nin3If you are an engineer or have routine exposure to the engineering occupation, then most likely you have heard of Fenner Drives (a division of Fenner PLC). With manufacturing facilities in the US and the UK, a global sales team present on six continents, and over 5,500 employees worldwide, Fenner Drives has made a name for itself creating “value-adding, problem solving products for power transmission, motion transfer, conveying applications and 3D printing.”

A sophisticated range of reliable, high-quality components are designed, manufactured and distributed by Fenner Drives, covering the climate control, data center, distribution center, and packaging markets with a range of product lines. These applications include belts, beltings, bushings and tensioners available in product lines such as Keyless Locking Devices, PowerMax Composite Solutions, and T-Max Tensioners. Fenner Drives is also in the business of making 3D printing filament, which was recently used to 3D print a screen for one of its own extrusion lines — saving thousands in annual maintenance costs.

nin1If none of the above products sound familiar to those of you otherwise familiar with 3D printing, it is more likely you may have heard of two of Fenner Drives’ other 3D printing-related product lines: Taulman 3D Nylon 645 & Alloy 910 Filament, and, a Fenner Drives favorite, NinjaFlex 3D Printing Filament. While Fenner Drives collaborated with Taulman 3D on its Alloy 910 and Nylon 645 filaments, NinjaFlex is an in-house product line directly produced by Fenner Drives. Recently, Fenner Drives was able to experience the strength of its own NinjaFlex filament and the convenience and cost-effectiveness of 3D printing parts when it took things into its own hands and 3D printed a clog-preventing screen part.

This clog-preventing screen’s function is to prevent material from clogging the oxygen control flapper, which is an important piece of machine equipment because it works across nine material vacuum transfer systems on Fenner Drives’ extrusion line. In fact, NinjaFlex, which claims it is the “industry leading flexible filament,” is made from a patented and “specially formulated thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material”  with a “low tack, easy-to-feed texture.” It also has other key features that make it “ideal for direct drive extruders,” including: a consistent diameter; smooth feeding from a low friction exterior; high elasticity; excellent vibration reduction; strong chemical and abrasion resistance; and great build platform adhesion and post-processing capabilities.

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Two other great features which we tend to discuss a lot when it comes to 3D printing are convenience and cost effectiveness. In fact, Fenner Drives reports that choosing to 3D print the screen in NinjaFlex saved the company a whopping $10,500!

How’s that for cost-effective, low maintenance parts replacement? Discuss in the Fenner Drives 3D Printed Screen forum over at 3DPB.com.

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