Additive manufacturing gives designers freedom and flexibility in the design of special solutions, including the development of efficient vehicle components. igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, now offers lightweight and durable wear-resistant parts from its 3D printing service.
Users can order their special part made of tribologically optimized polymers from igus online in seconds. Customers can choose from more than 55 lubrication-free iglide materials.
Quick response time and customized designed are daily requirements in the development divisions of the automotive industry. Accordingly, the industry needs partners who deliver special solutions in small quantities, cost-effectively and in the shortest possible time. Responding quickly to new requirements creates competitive advantages in the hard-fought automotive market. The expanded 3D printing service from igus is particularly suitable for the short-term production of wear-resistant parts.
Produce prototypes quickly
The motion plastics specialist, which runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I., uses 3D printing to cost-effectively produce prototypes or batches within a very short time. The fundamental advantage of additive manufacturing is that the designer has maximum freedom in the design of the component, without having to invest in expensive steel tools with long delivery times.
igus manufactures the solutions from its highly wear-resistant iglide tribo-polymers. Tests in the igus laboratory show that they are up to 50 times more abrasion-resistant than standard polymers and can keep up with injection-molded parts in terms of wear resistance.
The printed wear-resistant parts made of high-performance polymers are also lightweight and quiet in motion – important criteria for vehicle construction. Printed solutions from igus are already being used in turbochargers, as pivot bearings in wheel carriers or for mounting a gas ring in special vehicle construction.
print2mold process ensures the free choice of materials
In the igus 3D printing service, the user can choose between different manufacturing processes: they can either manufacture their component using the laser sintering process with the iglide I3 or iglide I6 tribo-polymers or alternatively use seven different filaments using the FDM process.
For the individual component to be made from the ideal iglide material for the respective application, igus also offers the print2mold process. An injection molding tool is printed for the special solution and is then used in the injection molding machine. This allows the user to make free use of the iglide material range with its 55 tribo-polymers.
Wear-resistant components requested online
The way to a lubrication-free special solution is very simple: call up the 3D printing service at www.igus.eu/iglidur-designer, upload the STEP file of the component and select the appropriate material. The price for production (in the print2mold process including the costs for the injection molding tool) as well as information about the material, precision and flexural strength are displayed online.
After selecting the appropriate tribo-polymer, the user can enter the quantity and directly request a price quote from igus or order the parts. The additively manufactured special solutions are available after just 3 to 5 days. In the case of the print2mold process, the injection-molded solutions are ready for shipping after 10 business days.