With custom-made 3D-printed injection moulding tools, igus® offers designers a new possibility to produce self-lubricating and maintenance-free parts and small batches. Engineers can now choose from the entire range of 50 iglidur® high-performance plastics, including specialists for high load, food contact, underwater or high temperature applications, with delivery within 5 days of order.
Injection-moulded, 3D-printed or machined from bar stock – the motion plastics specialist igus® offers engineers a wide range of possibilities to obtain their self-lubricating parts, such as gears or plain bearings quickly and cost-effectively. igus® also offers the possibility to solve difficult technical challenges quickly by means of a 3D-printed mould – and now with all tried and tested iglidur® materials.
“Since the production of injection moulds made of steel is comparatively expensive, takes longer and is only feasible in the production of large quantities, special tribo solutions can be produced with a printed mould within 2 to 5 days with up to 80 percent cost savings in production and further, even small quantities can be produced,” says Robert Dumayne, dry-tech® director, igus. “A new process for the production of printed injection moulding tools now allows igus to make even more precise and long-lasting products.”
The material selection of the moulded part determines the material and the manufacturing process of the printed mould. “From an availability of 50 tribologically optimised and online configurable iglidur® materials, designers are free to choose the right material for their special part,” continues Dumayne. “For example, iglidur® G is an all-rounder, whereas iglidur® X is for long-term application temperatures of up to 250°C.”
Depending on the material chosen for injection moulding, the mould is either SLA or SLS printed and then used immediately in the injection-moulding machine. Thus, parts are ready for shipment within a few days. The material structure of the printed injection mould ensures that it can withstand the high temperatures during injection moulding, which means that one mould can produce prototypes and small batches up to 500 pieces cost-effectively and quickly.
“The production of special tribo-parts by means of printed injection moulding tools is particularly advantageous if the desired material cannot be processed in the 3D printer or when the parts are used for a test that is intended to simulate as close as possible conditions for a later mass production,” explains Dumayne. “We have moulded over 2,000 moving parts already, using printed injection moulding tools.”
For more information, please contact igus on www.igus.co.uk/3dprintedmould or call igus directly on 01604 677240.