Find the right bearing fit with new igus® Fit Calculator app

igus® Fit Calculator is a new app for iOS and Android that enables engineers to calculate dimensions and tolerances for bearings according to ISO 286. The app, which can be easily found and downloaded from the smartphone’s or tablet’s app store, is very simple to use and requires no registration.

By selecting the nominal bearing size (between 0.01 and 500mm) and required tolerance grades for the housing bore and shaft, the igus® Fit Calculator app calculates the dimensions and tolerances instantly. The maximum and minimum dimensions and the associated type of fit (clearance or interference fit) are also provided.

A key benefit of this streamlined app is that it can be used offline, which is particularly useful when working in closed machine or safety zones. In addition, users can swap the units at any time between metric and imperial systems.

Detailed help regarding the calculations of the tolerance field is provided, as well as direct contact with an igus bearing specialist. For more information, please visit: or call igus directly on 01604 677240.

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


Editor Matthew Aldridge writes:

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting customers in central London, in between meetings I grabbed a sandwich and coffee from a street vendor and sat down on a bench to enjoy my lunch. Two homeless men were on a bench next to me, and I could not help overhearing their loud conversation. They were discussing the excellent quality sandwiches which a well known chain gives out at the end of the day to homeless people. Apparently this company pays a higher hourly rate to London staff than the rest of the UK, but the trade off is that the staff do not get free food. The homeless man was explaining to his friend how he helps a member of staff to save money by circumventing this regulation; he takes two boxes of sandwiches, meets the lady at the end of her shift, and gives one to her.

No such measures are needed to save money when using igus® parts; if you have moving parts on your machine then it is highly likely we can save you money while also increasing the life of your design! Email me with the details of your requirements and, I promise I will give it my urgent attention. This applies to bearings, linear guides, cable chains and flexible cables, the samples are free and you could save a lot of money.

You can also come and see the latest ideas and products from igus® at the Engineering Design Show. This is held once again at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 19th and 20th October, you will find igus® on stand D20, 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 Advanced Manufacturing at the NEC, Birmingham on 2nd and 3rd November, you will find igus® on stand H40. Again you can see the latest igus® products while enjoying drinks and light refreshments.

Even if you cannot visit these shows, please take time to look at the video at the right where you can get a guided tour through the latest products from igus® released this Autumn.

Best regards

Matthew Aldridge
Matthew Aldridge


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