Introducing your 2020 Ultimaker Innovators

Niklas Eutebach and the Igus 3D printing team

Igus GmbH – Cologne, Germany

Niklas Eutebach, right, and the igus 3D printing team
Niklas Eutebach, right, and the igus 3D printing team

igus GmbH, headquartered in Cologne, Germany, focuses on the development of tribologically optimized polymers for industrial components. Since 2015, it has offered 3D printing materials for FFF and SLS that are superior in wear resistance and friction to other plastics used in 3D printing.

These polymers and compounds – called "motion plastics” – enable the manufacture of functional parts used in moving applications. This allows for the replacement of metal components in certain applications – as well as eliminates the need for additional lubrication, saving weight, energy, service time, and money.

“Our focus on tribologically optimized material has crystallized over time and due to customer needs,” Niklas Eutebach, Development Engineer for AM at igus, says. “With the onset of desktop FFF printing some years back, it was only natural to explore this new and exciting field. Today, producing one-off, mass individualized and on-demand wear-resistant parts without tooling costs has become the new normal.”

The igus bearing laboratory
The igus bearing laboratory

As 3D printing continues to increase output – and therefore economic sustainability – with every new machine and technique, Eutebach and the igus 3D printing team aim to bolster additive manufacturing technology by targeting more and more industry sectors and applications with igus’ SLS and FFF materials. This will enable the team to focus on these industries’ specialized needs such as food compliance, ESD safety, and flame retardancy. And in a novel approach, the igus 3D printing team is implementing smart plastics into wear parts (parts for wear-heavy applications) to enable wear detection and failure prevention – a feat only possible with FFF.

Development all over the world won't rest until every material that can be otherwise processed will be able to be 3D printed - plastics, metals, ceramics, composites, fibers, concrete, organic tissue, meat, moon dust.

Want to hear more? Listen to our Talking Additive podcast episode with Niklas Eutebach

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