Using tiny droplets to create fully functional parts
The industrial additive manufacture of functional parts is highly demanding: It involves a wide range of original materials, material and colour combinations, as well as high part quality and strength. Individual settings options are required during the manufacturing process.
That's why we developed the APF (ARBURG Plastic Freeforming) process and the freeformer specifically as an open system. Tiny plastic droplets provide the basis for flexible adjustment options. The droplet size and process control can be influenced in a targeted manner. This gives you the freedom to individually optimise the properties of your additively manufactured parts and to process your own materials.
- Unique: using qualified standard granulates to produce fully functional parts – even involving multiple components
- High-quality: pulsed nozzle closure with piezo technology ensures high quality parts
- Extensive: growing material database with process settings for various amorphous and semi-crystalline thermoplastics
- Open: free programming of process – from geometrical slicing to the discharge and positioning of the droplets
- Adaptable: modified original materials can be used quickly and easily, for example for the aerospace industry or in medical technology
Brochure: freeformer (PDF - 3,1 MB)
Brochure: ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF) (PDF - 1,9 MB)
Customer magazine today 67, p. 16-18, "Procter & Gamble: freeformer speeds up prototype production" (PDF - 5,4 MB)
Customer Magazine today 66, p. 20-21, "Fraunhofer ICT: freeformer processes conductive material" (PDF - 4,2 MB)
Customer magazine today 65, p. 26-27 "Tech Talk: Open freeformer manufacturing system" (PDF - 3,7 MB)
Customer magazine today 65, p. 14-15 "TE Connectivity: freeformer extends range of materials to include technical materials" (PDF - 3,7 MB)
Customer magazine today 64, p. 12-13 "ARBURG Prototyping Center: freeformer capacity expanded" (PDF - 3,8 MB)
Expert article magazine Kunststoffe "Layered Functional Parts on an Industrial Scale" (PDF - 0,4 MB)
This is how it works
ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF)
In the APF process, qualified standard granulates are melted using the same method as in injection moulding and are discharged as tiny plastic droplets. The more densely the droplets are positioned in relation to one another, i.e., the more tightly the parts are "packed", the higher the mechanical properties.
to the process
The freeformer additively applies three-dimensional personalised lettering in PP onto office scissors. Mass-produced items can be individualised without the use of a mould in this fashion using ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF). At a layer height of 0.21 mm, the construction time is only around 2 min.
to the part
A freeformer with two discharge units can combine different materials. For the additive manufacturing of flexible bellows from elastic TPU, the second discharge unit is used to construct a water-soluble supporting structure.
The freeformer additively manufactures functional parts with complex geometries using supporting structures that can subsequently be removed with ease. One example is a two-piece sliding lock, a spare part made from ABS, which is installed in ALLROUNDER injection moulding machines.
LED light holder
The 230 x 135 x 250 mm construction chamber of the freeformer not only enables the production of one-off parts, but also of fully-functional small-volume batches. One example are 60 holders for LED lights made from ABS.