igus has launched a new online configurator that enables engineers to configure gear wheels in just one minute. Once ordered via the web shop, the gear wheels are 3D printed from iglidur I6 material for quick dispatch. Characterised by a wear resistance of at least six times that of standard materials, the iglidur i6 material is well-suited for printing wear resistant parts, such as gears, offering a particularly long service life.
At the company’s in-house 2,750 m² test lab, a 3D printed gear wheel, made of iglidur i6, was put through its paces to exemplify its high wear resistance properties. In the test a worm wheel drive with 5Nm torque and 12 rpm was used, and gears made from different materials compared. The SLS printed PA12 gear failed after 521 cycles, as the heat generated by friction melted the plastic. The gear made of iglidur i3 stopped at around 345,000 cycles. The iglidur i6 gear was still fully functional after 1 million cycles, showing only minor wear. The iglidur i6 gear was also compared with machined gears. The gear made of POM (Polyoxymethylene) failed after 621,000 cycles, while the machined PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) gear stopped working after 155,000 cycles.
It is almost impossible to design gear wheels without aid, because of the complex geometry involved. In a few steps, simply enter the specifications of the required gear wheel – tooth module, number of teeth, width and inner diameter. This automatically displays a 3D model that can be exported as a STEP file and uploaded onto the igus online 3D printing service (www.igus.co.uk/3dprintservice). With a mouse click, the customer can order printed parts for shipment within 1–3 days, or request a quotation.