3D Printing

Calculate the service life of 3D printing materials online in 30 seconds

10th October 2023
Sheryl Miles

igus has expanded its 3D printing range for wear-resistant, lubrication-free special parts – now providing service life, costs, material properties, and delivery times.

Knowing the durability of a 3D-printed component often makes it easier to choose the right material. That’s why igus has added a new service to its 3D printing range. The online service includes a price calculation and a feasibility analysis and can also predict service life for individually-manufactured special parts in just a few seconds. Just upload the STEP or STL file, it calculates the service life, choose the right material, order the part, and it is shipped in three days.

igus has 30 years of plain bearing expertise, developing the right high-performance plastics and manufacturing bearings using injection moulding. If customer-specific, wear-resistant parts are required outside of the standard range, 3D printing is used. From individual parts to small quantities, igus can print the right special parts and ship them within three days. Different processes and a wide range of materials come into play: rapid tooling, for instance, combined with printing with filaments, laser sintering powder and liquid resin.

igus makes this simple with its online 3D printing service. Users upload the STEP or STL file for their product to the website, where the different production options, suitable materials, and finishes are displayed.

Importantly, the online tool also provides information about costs, feasibility, and delivery time.

"We have now integrated the service life calculation into the 3D printing service because knowing the longevity of a component in advance, as well as price information, makes it easier to choose the right material," says Matthew Aldridge, Managing Director igus UK. How does the calculation work?

"All users have to do is click on their part's sliding surface type and enter a few application parameters. The 3D printing service then automatically calculates a service life estimate," says Aldridge.

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

The data for all igus service life calculators are based on series of extensive tests in the in-house, 3,800m2 test lab in Cologne, where igus develops and researches new plastics and products. Eleven-thousand abrasion tests are performed at 450 test rigs every year. These tests show that 3D-printed parts made from iglidur plain bearing plastics are comparable and often superior to turned and injection-moulded parts made from conventional plastics.

And service life of these parts is up to 10 times as long, and it is up to 50 times as long as that of other 3D printing materials. More than 50 iglidur materials developed for injection moulding offer users from all industries the right solutions, in addition to four laser sintering materials, ten tribo-filaments and the new iglidur i3000 3D printing resin.

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