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Wear-resistant gears

Self-lubricating 3D printing plastic gears

  • Design freedomthanks to additive manufacturing
  • Increased service lifedue to optimised tooth roots and iglidur materials
  • No tools required: no restrictions regarding geometry, no tool costs, fast manufacturing starting at batch size 1

Gear CAD configurator

Configure gear CAD online  

  • Large selection of templates
  • CAD download
  • No previous experience necessary

Configure gear

Order gear printed in 3D

Order gear printed in 3D online  

  • Upload individual 3D model
  • View price and delivery time now
  • Delivery in one to three days

Order gear printed in 3D

Gear service life calculator

3D printed plastic gear service life calculator  

  • Calculate service life of gear drive
  • Evaluations from the test lab
  • Combination of polymer and metal possible

Calculate service life of gear

Plastic gears in wear test

Test parameters:

  • Torque: 4.9Nm
  • Speed: 12rpm
  • Counter partner: hard anodised aluminium
  • Duration: two months
1st POM: 321,000 cycles: high wear
2nd POM: 621,000 cycles: downtime
3rd iglidur® I6: 1 million cycles: low wear

Recommended material

  • Due to its optimised sliding properties,  iglidur I6 is perfectly suited for worm gears
  • iglidur® I3  is characterised by higher strength and is especially suited for spur gears and helical-bevel gears as well as  for all other kinds of wear-resistant gears

More test results


Types of gears

With the igus 3D printing service, every type of wear-resistant and self-lubricating gear drive can be produced quickly and independently of mechanical tools. Apart from conventional models such as spur gear, worm wheel or bevel gear, the SLS procedure is also ideally suited in combination with the iglidur materials for elliptical gear, crown gear, Racks, worm gears etc.  

Spur gear

Spur gear printed in 3D  

Recommended material: iglidur I3

Worm gear

Worm gear printed in 3D  

Recommended material: iglidur I6

Bevel gear

Bevel gear printed in 3D  

Recommended material: iglidur I3

Customer application examples

3D printed plastic gears in use

Plastic pinion for engine tuning

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 the classic production with machining is time-consuming. The igus® 3D printing service allowed plastic pinions to be delivered and tested in less than 72 hours.The material used wasiglidur® I6, which is especially wear-resistant - it was still fully functional after one million cycles in laboratory tests and 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.  

3D printed plastic pinion for a racing car

Plastic sprockets made with additive manufacturing for quiet e-bikes

Tough, wear-resistant, lubrication-free: plastic beats metal

For constructing e-bikes it is especially important that the components used are light and quiet.  Lars Hartmann from the VMA Getzmann GmbH, which produces stirring, dispersing and fine-grinding systems, tested sprockets printed in 3D made of iglidur I3 as replacement for metal sprockets and was enthusiastic: 
"The standard metal pinion generates a lot of noise when in use. We drew it and had it printed by igus® from iglidur I3. The way to the part was simple and fast. We used the 3D printing service to upload the corresponding data, chose the material and ordered the quantity."

Plastic sprocket printed in 3D

3D printed plastic gears for prototype construction

Gear made of iglidur® I6 for an electric car charging system

Easelink, a company from Graz, has developed "Matrix Charging", a charging system that automatically connects the bottoms of electric cars with the power supply when they are parked. To design the system to be both economical and high-quality, the designers have chosen gear prototypes made of iglidur® plastics with additive manufacturing. The igus® 3D printing service allowed sample components to be quickly ordered, tested and adjusted until the ideal solution was reached. iglidur® I6, an especially wear-resistant self-lubricating laser sintering powder is ideally suited to the design of gears, pinions and other heavily stressed components that must usually be regularly lubricated and maintained and frequently require replacement.    

More about plastic gears in charging systems of electric cars

3D printed gears at igus

Manufacturing method

Additive manufacturing processes at igus®  

  • Selective laser sintering
  • Fused deposition modelling
  • Rapid tooling/injection moulding with additively manufactured tools

3D printing methods

3D printing materials

3D printing materials for gears  

  • Wear-resistant filaments
  • Special filaments for food contact, high temperatures and special surroundings
  • SLS powder, ideal for gears

3D printed material for gears

iglidur plastics

iglidur materials  

  • For injection moulding and mechanical manufacturing made of bar stock
  • Great variety of high-performance plastics
  • For special parts and series

iglidur high-performance polymers

Why 3D printing at igus?

With its five decades of expertise in wear-resistant components made of self-lubricating high-performance polymers, igus offers new possibilities in 3D printing. We offer solutions developed especially for moving applications in which usual materials would quickly reach their limits. Our polymers and the products they are used to make are tested extensively for wear, friction and durability in our in-house test lab. In addition to special polymers for applications in specific surroundings, we offer expert advice, practical online tools and configurators as well as free samples of our materials and products made out of them.  

Find out more about 3D printing at igus

Overview of 3D printing of igus  


I would be happy to answer your questions personally

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Monday to Friday from 7 am - 8 pm.
Saturdays from 8 am- 12 pm.