Materials

An open system – qualified standard granulates

The freeformer’s open system technology works with such a diverse range of materials it not only makes it possible to use you production plastics but also enables you to optimize process control.  ARBURG is continuously updating and expanding a database of known materials which is available to any user.

With the aid of soluble support material, which is washed away once the component has been formed, even undercuts and complex geometries can be easily created. APF technology opens up entirely new possibilities for you in terms of design, functionality, and materials.

The materials pyramid
The materials pyramid helps users understand the available material families on the open market. All of these materials are compatible with the freeformer and the APF process. Most plastics listed have already been qualified for use in the system. The freeformer materials database is constantly expanding as new materials are tested and qualified.

TPU

Electrically conductive ribbon cable
Material: TPU WT 65 S 720/1
Layer height: 0.2 mm
Build time: 1:45 h

The conductors have been integrated to make the flexible band of the component electrically conductive. The ribbon cable consists of soft TPU with carbon components; the LED is inserted. This makes the two-component functional part both flexible and electrically conductive.

TPE

Hand-function orthosis
Material: SEBS Medalist M0-12130H
Layer height: 0.2 mm
Build time: 23 h

The standard granulate for the test sample for a hand-function orthosis made from TPE-S is FDA-certified for use in medical technology in the USA. Additively manufactured hand orthoses made from multiple materials can be extensively customized. This includes, for example, specifically reinforcing areas that are used the most frequently, adding elastic function elements or "padding" to protect the hand using TPE to avoid pressure points.

PP

Cable clip
Material: PP (Moplen)
Layer height: 0.21 mm
Build time: approx. 2 h

Standard PP and the associated carrier material armat 12 can be used for the additive manufacturing of fully functional cable clips with delicate structures (like a film hinge, for example) and the snap fit that is typical of injection molding. The support material, which is dissolved downstream in a water bath, also enables delicate yet resilient parts to be made from semi-crystalline materials like PP.

Soluble polymer

Tablets
Material: soluble cellulose-based polymer for personalised medication
Layer height: 0.2 mm
Build time: approx. 3 minutes

A project in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, University of East Anglia, Norwich, is concentrating on the use of the freeformer to manufacture tablets containing multi-active ingredients which control and facilitate the release of the active agents. The use of resorbable material makes it possible to personalize the medication for each patient. The tablets feature a functional geometry and complex microstructures to integrate various drugs in different sectors. This enables multiple active agents to be combined in a single tablet; they are administered simultaneously but released at intervals over a 24-hour period. The conventional method used to manufacture these products would involve multiple stages and significant amounts of time and money, and the process would generate lots of excess material that cannot be reused.

PC/ABS

Two-component gripper
Material: PC/ABS and TPU (70 Shore AU)
Layer height: 0.2 mm
Build time: 26 h

The resilient elastic two-component part is manufactured in a single cycle without assembly. The soft components are widened with compressed air for parts removal from the injection mold. The use of the freeformer 300-3X with three discharge units makes the industrial additive manufacturing of tools such as devices and assembly aids even easier: Components are produced in a single step and without having to spend time and money on an additional assembly stage.

Medical PLA

Cranial bones
Material: medical PLA
Layer height: 0.27 mm
Build time: approx. 45 minutes

The implant is made from medical polylactide (PLA) granules which dissolve completely inside the body over a defined period of time. The example of adapted personalized implants especially for facial and cranial bones demonstrates the high potential of ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF) specifically to support a personalized design for each patient in medical technology applications. Resorbable implants do not have to be surgically removed after healing. Furthermore, the plastic granules can be mixed with anti-inflammatory agents to minimize rejection reactions, for example. The selection of the material type is of major significance so that the material dissolves at the correct point in time inside the body.