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Arburg’s Newest Freeformer Makes North American Debut at rapid+tct 2023

The build chamber of the Freeformer 750-3X is 2.5 times larger than the previous model while maintaining the same external dimensions.

Stephen Moore

April 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Freeformer 750-3X
Image courtesy of Arburg

Arburg’s Freeformer 750-3X will have its North American debut next month at rapid+tct, the largest US trade fair devoted to 3D printing. The industrial 3D printer, with its large build chamber, works quickly, precisely, and economically and is ideal for functional components in hard/soft combinations. Arburg will highlight the newest addition to its Freeformer portfolio at booth 3812 at rapid+tct, which will be held in Chicago on May 2 to 4, 2023.

Significant reduction in cost per piece

The Freeformer 750-3X boasts build chamber dimensions of 750 square centimeters (116 square inches), around 2.5 times larger than the Freeformer 300-3X with the same external dimensions. This enables it to produce larger functional components or to additively manufacture small batches industrially. In addition, data processing and the Gestica controller developed and manufactured by Arburg have been further optimised in terms of process stability, component quality, and build time. The result is significantly reduced cost per component.

At rapid+tct, the Freeformer 750-3X will be demonstrating a typical automotive application — a seal made of soft thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with the help of a support material. The component is used in car windows.

"Rapid+tct is one of the important trade fairs for industrial 3D printing and is an excellent platform for increasing our brand awareness and presenting the large Freeformer 750-3X for the first time in North America," said Victor Roman, managing director of ARBURGadditive. "We will also be exhibiting our complete portfolio, from fast and economical 3D printing of prototypes for accelerated time-to-market to additive processing of sophisticated original materials into resilient, traceable functional components for the aerospace, automotive, and medical industries, for example."

3D printing for aerospace and medical technology

A second Freeformer, the 300-3X, will be producing components for the aerospace industry at rapid+tct 2023. In a high-temperature configuration, the machine's build chamber can be heated to 200°C (392°F). The Freeformer at the booth will process Ultem 9085 amorphous polyetherimide (PEI) resin in powder form with an average particle size (D50) of 200 microns. This high-temperature plastic approved for aerospace applications will be used to 3D-print air duct prototypes for aircraft cabins.

At rapid+tct 2023, a Freeformer 300-3X will produce functional prototypes for aircraft cabins from Ultem 9085.

Arburg will also be presenting a number of component examples on its stand, including parts made of TPE, PP, and multi-material designs, as well as finishing and polishing operations. The Freeformer can be used in cleanrooms with just a few modifications and can process medical-grade materials. 3D printing company and Freeformer end user iMedScreening will demonstrate this capability at the show by using a Freeformer 300-3X to additively manufacture implants for the human knee as part of an IRB (Institutional Review Board) study.

InnovatiQ prints LSR model tire

ARBURGadditive's entire product portfolio will also be on show at 3D printing company innovatiQ (stand 2108), which will produce a vacuum gripper from fiber-reinforced filament, a bracket from polycarbonate (PC), and a model tire from liquid silicone rubber (LSR). In the Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) process, the same plastic granules are used as in injection molding. The 3D printing systems from innovatiQ are also based on an open material platform.

The TiQ series 3D printers process plastic filaments by means of fused filament fabrication technology. The compact entry-level TiQ 2 model is suitable for operating equipment and robotic grippers, while the TiQ 5 can process demanding high-temperature filaments as well as fiber-reinforced materials. For 3D printing with liquid silicone, innovatiQ invented liquid additive manufacturing (LAM). The actively heatable build chamber in the new TiQ 5 LSR printer represents a further step in the development of LAM technology.

PlasticsToday has reported on the evolution of Arburg's Freeformer technology from its splashy debut at K 2013 to its use in medical applications at Plastec West. For insights on the future of 3D printing as a whole, read "What's Ahead for 3D Printing" by Sarah Goehrke.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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