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DLP 3D Printing of Wearing Parts

The igus 3D printing resin allows AM of very small wear parts with a 60-fold increase in service life, the company reported.

igus has introduced its iglide i3000 3D printing resin specifically for Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing of wearing parts.

"The iglide i3000 material enables the additive manufacturing (AM) of small, precise components with a service life that is 30 to 60x longer than with conventional 3D printing resins," said a company spokesperson. In addition, igus is expanding its 3D printing service with DLP printers that achieve a resolution of 0.035 mm.

"For components in the millimeter range, 3D printers that use DLP are particularly suitable," said the spokesperson. "The process achieves very fine resolutions under the various 3D printing technologies. Resolutions of just 0.035 mm are possible, around half the thickness of a human hair."

To enable this level of precision, a projector casts layer after layer of the 3D model onto the surface of a special liquid resin. The corresponding regions network under the influence of light. After curing, the construction platform is lowered by one layer so that the next exposure can take place. This creates tiny components layer by layer, including gears with tips of just 0.2 mm thick. The gear tips have smooth surfaces that require no post-treatment. "With new iglide i3000-PR 3D printing resin, users can benefit from igus tribo-technology with this 3D printing technology, significantly increasing the service life of their moving applications," said the spokesperson.

"As precise as DLP 3D printing works, it has a downside. A common problem with tiny components made of commercially available 3D printing resins, such as gears for model-making, is that they are not particularly robust and fail quickly," said Tom Krause, Head of AM at igus. "igus has therefore developed iglide i3000 for DLP 3D printing. It is tribologically optimized and therefore is much more wear-resistant. We were able to prove in laboratory tests that the service life of iglide i3000 is at least 30x longer than 10 tested commercially 3D printing resins. In some applications, we even expect an increase in service life by a factor of 60."

Another advantage: The maintenance required for lubricating work is zero. Microscopic solid lubricants are integrated into the material. They are released independently during movement.

In addition to the 3D printing resin, customers can order components made from it directly from igus. igus is also expanding its 3D printing service. While customers could previously choose between the 3D printing processes of selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM), they can have components manufactured with DLP 3D printers. Fine details and even internal channels can be achieved.

For more information contact:

igus, Inc.

P.O. Box 14349

East Providence, RI 02914


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