Additive System Produces Functional Plastic Parts

Arburg’s freefomer system builds plastic components from the ground up with the same, pelletized material as a plastic injection press.

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Traditionally known for injection molding presses, Arburg has applied its expertise to the additive realm with the Freeformer system, shown here on display at the Euromold show late last month. Rather than being limited to certain materials in powder or liquid form, the Freeformer employs the very same pelletized material that’s fed into the hopper of a typical injection press.

In addition to expanding the range of materials that can be used for additive applications, this provides parts that are fully functional in some applications. In fact, booth representatives said a part produced on the Freeformer shares as much as 80 percent of the strength, stiffness and other properties of an injection molded part. For more about the advantages of the Freeformer and how it works, visit Arburg’s website.

The Freeformer is just one of many examples of technology that intrigued me at the Euromold show. As in recent years, additive manufacturing proved a particularly big draw, with an entire hall dedicated to that technology drawing plenty of traffic day-in and day-out. Yet, the show also offered plenty of innovations from more traditional players in the die and mold industry. Examples include laser welders integrated with laser powder cladding, an innovative quick-change mold system, and an unusual lifter design. Click through this picture gallery for a sampling of what caught my eye. 

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