• Freeformer 300-3X: Complex, resilient functional parts
• Hard/soft: Two-component gripper made of PC/ABS and flexible TPU
• Arburg Plastic Freeforming: Constantly discover new material combinations with an open system
Only Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) with the Freeformer 300-3X is capable of producing resilient components from two materials, which until now could only be injection moulded in this way: The combination of different original materials to hart/soft combinations is highly interesting.
Injection-moulded two-component parts are generally in great demand for the large-scale production of items such as razors, toothbrushes and tools that are pleasing to the touch. The Freeformer 300-3X with three discharge units enables the industrial additive production of complex functional components from original material in a resilient hard/soft combination with support structure. This is of particular interest to users who want produce and test functional prototypes made from exactly the same material as that used in large-scale production of the end product.
Selected component examples
Another field of application for components in hard/soft combinations are automation solutions and production equipment. An example of these are two-component grippers, which can be manufactured using the APF process in a single step without additional assembly work. The support material can then be easily washed out.
Arburg has designed a two-component gripper for a particularly tricky removal task in its own injection moulding production facility. Its hard housing is made of PC/ABS, while the soft TPU membrane expands positively in the mould using compressed air. In this way, the moulded part can be reliably removed at an angle of 15° despite its awkward position.
Another example of a component is a finger whose individual PC/ABS phalanges are moved by joints made of soft TPE (Shore 30 A).