Euromold 2014 Additive manufacturing of functional parts from standard granulates using 3D CAD data
At Euromold 2014, Arburg will present Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF) for the industrial additive manufacturing of fully functional plastic parts and will have two Freeformers on its stand.
The Freeformers will be equipped with a three-axis component carrier and two stationary discharge units. The exhibits will demonstrate how functional components can be additively manufactured from standard granulate, using 3D CAD data.
The second discharge unit can be used for an additional component to produce a part in different colours, with special tactile qualities, or as a hard-soft combination, for example. The supporting structures can be removed in a water bath. Arburg said that it uses conventional plastic granulates as base material. As with injection moulding, the granulate is first melted in a plasticising cylinder.
A stationary discharge unit with a special nozzle then applies the plastic droplets layer-by-layer onto the component carrier, using high-frequency piezo technology at a specified duty cycle of 60 to 200 Hertz. Depending on the nozzle used, the diameter of the plastic droplets generated under pressure is between 0.18 and 0.3 mm. The moving component carrier is positioned so that each drop is deposited at the precise point calculated in advance. During cooling, the tiny droplets automatically fuse together. The 3D component is thus created layer by layer.
An example of a spare part made from ABS will be demonstrated on the stand: specifically, a two-part sliding lock that is widely used in Allrounder injection moulding machines.