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3D printing with several filaments

Extremely long service life and outstanding resilience due to combined materials


What is multi-material printing?

Multi-material printing uses two different filaments to make one component in a single work step. This combines the advantages of two or more different materials in one component.
The filament that igus developed specifically for mechanical engineering is called "tribofilament". Filaments known by this name have outstanding, unique wear resistance specifications and very good coefficients of friction. However, other filaments have also been specially optimised for strength and rigidity. Multi-material printing can combine tribofilaments with other materials within a component so as to supplement the high wear-resistance with other mechanical and functional specifications.

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NEW: Rigid multi-material partner for iglidur® i190 and for structural components

igumid P190 fibre-reinforced filament

The new igumid P190 fibre-reinforced 3D printing filament was developed specifically as a partner material for iglidur® i190 for manufacturing especially strong components that are also low-friction in the multi-material printing process.

As a multi-material composition, it combines the wear resistance and sliding properties of the iglidur i190 tribofilament and the special stiffness of igumid P190 in a single component. The impressively high flexural strength (237 MPa) and flexural modulus (11.5 GPa) (printed flat, print lines aligned according to optimum strength, filling direction optimised), also makes igumid P190 suitable for structural component production.

Multi-material 3D printing with up to four materials

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

A four-component printer allows tribofilaments to be combined with up to three other filaments. This gives rise to multi-functional special parts that are printed in 3D and thus manufactured quickly and economically in a single work step.

One possible combination is intelligent bearings for predictive maintenance: a fibre-reinforced housing, tribofilament at stress points and integrated sensors to warn of bearing overload. 
Other application areas include abrasion-resistant components with integrated seals.

Do you have an application that requires multi-material components or questions about the igus multi-material 3D printing? We would be happy to help you implement your project. 

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Multi-material print with four components

What kinds of multi-material combinations are there?

How and with what materials can iglidur tribofilaments 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

Tribofilaments are combined with highly rigid or flexible materials. This allows the construction of very strong components - including ones made with the lightweight construction method - combined with the tribological advantages of iglidur filaments. The combination of iglidur filaments and flexible materials works very well in 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 operate especially smoothly and are 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 igus iglidur tribofilaments.

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.


More information about igus® 3D printing

News 2022

Discover our new products and service tools for additive manufacturing!

Tested!

3D printing materials made of iglidur compared to PLA, ABS and other materials and manufacturing processes.

3D printing service

Customised, additively manufactured components with the online 3D printing service in just a few steps.

Industry brochure

Receive information about all solutions that igus® offers for additive manufacturing.


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The terms "igus", "Apiro", "chainflex", "CFRIP", "conprotect", "CTD", "drylin", "dry-tech", "dryspin", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-skin", "e-spool", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "igutex", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "readychain", "readycable", "ReBeL", "speedigus", "triflex", "robolink", "xirodur", and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/ Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany and where applicable in some foreign countries.

igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsubishi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention on this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH