igus has expanded its 3D printing service for fast production of maintenance-free special parts, and increased design freedom in the automotive industry.
Additive manufacturing is giving designers new freedom and flexibility in the design of special solutions, including the development of efficient vehicle components. If lightweight and durable wear-resistant parts are required, 3D printing is one way of cost-effectively achieving it.
A quick response time and customised design are daily business in the development divisions of the automotive industry. Accordingly, the industry needs partners who deliver special solutions in small quantities, cost-effectively and in the shortest possible time. Because responding quickly to new requirements creates real competitive advantages in the hard fought automotive market.
One company focusing on this aspect is igus, whose 3D printing service is enabling users to order their special part made of tribologically optimised polymers online in just a few seconds, with the option to choose from over 55 lubrication-free iglidur materials.
The expanded 3D printing service from igus is particularly suitable for the short-term production of wear-resistant parts. The motion plastics specialist uses 3D printing to cost-effectively produce prototypes or batches within a very short time. The main advantage of additive manufacturing: the designer has maximum freedom in the design of his component, without having to invest in expensive steel tools with long delivery times.
igus manufactures the solutions from its highly wear-resistant iglidur tribo-polymers. Tests in the igus laboratory show that they are up to 50 times more abrasion-resistant than standard polymers and can keep up with injection-moulded parts in terms of wear resistance. The printed wear-resistant parts made of high-performance polymers are also lightweight and quiet in motion—both an important criteria for vehicle construction. Printed solutions from igus are already being used in turbochargers, as pivot bearings in wheel carriers or for mounting a gas ring in special vehicle construction.
Print2Mould Process Ensures Free Choice of Materials
In the igus 3D printing service, the user can freely choose between different manufacturing processes: they can either manufacture their component using the laser sintering process with the iglidur I3 or iglidur I6 tribo-polymers, or alternatively, using seven different filaments using the FDM process.
For the individual component to be made from the ideal iglidur material for the respective application, igus also offers the Print2Mould process. An injection moulding tool is printed for the special solution and is then used in the injection moulding machine. This allows the user to make free use of the iglidur material range with its 55 tribo-polymers.
Expanded 3D Printing Service
Wear-resistant parts are used wherever there is friction between two surfaces. For this reason, designers in many industrial sectors rely on 55 long-lasting, lubrication-free, high-performance polymers from igus.
To help users quickly get their special solution made of a suitable material, igus has now integrated the Print2Mould process in its online 3D printing service. With a printed tool, the component is manufactured by injection moulding. To do this, the user simply uploads the STEP file of the wear-resistant part into the 3D printing service, selects the material and requests a quotation. Specifications on the material properties as well as the precision, flexural strength and the price help with the choice.
55 iglidur high-performance polymers: if customers are looking for a wear-resistant plain bearing, they can choose from a large selection of igus materials. However, if wear-resistant parts are required—from gears up to special bushings—in any special shape, the user can either machine the component from a suitable iglidur bar stock or use igus’ 3D printing for more complex geometries. For the individual component to be made from the ideal iglidur material for the respective application, igus offers the Print2Mould process. An injection moulding tool is printed for the special solution and is then used in the injection moulding machine. The main advantage: the user can freely use the iglidur material range with its 55 lubrication-free, high-performance polymers. These include iglidur L500 for the automotive sector, and iglidur X for high-temperature applications. igus has now integrated the Print2Mould process online 3D printing service. The production of special parts by this process is characterised above all as a time-saving solution for prototype development and for small batches. This gives the customer the opportunity to obtain identical components in batches at an early stage of development.
Wear-resistant components requested online
The way to a lubrication-free and maintenance-free special solution is very simple: call up the 3D printing service at www.igus.eu/iglidur-designer, upload the STEP file of the component and select the appropriate material.
In addition to the 55 iglidur materials used in the Print2Mould process, the customer also has the opportunity to get their special solution printed cost-effectively in the SLS process with the wear-resistant materials iglidur I3 or iglidur I6 or even in the FDM process with iglidur filaments. The price for production, including the costs for the injection moulding tool as well as information about the material, precision and flexural strength are shown online. After selecting the appropriate high-performance polymer, the user can enter the quantity and directly request a quotation from igus. The additively manufactured special solutions are available after just three to five days. In the case of the Print2Mould process, the injection-moulded solutions are ready for shipping after 10 business days.
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