New igus service: calculate the service life of 3D printing materials online in 30 seconds

The motion plastics specialist is expanding its 3D printing services for wear-resistant, self-lubricating custom parts

The igus online 3D printing service now enables users to calculate the service life of their printed wear-resistant parts. (Source: igus GmbH)

27 July 2023 – igus®, the leading global manufacturer of engineered components to increase the service life of customers’ machines, announced its online 3D printing service now enables users to calculate the service life of their printed wear-resistant parts.  

Knowing the durability of a 3D-printed component can help determine its service life more easily. This is why a service life prediction feature has been added to the online 3D printing service offered by igus. In addition to providing a price calculation and feasibility analysis, the service life of custom-manufactured parts can now be predicted in just seconds. To get a 3D printed part, users can simply upload a STEP or STL file, have the service life prediction calculated, choose the right material, place the order, and the part will be shipped within three days.

With 30 years of plain bearing expertise developing high-performance plastics and producing bearings with injection molding, igus utilizes 3D printing if custom wear-resistant parts are required outside the standard product range. From one-off parts to small batches, the right custom parts can be printed and delivered within three days by igus.

Different processes and a wide range of materials are employed: rapid tooling combined with filament, laser sintering powder, and liquid resin. The online 3D printing service makes it simple for users. They can upload a STEP or STL file to the website, where the Cologne-based motion plastics specialist displays production options, suitable materials, and finishes. The tool also provides cost, feasibility, and delivery time information.

“We have now integrated the service life calculation into the 3D printing service because knowing component longevity in advance, in addition to pricing, makes selecting the right material easier,” says Tom Krause, Head of Business Unit Additive Manufacturing. “All users need to do is click on their part’s sliding surface with a mouse and enter some application specs. The 3D printing service automatically estimates a service life,” explains Krause.

The igus laboratory: 11,000 tests at 450 test rigs

The data for all igus service life calculators are based on extensive test series conducted in-house at the 3,800-square-meter Cologne laboratory, where igus develops and researches new plastics and products. Eleven thousand abrasion tests are performed on 450 test rigs annually.

The tests demonstrate that 3D-printed parts made from iglide® plain bearing plastics are comparable to machined and injection molded parts using conventional plastics. Service life is up to ten times longer. It is even up to 50 times longer than other 3D printing materials. In addition to four laser sintering materials, ten tribofilaments, and the new iglide i3000 3D printing resin, over 50 iglide injection molding materials provide solutions for users across industries.

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