Arburg – a leading German manufacturer of injection molding systems and proprietary 3D printing method – Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF), will present at the upcoming RAPID + TCT 2022 fair a new version of its flagship 3D printer – Freeformer 300-3X equipped with a module for processing high-temperature materials and ProcessLog application for detailed tracking and documentation of additive production.
The APF technology consists in extruding single drops of polymeric material using a piezoelectric screw. The material is sprayed at a speed of up to 200 drops per second from nozzles with two diameters: 0.2 and 0.4 mm. At the same time, he does not use filaments, but granules – identical to the one used in the injection molding technology. Due to the much lower cost of pellets, the profitability of working with the machine is much higher than that of alternative production systems.
Arburg has recently expanded its operations in North American markets, thanks to a partnership with Würth Additive, which is a distributor of its solutions. The companies will jointly exhibit at the largest 3D printing fair in the USA – RAPID + TCT 2022, presenting the latest version of Freeformer 300-3X. The 3D printer allows you to process high-temperature materials such as ULTEM and PEEK. ULTEM 9085 is a flame retardant, low smoke plastic and is approved for the manufacture of aerospace applications. The Freeformer 300-3X can also print objects from the PEEK family that are biocompatible and sterilizable. They are also FDA certified.
The 3D printer has an advanced temperature management system, including cooling necessary for the correct 3D printing of geometrically complex applications. This is especially important for drives that ensure precise positioning of the print head along the XYZ axes. According to the manufacturer’s assurances, Freeformer is able to print parts that reach 95% strength. Moreover, the 3D printer can be installed in clean rooms, which enables the production of implantable and biocompatible implants. At RAPID + TCT 2022, Arburg will be demonstrating these possibilities by processing medically approved PEEK granules.
In addition to the 3D printer, Arburg will present the ProcessLog application, which captures data on the 3D printing process, displaying it in a transparent, visualized manner. This information is documented and tracked per part. Data can be viewed throughout the construction of the part, and you can track detailed information related to material pressure in the head, extrusion screw position, and the frequency and speed of droplet spraying. By accurately documenting the printing and manufacturing process of each part, manufacturers can ensure product traceability in safety-related applications. In addition, multiple Freeformer machines can be networked using an Industrial Internet of Things tool such as the “arburgXworld” customer portal.