Free form of 3D printing

In a departure from existing additive manufacturing techniques, Arburg – a company associated with injection moulding equipment – has introduced a new additive manufacturing platform, Freeformer

The company believes the technology employed allows the platform to be more than just the prototyping tool that many other 3D printers are, answering the market trend for short product life cycles and the demand for both the production of high-quality parts as one-off items and the personalisation of mass produced parts. Moreover, the system is based on processing qualified standard granulates; the Freeformer and the Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF) process.

"We see the introduction of the Freeformer as a huge technological step for our company,” says Arburg Ltd managing director, Colin Tirel. “We have always considered ourselves a technology innovator not a technology adopter and this is a superb example of this philosophy. It will enable us to offer our customers cutting edge technology which we can strategically align with our injection moulding and robot application technology portfolio to meet our customer's short and long term requirements".

Martin Neff, Technology Consultant for the Freeformer, said: “Freeformer will make plastic prototypes a thing of the past. A key feature is the use of standard granulate polymer at cost of Eu3 per kilo – the incumbent specialist material can cost Eu300 per kilo, providing a strong argument for this machine. And Freeformer requires little prior training.”