them to select the method best suited to the application in question. Depending on the method, it is also much more cost-effective to engage an external service provider because such methods as laser sintering involve the regular manufacture of large batches of parts for various customers, greatly lowering the production costs for individual parts and thus for individual customers.
In addition to manufacturing prototypes and small series, industry is relying more and more on 3D printing for tool manufacture for such procedures as injection moulding. Plastic, ceramic, or metal – any large-series production mould can be additively manufactured. Unlike conventional tool manufacture, additive manufacturing allows moulds to be created quickly and simply based on a CAD file and added directly to the order. If modifications are necessary, they can be made with a few clicks, so the manufacture of a new tool is much quicker and more cost-effective than conventional methods allow.
3D printers are being purchased more frequently by private individuals so that they can print objects for private use and explore the capabilities of 3D printing. However, their options are limited by the costs, which remain high, and the quality of the materials used, which is generally low. There are industrial 3D printers for all types of additive methods; they can process a wide range of materials and are better suited to the requirements of industry.