igus has developed a free online tool that can predict the service life of 3D-printed bearings. With its extensive testing, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics can now calculate precisely the durability of even more products. igus manages its North American operations from its facility in Providence, R.I.
The 3D printing of lubrication-free and maintenance-free plastic bearings made of tribo-polymers allows a high degree of freedom in product design. In addition, the products maintain a high level of wear resistance. As igus researches and develops new 3D materials for moving applications, information gathered at the industry’s largest test laboratory helps predict the service life of customized bearings for users online.
In the test lab, all iglide plastics are examined for wear and friction. igus conducts approximately 10,000 tests per year to provide the data base for the online service life calculator. In just four steps, the iglide expert system registers the individual requirements and then provides the user with a comprehensive suitability and service life analysis of iglide materials online. This precise service life calculation is available for injection-molded plain bearings and 3D-printed bearings.
Expanded line of tribo-filament products
igus introduced its first iglide tribo-filament item at the 2014 Hannover Messe and has continually expanded its range of products. With the recent introduction of six tribo-filaments for the fused deposition modeling process as well as two materials for selective laser sintering, plain bearings and other products can be manufactured and used in industrial applications immediately.
With the 3D printing service, designers can produce products in just three simple steps – from configuration to ordering, prototypes or special parts for small batches – easily, quickly and at a low cost. More economical material and lower energy consumption along with quick and customized production open up enormous savings potential.
Thanks to the extensive tests in the laboratory, as with the injection molded parts, the service life of the additive manufactured parts can be determined.