Colleague Matt Naitove, Executive Editor for Plastics Technology magazine, is front and center for the premier of an exciting new technology in additive manufacturing from Arburg, a leading manufacturer of high-end injection molding machines for plastics processing.
At the K 2013 they are presenting the world premiere of the freeformer and ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (AKF).
According to Arburg, "Unlike conventional additive manufacturing techniques, with ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (AKF) standard granulates are melted as in the injection molding process. The freeformer produces the component without support structures, layer by layer from minuscule droplets. The discharge unit with nozzle remains stationary, while the component carrier moves. AKF makes use of 3D CAD files, which are read in directly by the freeformer. After start-up, everything else takes place automatically. A nozzle closure with piezo technology builds up the desired component layer by layer from minuscule plastic droplets. During this process, the item under construction is moved by a component carrier with three or five axes."
•Unique: fully functional parts are created with minuscule plastic droplets, without a mold
•Versatile: low-cost standard granulates are used instead of expensive special materials
•No support structures: stationary discharge unit and moving component carrier for complex 3D geometries
•Combinable: AKF is also suitable for processing two components, e.g. in moving hard/soft combinations
•Effortless: parts are automatically built up layer by layer on the basis of 3D CAD files