The 3D printed house

imageuk123 A house made by a 3D printer is no longer just a dream. Did you know the ‘Europa-Haus’ in the Amsterdam Marine Quarter, built for the duration of the Dutch Presidency of the EU, was partly constructed in this way?

Based in Amsterdam, DUS Architects realised the idea of building entire houses in this way could be done with a mobile 3D printer in extra-extra-large (XXL) format. For the construction of the building, the architects worked closely with igus.

It might seem a little far fetched at first glance, but on closer inspection, the building is not only appealing, but has many other benefits. The load-bearing structures are manufactured from biodegradable plastic, which are recyclable. This makes the structure both eco-friendly and sustainable. Also, some of the interior decorations were also 3D printed.

The architects were keen to point out that while pre-fabricated architecture is cost-effective, it can restrict creative design freedom. The structural elements of the façade were 3D-printed, and then concreted into position on-site. This process of construction can also work very well to build new homes in disaster areas.

To transform this idea into reality, DUS Architects founded a separate company called Actual; this enabled the owner to design or select components on a digital platform, which are then manufactured on site using mobile 3D printers.

The first generation 3D printer had a separate room for the control, this limited the part size to a maximum 2.50 x 2.50 x 3.50 metres. There was also need for improvement, both in precision and in the printing speed. So we optimised the design of the mobile 3D printer and developed a linear robot for the print head.

During the planning stages, the engineers used the modular drylin system multi-axis linear robots. They are available as line, flat and room gantries for one, two and three axes, and depart from pre-defined surfaces and spaces. To enable the print head to move precisely, self-lubricated drylin toothed belt units were used. The leadscrew units were used to position the gantry vertically, which integrate drives that provide position detection.

The engineers also supported Actual with integration of the printer, which can now print structural elements of up to 6.50 m. In addition to the linear robots, other parts from igus were included in the construction of the 3D printer, including plain bearings, cable management systems and linear systems.Joe Platt, Head of Mechanical Engineering at Actual, said of the project: “igus gave us excellent support, and the gantry proved to be the best in practice.”

Among the projects being undertaken by Actual at present is the “3D print Canal House”, which is currently being built on a town canal in Amsterdam. The construction site is public and has more than 1,000 registered visitors per month.

For further information about igus, please visit: call igus directly on 01604 677240. Follow us at, watch our videos at, connect with us at


Industry 4.0 solutions at Advanced Engineering Show

We will be showcasing our solutions for demanding moving applications at this year’s Advanced Engineering Show, 2-3rd November 2016, NEC Birmingham.

Whether in the aerospace or automotive industry, when it comes to weight savings, design engineers increasingly rely on carbon fibre. To meet the demands in this field, we have developed a carbon fibre drylin W rail, which will be on display at The NEC, stand H41.

Visitors to our stand will also be able to see new Industry 4.0-enabled technologies and their applications. Smart plastics are an evolution of proven igus cable, energy chain and linear bearing products. Adding embedded intelligence to its motion plastics via the addition of sensing, monitoring and communications, smart plastics allow customers to maximise uptime and reduce costs through condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

In addition to the above, we will also be exhibiting a comprehensive range of lightweight, maintenance and corrosion-free robotic solutions, including robolink multi-axis joints for robots.

Members of our team will be available on stand H41 to answer questions and demonstrate the potential applications of its bearing products and cable management systems, as well as provide insight into the full range of igus products suitable for their industry and application. For more information, please visit:


We’re showcasing robotics and linear guide solutions at Engineering Design Show 2016

We are returning to one of the UK’s must-attend events for engineering, electronics and embedded design, the Enginering Design Show at Coventry‘s Ricoh Arena from 19th–20th October 2016. During the exhibition, we will showcase the latest drylin linear guide systems, as well as cable management and energy supply solutions for industrial robots, on its stand, D20.

igus motion plastics are used extensively throughout the industry and everyday life in demanding moving applications. Our high performance engineering plastics are self-lubricating and maintenance free, as well as being lighter and harder-wearing than traditional materials. This results in more reliable and cost-effective solutions which are resistant to dust, dirt and extreme conditions. Thanks to extensive testing in its 2,750m² test lab, we are able to accurately predict the service life of our motion plastics, by offering a guarantee.

