Arburg, the German family-owned injection molding giant, has been playing in the 3D printing space for a number of years now. In addition to manufacturing its Freeformer pellet printers that are built like a tank, it also acquired German RepRap and transmogrified it into the innovatiQ line, a series of gantry-based material extrusion printers. Previously, Arburg demonstrated that it was serious about 3D printing by opening a center in Shanghai and showcasing fused deposition modeling (FDM) with PEEK.
Freemformer 3D Printer with 2.5X Build Volume
The company is now disclosing that it will display a new Freefomer system, as well as the latest innovatiQ 3D printer, at Formnext 2022. The Freeformer line relies on extruding pellets onto a moving motion table, creating parts with high quality material properties at with low material cost. Print times can be slow, however, and components do look a bit rougher than those made with other technologies. This is an industrial tool meant to print parts.
Now, Arburg is releasing its 750-3X printer, which has 2.5 times the build volume than the previous model at 330 x 230 x 230 mm. Meanwhile, the air flow and circulation are said to be kept stable in the system. The printer also has “optimised melt pressure generators for dosing and injecting ,which use servo motors from AMKmotion,” an Arburg firm. Furthermore, the company has enhanced the 3D printing of lattices by speeding that process up by 55 percent. This will considerably enlarge the capabilities of the Freeformer line.
The Freeformer 200-3X
Additionally, the company is offering the Freeformer 200-3X, a “soft” 3D printer that has a reduced price compared to its predecessor. This machine has optimized equipment for soft parts, including integrated material drying, necessary for processing soft materials. The company will also show off parts that combine soft and hard materials and high temperature parts. Traditionally, soft materials have been difficult to print using material extrusion. Furthermore, the company has a new innovatiQ TiQ2 printer, a filament based system for industrial applications.
Arburg at Formnext
At Formnext, Arburg will be in Hall 12.1 at Stand D61, about which Dr. Victor Roman, Managing Director of ARBURGadditive said, “As the world’s leading trade fair, Formnext is one of the most important trade fairs of all for us and our markets, That is why we will be there with a fittingly extensive presence.”
Last year, Arburg had a very extensive presence at Formnext, indeed. It’s nice to have a traditional injection molding firm take such an interest in our industry. Arburg has a deep experience with polymers and with melting thermoplastics. It also makes machines that really last a long time. The company also has an extensive roster of clients, with which it has had long relationships.
Arburg´s system architecture is quite novel and thus has hindered adoption so far. For particular geometries the firm has a very solid offering. By focusing on soft materials, it could come up with solid value propositions in that area. This can be done both on its Freeformers and on its innovatiQ systems, which include machines for use with traditional filament and others optimized for liquid dispensing. This allows these systems to print silicone, a potentially very lucrative market.
Through its focus on pellets, Arburg has shown us from the beginning that it is willing to forgo margins in order to fight itself into our sector and win market share. The company is also more than willing to see things from the customers´ perspective and realize that high filament costs will keep our industry in its infancy. That central idea really makes me grateful for Arburg´s continued development in 3D printing.
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