igus UK is launching its speedicut rapid machining service for the manufacture and delivery of custom-designed self-lubricating polymer components in 24 hours. There are no minimum order quantities, so speedicut is a cost-effective way of procuring one-offs, prototypes and low volumes for a variety of applications including machines, medical technology, maintenance engineering and plant engineering.
Like the proven speedigus rapid tooling system, speedicut uses a customer's component design to produce a fast quotation, then finished parts can be delivered within 24 hours. To use the speedicut service, engineers simply email or upload their design as a 2D CAD file or 3D model and specify which igus self-lubricating polymer material is required. To make this part of the process as easy as possible, igus has developed an online material selection wizard that helps engineers determine the optimum material grade for a given application (if required, the igus life calculation programs can also be used to establish the life of the bearing component). A quote is returned within 24 hours (usually much faster), with customers able to select the standard delivery time of 10 days or pay extra for faster delivery - which can be just 24 hours if required. While the service has been designed to make one-offs economical, igus expects to be producing batches of up to 100 parts.
Matthew Aldridge, a Director at igus UK, comments: "speedicut is an exciting new machining service which has been introduced to complement our speedigus rapid tooling system, for parts that are more suited to machining than moulding. For very low quantities it makes economic sense to machine parts in preference to moulding, and using our standard igus stock bar materials, along with a hi-tech machining cell, custom-designed complex parts can be produced very quickly."
Typically the materials used in traditional rapid prototyping processes are developed for ease of manufacture, rather than for long life or low friction. However, the speedicut and speedigus services use standard igus materials, such as iglidur tribological polymers, which are designed for long life and durability. iglidur materials are maintenance- and lubricant-free and have a low coefficient of friction to deliver reliable high performance over a long service life.
According to igus, the speedicut machining process can achieve the same tight tolerances as speedigus. When a 2D drawing is submitted, speedicut uses the tolerances quoted on the drawing (any differences are mentioned in the quotation). If a 3D model is submitted, the expected tolerance for a dimension on a well-designed part is +/- (0.1mm + 0.005mm/mm). For example, a dimension of 10mm would have a tolerance of +/-0.15mm.
The cost of the speedicut service depends on the material and the part, but can be as little as £1.50 per part. As speedicut is a machining process there is no tooling set-up cost, which makes it extremely economical for low-volume manufacturing.
Currently engineers designing assemblies requiring self-lubricating components may have to compromise by using standard components, paying for speedigus tooling for custom-moulded parts, or rely on jobbing machine shops that may not be familiar with machining self-lubricating polymers and that may not be able to offer rapid deliveries. However, speedicut offers a cost-effective, high-quality, low-risk alternative that enables engineers to optimise the material, price and lead time to suit their project requirements. For prototyping and proof-of-concept models, the machined parts behave almost identically to moulded parts, which is a further significant advantage.
Whether it is for a proof-of-concept or prototype, or from low-volume to high-volume parts, igus says it has a full service offering, taking engineers from start to finish with its speedicut, speedigus and volume production services. For further information about speedicut and to receive a quotation, simply email requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.igus.co.uk/speedicut or call igus on +44 (0)1604 677240.