Arburg to make additive manufacturing machines

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 15, 2013 3:35 pm ET
Updated: October 16, 2013 10:39 am ET

Image By: Caroline Seidel, Plastics News Arburg's Christoph Schumacher helps introduce the Freeformer.

Related to this story

Topics Machinery, K 2013, Business News & Features
Companies & Associations Arburg GmbH + Co. KG

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY−Arburg GmbH & Co. KG is riding the wave of fascination with additive manufacturing, as company officials took the wraps off the Freeformer, which takes CAD data and turns out parts made from drops of liquid plastic.

K 2013 show goers can see the Freeformer in action Hall 13, Stand A-13). The first ones will be commercially available next year.

It was a literal unveiling−Arburg executives removed a giant curtain to reveal the Freeformer at a news conference held on Tuesday, the day before the K 2013 officially kicked off.

Additive manufacturing − also known as three-dimensional printing and stereolithography−is evolving from a strange new technology to near mainstream status, at least in a flood of news stories.

Arburg is aiming its Freeformer to product designers, prototype manufacturers and rapid manufacturing service providers.

The Freeformer does not need a mold. It does have a conventional plasticizing cylinder. A key is a rigid discharge unit that contains a patented nozzle that opens and closes using piezo technology−up to 100 times a second.

Arburg worked with the Technical University of Munich to produce the nozzle closure with piezo technology. The discharge unit remains fixed, while the component carrier is moved. Parts are built up layer by layer.

Freeformer also can be configured with two discharge units to make it into a multicomponent machine, so it could even turn out hard-soft combinations or products with multiple colors.

Arburg technical experts began to develop the technology in 2004.

Herbert Kraibühler, managing director of technology and engineering, compared the Freeformer to the Arburg's Allrounder back in 1961.

Freeformer was developed by Kraibuhler and Eberhard Duffner, head of development at Arburg, based in Lossburg in Germany's Black Forest.

Kraibuhler said plastics processors need to have access to additive manufacturing. "Because it is a future topic that affects us all," he said, "We are faced with rapid technical developments, short product life cycles, increasing variety and the desire for customized products."

Duffner said Arburg, as an injection molding machinery maker, has good expertise on making an additive manufacturing machine that will appeal to plastic processors.

"We have reinvented the additive manufacturing process from the perspective of a machine constructor and have integrated material preparation in the Freeformer," Duffner said. "Who, apart from us, knows how to make droplets out of liquid plastic?"


Comments

Arburg to make additive manufacturing machines

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 15, 2013 3:35 pm ET
Updated: October 16, 2013 10:39 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Tree Armor: The buck stops here

August 20, 2014 12:17 pm ET

Pennsylvania farmer Jim Saunders pitched his idea for a vinyl wrap to protect tree trunks from deer to U.S. processors in five states but no one...    More

Image

Soaring business leads to growth for Composites Horizons

August 19, 2014 1:56 pm ET

Composites Horizons LLC is investing $12 million in new equipment and processes, in part for ceramic matrix composite production in its fourth...    More

Image

Material Insights: PolyOne shows off material to designers

August 18, 2014 12:39 pm ET

PolyOne takes its shape memory polymers to a designers conference, PET resin prices rise and Lanxess announces expansion.    More

Image

Acoustiblok soundly defeats cable show competitors

August 15, 2014 12:02 pm ET

Did you hear what happened when an ear-piercing train horn was enclosed in a flexible plastic membrane only a quarter-inch thick? Nothing.    More

Image

Trade group lists China's top plastics machinery manufacturers

August 15, 2014 9:58 am ET

The China Plastic Machine Industry Association has unveiled its latest rankings of the top 25 plastics machinery suppliers in China as well as leading...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events