Arburg Inc. announced this week that it has signed an agreement with the Würth Additive Group to distribute its Freeformer additive manufacturing system in the United States and Canada. By partnering with Würth, specialized in additive manufacturing and supply-chain efficiency, Arburg hopes to extend the reach of its Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) technology in the manufacturing sector, as well as the oil & gas, heavy equipment, and transportation industries. Arburg Inc. is the US subsidiary of injection molding machine maker Arburg, headquartered in Lossburg, Germany.
Arburg first introduced the Freeformer to much fanfare at the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2013. At the time, it was described in PlasticsToday as a “dramatic meeting point of precision injection molding and additive manufacturing.” A key innovation was the ability to use regular plastic resins on an additive manufacturing platform. The system had its US debut at NPE2015.
The open APF system and extensive materials database enable customers to utilize their current production materials to create prototypes or move straight to small series production via additive manufacturing, explained Arburg in the press release announcing the agreement. The Freeformer 200-3X and 300-3X can be used to additively manufacture thermoplastic components from single or multiple materials. By using conventional plastic resins as stock material, Arburg said that parts produced via the APF system cost a fraction of what they would using other additive manufacturing methods.
"The Freeformer and APF process allow us to open up completely new possibilities in the field of industrial additive manufacturing," commented AJ Strandquist, CEO, Würth Additive Group. "Our customers will benefit from the adaptability of the Freeformer, as it is an open system and allows for maximum customization through an extensive materials database. Furthermore, the APF process fills the gaps we previously had with customers who use materials with additives. Now we can provide support in every avenue they need to be successful. The addition of Arburg's Freeformer to our portfolio takes our AM service to a higher level."
“We are excited to continue to grow our strategic AM supplier portfolio by partnering with Arburg,” added Dan Hill, CEO of Würth Industry North America. “The formation of our new company, Würth Additive Group, was critical as we continue to deliver and expand on enabling, implementing, and supporting digital supply-chain solutions that are dependable and beneficial for our customers to operate and ultimately supply them with process and cost efficiencies.”