Arburg will be showcasing new applications for Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF), including a dedicated medical technology area, at this year’s Formnext trade fair from 19th November in Frankfurt.
Four Freeformers with a range of technological improvements will be on display, together with an outlook on fibre reinforcement. Visitors will also be able to have a close look at a host of components made from original materials and test a selection of these at four interactive stations.
“As the world’s leading trade fair for additive manufacturing, Formnext is the ideal platform for us to present new products, applications and developments for the future of Arburg Plastic Freeforming. The Arburg stand, which has been expanded by 30%, allows visitors to get their hands on our innovations and components and experience them live,” comments Lukas Pawelczyk, Head of Freeformer Sales at Arburg. “The APF process creates opportunities for applications that wouldn’t be possible with any other process – and this is particularly the case in medical technology. We will be showing concrete examples of this in a specially designated area of the stand.”
Medical technology: components made from original materials
In the special area dedicated to medical technology, a Freeformer 200-3X will be processing resorbable PLLA, thereby demonstrating the benefits of the APF process for this demanding industry. The open system is ideal for medical technology, as it can also be used to economically process biocompatible, resorbable, and sterilisable FDA-approved original plastic granulates – for example, for customised orthotics and implants.
With a few small adjustments, the Freeformer is also suitable for use in cleanrooms, as customers have already proved. It is low in emissions and creates no dust, and the build chamber is generally made out of stainless steel. An optional robot interface enables the additive production process to be automated and the Freeformer to be integrated into production lines connected via an IT network. The process quality can be reliably documented, and the components traced, where necessary.
Progress in Freeformer machine technology
Together, the Freeformers 200-3X and 300-3X cover a wide range of industrial additive manufacturing applications. While the Freeformer 200-3X is equipped with two nozzles as standard, the Freeformer 300-3X can process three components to produce complex functional components in resilient hard/soft combinations with support structures. At Formnext 2019, the large-scale machine will be used to demonstrate, taking aerospace-approved Ultem 9085 as an example, how complex components can be manufactured from high-temperature materials. In this case, the temperature inside the build chamber is approximately 180 degrees Celsius. Arburg will also be using another new exhibit to offer a technological outlook on how fibre-reinforced components can be produced as part of the APF process.
However, the company is still continuing to develop its tried and tested Freeformer 200-3X. Industry visitors to the stand will be able to scrutinise the system’s technology thanks to one such exhibit. The Freeformer 200-3X is now equipped with the same single-piece nozzle system as its big brother. A comprehensive software update is also available.
Diverse components and interactive stations
The APF experts at the Arburg Prototyping Center (APC) have succeeded in using a Freeformer 200-3X to process a soft TPU material (Desmopan) with embedded carbon amounts. Produced The additively manufactured strain measurement strip is a flexible and at the same time electrically conductive two-component functional component. This is currently unprecedented in the world of additive manufacturing.
Industry visitors to Formnext 2019 will be able to test this and other exciting components for the medical technology, automotive, aerospace, and electronics sectors at a total of four interactive stations.