igus has developed a new tribo-polymer filament for 3D printers, developed specifically for engineers who wish to create structurally robust prototypes or small batches of components for testing or even for real-world applications. Suitable for use with any 3D printer that has a heated nozzle, print bed and uses ABS filaments, the material is claimed to be up to 50 times more resistant to wear and abrasion than products made from conventional 3D printer materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA).
Rob Dumayne, a director at igus, says: "The flexibility of using a 3D printer for prototyping real usable components allows designers far more freedom in the creation of both intricate and simple shapes for workable parts used in motion applications, such as in bearing locations. All of our standard igus bearing products are available for download in STL format and can be used directly as input data for printing replacement parts. We have also designed some innovative 3D models as reference designs."
As with all igus materials, the new tribo-filament has been tested extensively in the igus laboratories. Two different materials in two different diameters are available: iglidur I170, which comes in yellow, has a better linear wear rate than iglidur I180, which comes in white. iglidur I180 is more flexible than the stiffer iglidur I170 and can therefore achieve a higher bending radius for faster printing speeds and has a slightly higher processing temperature. Both printer filaments, iglidur I170 and iglidur I180, are available in diameters of 1.75mm and 3.00mm. It is intended that the new materials will shortly be added to the igus bearing life calculator so that engineers can get an accurate estimate for the life of bearings manufactured by 3D printing.
To find out more, watch a video or request a sample of the new iglidur tribo-filament, simply fill in the form at the bottom of the page at www.igus.co.uk/TriboFilament.