► 3D printing with self-lubricating high-performance polymers: 80% longer service life than usual plastics
► Special solutions for food contact, ESD, heat resistance, and much more.
► No minimum order quantity: from 1 to 10,000 pieces
For the innovative lift system MULTI, which was developed specifically for skyscrapers, ThyssenKrupp required complex plain bearings to guide the lift cabins vertically, horizontally and at an angle. As it was necessary for the cabins to run in a continuous loop and due to their complicated structure, special plain bearings printed in 3D made of the high-performance polymer iglidur i3 were used. The components, which were produced via laser sintering, have particularly good mechanical properties and are very stable. Despite their complex structure, they were available quickly. Their outstanding sliding properties are particularly suitable for this kind of linear guide.
In the development phase of the new FastPicker, an AI-controlled waste separation system made by ZenRobotics, a Finnish company, complex-geometry 3D plain bearings were used to deal with the acceleration of 3m/s. The special geometry was then produced in the igus print2mold process. The unit costs were reduced by a factor of ten with a longer application service life than with plain bearings made of conventional plastic.
The strings of a grand piano are struck by hammers and then produce a tone. The hammers are usually made of wood and eventually become less precise. To counteract the wood's susceptibility to changed humidity or temperature, an innovative material was required. The ideal solution was found to be iglidur i3: the quickly printed components perfectly match the overall design concept and eliminate the objectionable side tones. According to the designers, the new mechanics were even able to exceed the service life of the actual grand piano - pianists who have already played on the modernised piano are enthusiastic.
For a winding machine, Conti Tech Schlauch GmbH needed a cross-threaded spindle that ensures that the thread is laid directly or by means of thread guidance through the groove. Due to the complicated geometry of the cross-threaded spindle, the replacement of individual components was always very cost-intensive and time-consuming. The igus 3D printing service offered a fast alternative that was also economical in the case of single components. Now, the cross-threaded spindle is made of iglidur i3 and is produced by means of additive manufacturing.
To make the igus energy chains even more durable, adapter clips for the transition between glide pad and energy chain were developed. These should function as a sort of ramp and help reduce friction and load at that point. Thanks to the high speed of 3D printing, the development time was significantly reduced. As only two glide pad adapter clips are required per chain, the low-cost production of printing low quantities in 3D is suitable for the project. According to Product Manager Christoph Koch, the quality of adapter clips printed in 3D is comparable to that of parts made via injection moulding.
For the "Chameleon" project, UK-based Scaled 3D wanted to improve the steering of the vehicle, which was entirely 3D printed. Initially, there was too much clearance with the conventional plastic, and the steering became very inaccurate. With the igus iglidur i150 tribo-filament and a newly developed ball bearing, the abrasion resistance and accuracy of the steering system was significantly increased.
Metal grippers that are used to screw lids onto cream jars are usually limited to a single format. If a new product appears on the market, the grippers in the packaging machine must also be adapted. It often takes weeks for a product change, until a new, suitable gripper is made. Fast availability at a low price and use under hygienic conditions were important prerequisites for this 3D printed gripper. It is used to package cosmetic products and has the special advantage of working without additional lubrication, hence fulfilling hygienic requirements.
In the area of sports cars and exclusive vehicles, functional 3D printed components are used in production vehicles. A current example is OptiAMix, a joint project: it concerns the development of an adjustable rear spoiler that automatically boosts a vehicle's driving dynamics, depending on the situation. To ensure a quiet and durable adjustment of the rear spoiler, complex plain bearings, produced in SLS made of the slide-optimised polymer iglidur i3, are used. The customer profits from being able to exactly adapt each individual component to the individual shape and function of the surrounding parts. This has great potential for lightweight construction.
3D printed components are used for prototypes, replacement parts and series in a wide variety of industries. From grand pianos to vehicles to aerospace applications – there is something for everyone. In addition to individual dimensions and special shapes for components such as gears, plain bearings and grippers, components made of iglidur materials are constructed and used for numerous individual applications.
In addition to speedy 3D printing of complex special parts, we also offer fast, cost-effective manufacture of injection-moulded parts with 3D printed moulds produced with selective laser melting (SLM). This method is worthwhile especially for small volumes (up to 10,000 pcs.) and for applications that require injection-moulded parts with special properties. For the print2mold® method, there are more than 50 special plastics to choose from. Additively manufactured moulds cost less than milled ones to produce, since only as much material is used for the mould as the component design requires. The manufacturing time for injection-moulded components is very short (ten days after receipt of the order).