The 3D print range from motion plastics specialist igus, has been expanded with a new selective laser sintering (SLS) material that is particularly suitable for the additive manufacture of gear wheels. 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.
“Today, additive manufacturing is becoming an important topic in the industry,” said Robert Dumayne, dry-tech director, igus. “This is mainly due to the fact that special parts can be printed easily, cost-effectively and quickly from individual parts up to medium size batches. The new iglidur i6 material expands the existing range of six tribo-filaments for the fused deposition modelling (FDM) method and iglidur i3 for the SLS process.”
At the company’s in-house 2,750m² 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 12rpm 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.
Via its 3D printing service, here, simply upload the STEP file and select the new SLS iglidur i6 material. With a mouse click, the customer can order printed parts for shipment within 1-3 days.