Long life plastic gears from igus

igus has extended its range of 3D printing materials with the addition of iglidur I6 for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Characterised by a wear resistance at least six times higher than that of standard materials, iglidur I6 is well-suited for printing high-wear parts, such as gears, offering a particularly long service life.

In this week’s video, igus puts a 3D printed gear wheel, made of iglidur I6, through its paces at the company’s in-house 2,750m2 test lab. In the test, a worm wheel drive with 5Nm torque and 12rpm was used, and gears made from three different materials compared.

The SLS printed PA12 gear failed after 521 cycles, as the heat generated by friction melted the plastic. The gear made of iglidur I3 stopped at around 345,000 cycles. The iglidur I6 gear was still fully functional after 1 million cycles, showing only minor wear.

The iglidur I6 gear was also compared with machined gears. The gear made of POM (Polyoxymethylene) failed after 621,000 cycles, while the machined PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) gear stopped working after 155,000 cycles.