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

Western Case grows with investments in infrastructure and equipment

February 27, 2015 5:56 pm ET

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. — Blow molder Western Case Inc. has invested significantly in infrastructure and equipment while relocating and raising the...    More

Image

West Coast ports dispute impacts machinery imports

February 27, 2015 5:00 pm ET

Asian machinery companies got caught in the West Coast ports labor dispute — causing some headaches to get equipment ready for NPE 2015.    More

Image

Wittmann, Illig among machinery firms boosting investments in India

February 27, 2015 1:34 pm ET

GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — Expected growth in the Indian plastics market is leading several global machinery firms to make investments there,...    More

Image

Born to be plastic — a DIY Harley-Davidson

February 27, 2015 11:12 am ET

Owning a real Harley-Davidson was not enough for bike nut Peter Manning; he wanted a model of his favorite motorcycle too.    More

Image

NFM Welding Engineers opens direct office in China

February 26, 2015 2:05 pm ET

MASSILLON, OHIO — Extrusion equipment manufacturer NFM Welding Engineers Inc. has opened a sales office in Dalian, China.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events