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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The Formula Student Team from Weingarten near Ravensburg needed, among other things, customised plastic pinions to construct their racing cars. The pinions were used as chain tensioners in the chain drive, so they had to be especially robust. Unfortunately, pinions in special sizes have long delivery times, and classic production by means of milling is time-consuming. The igus® 3D printing service allowed plastic pinions to be delivered and tested in less than 72 hours. The material used was iglidur® I6, which is especially wear-resistant – it was still fully functional after one million cycles in laboratory tests – and was thus ideal for use in racing cars. In this case, the special parts from additive manufacture were not only available much faster, but were more robust and economical.
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
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.
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.