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igus® Ltd.

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3D printing with several filaments

Extremely long service life and outstanding resilience due to combined materials


New: multi-material 3D printing with up to four materials

Rapid production of multi-functional special parts in a single work step

A 4K printer allows tribo-filaments to be combined with up to three other filaments. This gives rise to multi-functional special parts that can, by means of 3D printing, be manufactured quickly and economically in a single work step.
 
One possible combination would be intelligent bearings for predictive maintenance: with a fibre-reinforced housing, tribo-filaments at stress points, and integrated conductor tracks to warn of bearing overload. 
Other application areas include abrasion-resistant components with integrated seals.
 
Do you have an application that requires the use of multi-material components? We would be happy to help you with the implementation of your project.  

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What is multi-material printing?

In multi-material printing, two different filaments are combined to make one component. The advantages of two or more different materials combined in one component.  
 
The filament specially developed by igus for mechanical engineering is called tribo-filament. Filaments under this name have outstanding, unique properties when it comes to wear resistance and a very good coefficient of friction. However, there are other filaments that have been specially optimised for strength and rigidity. With multi-material printing, tribo-filaments can be combined with other materials within a component in order to supplement the high degree of wear-resistance with further mechanical and functional properties.  


What kinds of multi-material combinations are there?

How and with what materials can iglidur tribo-filaments be combined?

Many materials are compatible and can be combined in one way or another in two-component printing. Similar filaments (such a materials with the same base polymer or similar processing temperatures) can be firmly bonded: the materials meld with one another, connecting the component's two "phases". This no longer functions when the difference between processing temperatures is too great: then one of the two materials may not remain dimensionally stable during processing or may even be subjected to damaging temperatures. To be absolutely certain of the connection, an interlocking design in which the two phases are combined so that they cannot be separated by non-destructive means is a good option.

Mechanical properties

Two-component additive manufacture

Tribo-filaments are combined with highly rigid or flexible materials. This enables the construction of very strong components - including ones made with the lightweight construction method - in combination with the tribological advantages of iglidur filaments. The combination of iglidur filaments with flexible materials is highly suitable for the manufacture of gripper fingers, if the gripping surface has to provide a good grip but the moving components have to slide.  

Injection moulding combined with 3D printing

Roller from injection moulding and 3D printing

Moulded, 3D printed components, make it possible to implement geometries that are only possible with 3D printing in combination with the larger choice of available materials in the area of injection moulding, as all iglidur materials can be selected.

3D printing with smart functions

3D printing with sensors

Multi-material printing allows speedy manufacture of wear-resistant polymers with an integrated sensor layer. This is how extremely durable special parts are created which issue a warning before overloading occurs or when the wear limit is reached to enable predictive maintenance. Find out more about 3D isense.


Where are two-component parts used?

Deflection lever

3D printed deflection lever

A component for deflecting forces; its great rigidity protects the joint from interfering influences. The bearing points are especially smooth-running, durable and wear-resistant. A good solution here is a combination of a carbon fibre-reinforced filament such as igumid P150 and a tribologically optimised material such as one of the iglidur tribo-filaments from igus.

Gripper

3D printed gripper

The dynamic requirements dictate that the gripper element be as light as possible, but with great flexural strength, and grip securely but gently. While the gripper's body is manufactured with a fibre-reinforced filament, a flexible filament whose high coefficient of friction ensures a secure grip can be used for the gripping surfaces. 

Lead screw support block

3D printed lead screw support block

A shaft's bearings should compensate for any angle errors and dampen shocks. The iglidur® plain bearing element can be encased with a flexible filament such as TPU with a Shore hardness of 95 A.


Information about 3D printing at igus

About 3D printing at igus

  • Materials
  • Additive procedures
  • Service and support

3D printed polymers put to the test

Other wear tests

3D printing with iglidur compared to PLA, ABS and other materials and manufacturing processes
 

igus 3D printing News

3D printing news

Discover more innovations in the field of additive manufacturing at igus, and find our everything about our new materials and services.


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