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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Additive manufacturing processes at igus®

3D printing with self-lubricating plastics for wear-resistant parts

Additive manufacturing processes are part of digital production. Regardless of 3D printing method, each new component must first be designed as a digital 3D model, which can then be used for production without the need for further component-specific tools. This process offers numerous advantages:

  • 3D models can be shared and processed by multiple specialists
  • Manufacture can be offered locally: igus® offers 3D printing service worldwide 
  • Modifications to components can be made quickly and without additional charge,
  • Simple geometries and standard components can be designed quickly and easily on free-of-charge software; no previous experience necessary
Would you like more information on 3D printing processes at igus®  or do you need an individual consultation? Our experts will be happy to get in touch with you.

Contact the expert

Digital production

CAD configurators

CAD configurator

  • Online configuration of lead screw nuts, plain bearings, rollers, gears, racks, and sliding elements
  • CAD download in all commonly used file formats
  • Direct integration into commonly used CAD software

CAD configurator for components

Online 3D printing service

3D printing service

  • Quick, easy upload of CAD models
  • Prices, price graduation, and delivery time immediately available
  • Direct comparison between different additive methods (laser sintering and FDM) and Rapid Tooling (print2mold)

3D printing service

Service life calculator

3D printed gear service life calculator

  • For gears and plain bearings
  • Calculation takes into account contact with other materials
  • All data is based on test results from the igus® test laboratory
  • Enviromental impacts considered

Service life calculator for gears

3D printing methods

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Laser sintering 3D printing process
More about selective laser sintering

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

FDM 3D printing process
More about filament extrusion

NEW: Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Printer for the Digital Light Processing method
More about the DLP method

print2mold (Rapid Tooling)

Rapid Tooling with print2mold
3D printing methods

Multi-material 3D printing

Multi-material 3D printing
More about multi-material printing

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective laser sintering is one of the powder-bed-based manufacturing processes. The powder is applied in layers with a doctor blade and melted with a laser at the point where the component is to be formed.


  • Speed and price
  • Dimensional accuracy (from ±0.1mm)
  • Strength, good layer bonding
  • Toughness: elongation at break is greater than 8%
  • For filigree components up to 0.7mm wall thickness
  • Worldwide: igus® has laser sintering plants in Germany, China, and the U.S.
  • Limited material selection, genrally and in regards to igus® materials
  • Can be a bit brittle
  • Post processing procedures can be difficult

Find out more

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

FDM is a 3D printing method in which melted material (plastic) is heated and applied layer by layer through a nozzle. This method is also referred to as melt strand deposition or filament extrusion.


  • 3D printers that cost little to procure
  • Easy to fit
  • Multi-material printing possible
  • Large selection of materials, including high-temperature materials
  • Large capacity components up to 3 metres possible
  • Intelligent components with integrated sensors possible
  • Inter-layer stability is reduced
  • Support material required
  • Dimensional accuracy (±0.2mm)

Find out more

NEW: Digital Light Processing (DLP)

DLP is a 3D printing process in which synthetic resin in a basin is exposed, layer by layer, to UV light, thereby curing or polymerising it. A UV light source strikes an array of mirrors, which reflect the light as two-dimensional layer geometry, shining it onto the material.


  • High level of detail, significantly finer structures down to 27µm pixel size
  • Isotropic mechanical properties, no strength disadvantages
  • Clean and smooth surface
  • Faster construction time than with the SLA process, 
  • Internal channels are possible
  • Support material is required, must be removed manually, and leaves traces
  • Complex process for end users
  • Since skin contact with the liquid resin must be avoided, personal protective equipment is mandatory.

Find out more

print2mold (Rapid Tooling)

The Rapid Tooling method uses an individual 3D model to design and manufacture an injection mould. Depending on requirements, the mould is manufactured of plastic with stereolithography or of metal with selective laser melting (SLM).


  • Possible with more than 50 iglidur plastics
  • Costs up to 80% less than regular injection moulding
  • Special injection moulded parts in just two weeks
  • Ideal for prototypes and pre-production runs using the original material
  • Done in house
  • Only parts without undercuts
  • Higher costs than those for 3D printing
  • Not ideal for very small quanitites
  • Not as common as other methods

Find out more

Materials for additive manufacturing

3D printing materials

Materials for additive manufacturing

Our 3D printing materials are based on high-performance plastics used to produce wear-resistant components. Filaments and laser sintering powder are developed internally by our engineers and continuously optimised to increase sliding capacity and minimise wear. iglidur® materials for 3D printing have also been developed for such special environments as contact with food and very high temperatures. We use our materials to manufacture customer orders, but they can also be purchased online.

Information about iglidur® plastics for 3D printing

More than 60 polymers for print2mold (Rapid Tooling)

Rapid Tooling injection moulding materials

The print2mold method is used to 3D print injection moulds for manufacturing individual parts from a large selection of special plastics. Depending on requirements, there are various solutions: FDA-compliant polymers, chemical-resistant compounds, ESD materials, plastics with various coefficients of wear, and much more.

Material overview: iglidur® materials for injection moulding

3D printing methods used in our customers' processes

Additive manufacturing process sample box

Additive manufacturing process sample box

The sample box makes our 3D printing methods tangible: get to know our filaments, laser sintering products, and the individual injection-moulded parts manufactured with print2mold. 


Order a free 3D printing sample box

Why 3D printing from igus®?

3D printing methods at igus®

With five decades of expertise in wear-resistant components made of self-lubricating high-performance plastics, igus® brings new possibilities to the 3D printing industry. We offer solutions developed specifically for moving applications in which usual materials would quickly reach their limits – our plastics exhibit wear resistance up to 50 times that of standard 3D printing plastics. iglidur® polymers and the products they are used to make are tested extensively for wear, friction, and durability in our in-house test laboratory. In addition to special plastics for applications in special surroundings, we offer expert advice, practical online tools and configurators and free samples of our materials.

Find out more about additive manufacturing at igus®


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