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3D printing for lubrication-free wear-resistant parts


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Industrial 3D printing with self-lubricating plastics

3D printing services configurators  
3D printing services

  • Fast 3D printing service online
  • CAD configurators
  • Free service life calculator for gears and plain bearings
  • Professional consulting


3D printing services

3D printing material: filaments and laser sintering powder  
3D printing material shop

  • Self-lubricating filaments
  • Laser sintering powder for wear-resistant parts
  • Special materials: food-grade and temperature- and chemical-resistant


Buy 3D printing material

3D printing wear tests  
Wear-resistant 3D printing test

  • Wear tests
  • Abrasion values
  • Bearing, nut, and gear test
  • Material comparison
  • More about the igus® test laboratory


View test results

3D printing components for machines  
Wear-resistant components

  • Special parts with complex geometries
  • Gears, racks, plain bearings, rollers, and drive nuts
  • Sliding elements
  • Grippers and gripper fingers


Lubrication-free machine elements

3D printing at igus®: our services

Functional prototypes or wear-resistant plastic volume parts – we offer quick solutions for components for industrial applications from additive manufacturing.

 

  • Print 3D models quickly and easily online
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Rapid Tooling: Individual volume parts fromadditively manufactured  tools
  • Free-of-charge online CAD configuration for lead screw nuts, sliding elements, plain bearings, rollers, gears,  and racks
  • Consultingon design and producibility
  • Scanning and tracing replacement parts

3D printing service online tool  

print2mold: Injection moulding with 3D printing moulds

Small-series injection moulding with Rapid Tooling  

  • Quick manufacture of injection-moulded parts
  • Rapid Tooling: especially economical thanks to injection moulding tools from additive manufacturing
  • All iglidur® materials available
  • Order from 1 to 10,000 units 
  • Can be delivered in ten business days 
  • Online cost calculator and material filter
  • For components without undercuts


3D printed injection moulding tools

Two-component 3D printing: multi-material printing

Two-component 3D printing  

  • Great material strength with minimum wear
  • Material properties of two materials combined in a single component
  • Moulded 3D printed parts for geometrical freedom, strength, and a greater selection of materials
  • Can be combined with rigid or flexible materials

 
 


Two-component 3D printing

Abrasion-resistant 3D printing materials

3D printing material: filaments and laser sintering powder  
iglidur® plastics for additive manufacturing

  • Up to 50 times the abrasion resistance of standard plastics
  • Ideal for designing wear-resistant components for prototypes and small-batch series
  • Ideal for moving applications
  • Self-lubricating and resistant to dirt
  • Food safe and heat- and chemical-resistant


More about 3D printing materials

Information about 3D printing processes

Additive manufacturing processes  
What additive methods do we use and when?

How does 3D printing work? What 3D printing methods does igus® use? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of additive manufacturing? Find out more about: 

  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
  • Stereolithography (SLA) (for print2mould)


More about 3D printing methods

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping for mechanical engineering  
Functional prototypes made of self-lubricating plastics

  • Prototypes from additive manufacture, bar stock, and injection moulding
  • Pre-production runs of original material
  • Order online quickly and easily – overnight delivery possible
  • From prototype to series production: everything from one source


More about rapid prototyping

Design tips for 3D printing service

Design tips for 3D printing service  
Additive manufacturing design guide

Practical tips on designing function parts for manufacturing in 3D printing service. In addition to material and manufacturing method, the right component design plays a decisive role in increasing service life, minimising wear, and optimising the coefficient of friction.
 


Download the design guide for durable functional components

Free sample box with wear-resistant parts

iglidur® 3D printing sample box  
Experience the quality of our materials

Discover our materials and additive methods for 3D printing. Order our free sample box with a selection of printed samples and iglidur materials from igus additive manufacturing. We use our high-performance plastics for our in-house 3D printing service for wear-resistant components and for filament and laser sintering powder production.


Order 3D printing sample box

Application examples and customer references

Printed in 3D: maintenance-free gripper for the packaging industry

Fast availability at a low price and use under hygienic conditions were important prerequisites for this 3D printed gripper. It is used to package cosmetic products and has the special advantage of working without additional lubrication, fulfilling hygienic requirements.
 

Ultimaker and igus – Partners in motion

Ultimaker is pleased to announce that igus® materials are now available in the Ultimaker Marketplace. iglidur® I150 and iglidur® I180 allow a variety of industrial applications and fill the demand for 3D printed parts with low friction and great abrasion resistance. Lubrication-free bearings, clamping devices, and complex wear-resistant parts are just a few applications that can be printed with these two filaments. The Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker S5 3D printers and the award-winning Ultimaker Cura software are just what you need to print a large number of high-performance applications.
 
Paul Heiden
Senior Vice President Product Management
Ultimaker BV
 

Sporty driving for people with disabilities - Kempf and igus make it possible

Our individual requirements have been implemented perfectly and our new accelerator ring for sporty, flat steering wheels works smoothly thanks to the low-friction polymer parts from 3D printing. We are pleased with the very fast and solution-oriented cooperation.
 
Martine Kempf
Kempf SAS
 

Anything but standard - Custom solutions for plain bearings thanks to 3D printing

The plain bearings made of the proven iglidur materials, which are supplied from the igus 3D printing service, allow us to design completely new solutions for various applications in our cutting and winding machines due to the individual geometrical designs. The printed components are now also used in batch-produced components. New developments can also be quickly implemented and tested thanks to the test samples that are usually provided at very short notice.
 
