igus, a manufacturer of plastic plain bearings, spherical bearings, linear guides, cable carriers and continuous-flex cables, has introduced its 3D-printed plastic grippers that enables manufacturers to save on costs and time.
The packaging industry typically uses metal grippers that are usually limited to a single format. Therefore, it often takes weeks for a product change, until the right gripper is made. With strong and lightweight plastic grippers made of tribo-filaments made directly from the 3D printing process, the grippers from igus are 85 percent cheaper and 70 percent faster to produce. If the CAD data of a product are available, it is easy to fabricate it in an additive process, made of self-lubricating iglidur high-performance plastics that are optimised for wear and friction.
In this Industry 4.0 era, it is increasingly important to be able to economically produce small batches. With the tribologically-optimised iglidur I150 filament, it provides for an extremely stable and impact-resistant material for 3D printing, with which a gripper can be printed within 10 to 12 hours.
In addition, plastic grippers are seven times lighter than metal grippers. The company also offers five other filaments for the printing of wear-resistant parts in a wide variety of applications. Compared to standard materials such as polylactide, the high-performance plastics are up to 50 times more wear-resistant and can be processed on all standard 3D printers.
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