The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
14 April, 2024

Twitter link

Customised linear axes are 3D-printed to order

28 February, 2017

The engineering plastics specialist igus has launched a service that will 3D-print bespoke carriages and end-blocks for linear axes to customer requirements. The components are printed using a laser sintering process within 48 hours of an order being placed, using a plastic said to be three times more abrasion-resistant than conventional SLS (selective laser sintered) materials.

The printed items can be assembled with a handful of other components to produce a customised axis “within seconds”, according to igus. As well as producing axes as one-offs or in small batches, the new process will allow machine-builders to test new ideas for profile designs, stroke lengths or fastening options. The parts, printed in a high-performance tribo-SLS material called iglidur I3, can be produced in complex shapes.

“The purpose of developing the SLTI3 lead-screw unit was to enable quick and easy assembly, with the maximum possible variability,” says igus' UK dry-tech director, Robert Dumayne. “We also reduced the component count, compared to our standard SLT module, enabling it to be assembled in seconds.”

The new 3D-printing service produces customised components for linear axes, within days

The assembled axes are self-lubricating and maintenance-free. The side-mounted leadscrew configuration is available in manual or motor-powered formats.

  • To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Drives & Controls, click here.

    To visit the digital library of past issues, click here

    To subscribe to the magazine, click here



"Do you think that robots create or destroy jobs?"



Most Read Articles