Dipl.-Ing. Ulrich Vedder 
Kampf Schneid- und Wickeltechnik GmbH & Co. KG
 

igus 3D printing components in Kampf BSF_Slitter rewinder

Plastic gears printed in 3D for charging system of electric cars

Easelink, a company from Graz, has developed "Matrix Charging", a charging system consisting of two components. A charging pad connected to the mains is installed in the car park. A connector on the bottom of the e-car drops down when parked over the pad. The charging process starts automatically, without the driver having to connect a cable. Use the igus® 3D printing service to make sure the development of prototypes remains cost-effective while ensuring high quality.
 

3D printed components in racing

Inspired by Formula 1, the student teams of the "Formula Student Germany" construction competition compete with each other. For constructing their racing cars, the Formula Student Team from Weingarten near Ravensburg needed customised plastic pinions, among other things. Using the igus 3D printing service , these components were not only produced quickly, but also made of wear-resistant iglidur material.
 

Vintage spare parts with 3D printing

Wear-resistant parts made of durable iglidur polymers for classic vehicles. Whether a car, tractor, motorcycle or plane: 3D printing tremendously simplifies the procurement of spare parts and usually even delivers better quality and durability than original parts.
 
 

Why 3D printing from igus?

With its five decades of expertise in wear-resistant components made of self-lubricating high-performance polymers, igus offers new possibilities in 3D printing. The iglidur polymers have been specifically developed for 3D printing and are a lot more wear-resistant compared to regular 3D printing materials. Hence, wear resistance and friction are at the same level as with conventionally produced iglidur plain bearings. This shows that the igus 3D printing materials have been designed specifically for industrial use as durable function parts.  
The iglidur 3D printing polymers are thoroughly tested in the in-house test laboratory for wear and friction so that the service life of igus® 3D printing components such as gears and plain bearings can be calculated online in advance. In addition to special polymers for applications in specific surroundings, igus offers expert advice, practical online tools and configurators, as well as free samples of our materials and products made out of them.  

What is 3D printing?

3D printing refers to the manufacture of digitally defined objects by the layered application and bonding of material. The term "3D printing" is often used colloquially as a synonym for additive manufacturing.  Additive manufacturing methods contrast with subtractive ones, in which material is removed. An example of the latter is machining.  
 

3D printing in the proper sense refers to the binder jetting additive technology. Other frequently used synonyms are generative manufacturing, layering manufacturing ,  additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Among the best-known 3D printing methods for plastics are selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, fused deposition modelling, stereo lithography, and material jetting.

How does 3D printing work?

Manufacturing an object with a 3D printing method requires at least three steps:
 

1. The object is created digitally in a CAD file and converted into a format (such as STL) that the 3D printer can read

2. The object is printed in layers

3. The finished object is cleaned and reworked as necessary (polishing, coating, colouring, etc.)
 

The exact production technology depends on the printing method. There are many methods that are primarily distinguished by whether the material is added in the form of powder, molten plastics, or fluid, and whether they are cured by light, air, or bonding agent. Depending on application, plastics, metals, ceramics, concrete, food, or even organic materials can be processed with additive technologies.  

What is 3D printing used for?

3D printing is used for a wide and continuously expanding spectrum of applications. For the production of prototypes and models or for use in high-volume production, additive manufacturing is employed in a wide variety of areas, from art and design to the aerospace industry. In addition to simple user objects and toys, 3D printing technologies are used to print components for the architecture of complex geometries for devices in scientific laboratories and to manufacture stressed machine elements and replacement parts.  

What is industrial 3D printing for?

Industrial 3D printing is used for manufacturing prototypes, tools, and volume parts. It uses materials that, depending on the industrial application in question, must meet special mechanical requirements such as flexibility, rigidity, and wear resistance.
 

The use of 3D printing in industry has proven especially economical because models and small series can be created, tested, and adjusted for series production much more quickly that they can with usual methods. Unlike prototypes that map only the geometries of the planned component, industrially manufactured 3D printed models allow all mechanical properties to be tested on the machine.   
 

3D printing services are frequently used for industrial prototype manufacture, since procuring an industrial 3D printer is not cost-effective unless the company in question possesses the necessary expertise and uses the printer regularly to manufacture models and series.  3D printing service providers usually have not only the necessary expertise, but also several 3D printers, allowing them to select the method best suited to the application in question. Depending on the method, it is also much more cost-effective to engage an external service provider because such methods as laser sintering involve the regular manufacture of large batches of parts for various customers, greatly lowering the production costs for individual parts and thus for individual customers.

 

In addition to manufacturing prototypes and small series, industry is relying more and more on 3D printing for tool manufacture for such procedures as injection moulding. Plastic, ceramic, or metal –  any large-series production mould can be additively manufactured. Unlike conventional tool manufacture, additive manufacturing allows moulds to be created quickly and simply based on a CAD file and added directly to the order. If modifications are necessary, they can be made with a few clicks, so the manufacture of a new tool is much quicker and more cost-effective than conventional methods allow.  

 

3D printers are being purchased more frequently by private individuals so that they can print objects for private use and explore the capabilities of 3D printing. However, their options are limited by the costs, which remain high, and the quality of the materials used, which is generally low. There are industrial 3D printers for all types of additive methods; they can process a wide range of materials and are better suited to the requirements of industry.