We are exhibiting our comprehensive range of tribopolymer bearings, continuous flex cables and cable management systems on our stand, D20. Also on display will be our drylin W linear guide system that can be used to help design engineers optimise production processes and reduce costs for dynamic applications. Modular and flexible, drylin W can be preassembled and easily installed, with individual or double hard-anodized aluminium rails. The dry-running lubrication and maintenance-free iglidur polymer gliders are low noise and weight, dirt-resistant and hard-wearing. Other technology demonstrations will include energy supply systems developed specially for sophisticated multi-axis robotic applications in harsh industrial environments.

“Dedicated to meeting the growing needs of manufacturers and engineers, igus offers a huge range of innovative engineering plastic bearing and cable management solutions for applications in virtually every industry,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus.

Throughout the show, members of our team will be available on Stand D20 to demonstrate to visitors the benefits and potential applications of our bearing products and cable management systems, as well as provide an insight into the full range of igus products suitable for your industry and application. For more information, please visit:

To arrange an appointment, please email Megan Campbell: and for further information, please visit: or call igus directly on 01604 677240. Follow us at, watch our videos at, connect with us at and read our blog on


igus® UK MD Matthew Aldridge writes….

I had a pleasant surprise the other day when I received a phone call from a wine club telling me that I had built up a lot of money in my account and would I like to spend it? I had no idea that I was a member,  I must have filled in a card for a special offer once, but it seems that £20 each month was being paid into this fund, which was now at a level that would buy some seriously good bottles.

Anyway, I cancelled the membership and cashed in the total sum for a nice case of fine wines, so please excuse the clumsy grammar in this edition! There is no need to pay into a club to get an immediate win with igus®, if you have moving parts on your machine then it is most likely we can save you money right now, and improve technical performance.

You can also come and see the latest ideas and products from igus® at the PLASA show this month ( This is held once again at the Olympia, London on 18th to 20th September, you will find igus® on stand C20, please drop by to see the latest igus® e-chains®, chainflex® cables, and dry-tech® bearings, we will be serving drinks and light refreshments all day every day.

We will also be exhibiting at Northern Manufacturing Event City, Manchester, you will find igus® on stand D44. Again you can see the latest igus® products while enjoying drinks and light refreshments.

Hope to see you soon


Matthew Aldridge

Roll on … screw on … super quick fitting

igus® has developed the readychain® rack to bring harnessed readychain® energy chains systems® to your machine quickly and safely.

The modular telescopic transport and mounting frame can be adapted with millimetre accuracy and fitted to the interface of your machine within one working day, enabling huge savings in terms of productivity and costs each year.

For more information, visit our readychain® rack page here

Reduce valuable design-engineering time and process costs. In this short video Matthew Aldridge explains how outsourcing sub assemblies is the key to solving the productivity puzzle

Summer savings and a stick of rock!

It’s round, it’s good and it’s available this summer. Bar stock is now available up to 150 mm diameter and is ex stock from igus®. Also, round and good  as a stick of igus® rock.

Click here to get yours today.

The advantages: igus® bar stock

  •     saves you money
  •     round, tube and plate
  •     customised
  •     conforms to FDA
  •     low wear resistance

For our complete stock material range, including stock bar, plates, tubes and tribo-tape see


Automatic instant online pricing for 3D-printed parts in technical plastics

igus, the motion plastics specialist, has undertaken extensive research and development into 3D printing filament in order to offer its industrial customers more freedom in their product design and prototyping. The result was the world’s first technical plastic filament and SLS powder for use in 3D printing, designed specifically for moving applications. Customers can purchase the filament for use in their own 3D printers or specify and order parts direct from igus via its easy online ordering and 3D printing service, which now offers automatic instant pricing.

Using the tribo-filament, it is now possible to create 3D-printed plain bearings that deliver both form and function. 50 times more wear-resistant than conventional 3D printing materials, it was developed for engineers that need to create structurally robust prototypes or even small batch samples for real-world tests. The lubrication-free, abrasion-resistant iglidur 3D printing materials have exceptional strength, even when compared to parts made traditionally via machining and injection moulding.

The process of purchasing parts made with igus 3D printing materials is now even easier via the igus 3-step online ordering and 3D printing service:

  1. Drag and drop your .stl file into the igus configurator.
  2. With the 360° viewer, check your model and enter the units of measurement you require.
  3. Select a suitable material, your desired order quantity, and place your selection in the shopping basket to receive your instant price

“Thanks to 3D printing, the prices are competitive for making both prototypes and small batches for production,” says igus director, Robert Dumayne. “Depending on project complexity, completed 3D-printed parts can be delivered in as little as 24 hours.”

For further information about the online 3D printing service, please visit: call igus directly on 01604 677240. Follow us at, watch our videos at, connect with us at and read our blog on