Formnext 2019 / Arburg

Complex, functional parts in resilient hard/soft combinations

| Editor: Briggette Jaya

Arburg's Freefomers for plastic freeforming cover a broad spectrum in industrial AM.
Arburg's Freefomers for plastic freeforming cover a broad spectrum in industrial AM. (Source: Arburg)

Among the exhibits at the Arburg booth are four Freeformers displaying a range of technological improvements. Premiering is a special area dedicated to medical technology.

The Freeformers 300-3X and 200-3X from Arburg for plastic freeforming cover a broad spectrum in industrial AM. The open system works on qualified standard granulates, including TPU, bioresorbable plastics, PLA and other FDA-certified materials. Users can process their own original materials or optimise the droplet size and process control themselves. Alternatively, Arburg offers its material database of reference materials.

The Freeformer 300-3X processes three components using the APF (Arburg plastic freeforming) process to produce complex, functional parts in resilient hard/soft combinations with support structures. It can also be automated and integrated into complete production lines via optional interfaces, if required.

At Formnext, a Freeformer 300-3X will show for the first time how increased build-chamber temperature can be used for processing technical plastics. Here, Arburg will also offer technological insights on how fibre-reinforced components will be produced in the future using APF. The ‘300’ in the Freeformer 300-3X represents the available surface area of the platform in sq/cm, which is about 50 % larger than that of the Freeformer 200-3X. The build chamber also accommodates larger, small-volume batches and parts with dimensions of up to 234 x 134 x 230 mm. ‘3X’ represents the moving axes of the part carrier in the x, y and z axes. The 300-3X has three directly heated discharge units. Another option is it having only two nozzles. The 300-3X has a two-part, build-chamber door for enabling material containers to be refilled during on-going operation by opening the top half of the door. The heated build chamber needs only to be opened to insert the part platform and to remove finished parts. Automatic opening and closing of the build-chamber door and optional robot interfaces enable automation of the AM process and integration of the Freeformer in complete production lines, Arburg notes.

The operating panel comprises a robust industrial PC with multi-touch screen. The stable machine base accommodates the control cabinets and cooling system. The closed cooling system is also available with an optional industrial-grade cooling water connection to enable the processing of high-temperature materials.

In the special area dedicated to medical technology, a Freeformer 200-3X will be processing resorbable PLLA, demonstrating the benefits of the APF process for this demanding industry.

At Formnext, Arburg will be in Hall 12.1, Booth 121.

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