The German K Show was held on the 16th-23rd of October in Düsseldorf with over 3,000 exhibitors from 56 countries. The show attracts over 220,000 visitors from 109 countries with 57% of them being international. The event has over 168,000sqm of exhibition space across 19 halls and has the following categories for plastics and rubber industry:
- Raw materials and auxiliaries
- Semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastics
- Machinery & equipment for the plastics and rubber industries
- Services for the plastics and rubber industries
- Target groups
One of the sensations of the show and sector that fast developing is additive manufacturing and a process such as 3D printing – the process typically takes 3D data and prints a part by building layers of semi-liquid resins like squeezing toothpaste. There are number of 3D printing processes described here.
Some of the constraints of 3D printing are
- Finish quality
- Waste material from the build process
- Post-process finishing, usually by hand
- Component functionality, material type and component strength
This is where the sensation of the show steps in claiming the Arburg Freeformer produces fully functional parts from standard injection granules without a mould to a higher quality, no waste material, no finishing in production material approx. 70-80% of an injection moulded component.
Many injection moulding companies have been investing in 3D printing and offering the services to their customers but Kavia has held back as it has not been satisfied with the current technologies because of the constraints listed above. Kavia already uses 7 Arburg injection moulding machines ranging from 35T to 200T so will certainly be considering this technology when it is commercially available in 8 months time (August 2014).
Some key features of the Arburg Freeformer
Because the machine is using production grade injection moulding granules it has one or two screw/barrels connected to the pulsed nozzle system. The nozzles can deliver 100 droplet/second to build the part up with high accuracy.
The two nozzles can be used for different parts or the same parts offering colour, material type and if on the same part over-moulding options. The other unique feature of the Freeformer is the 3 or 5 axis moving head, the latter allows for undercuts to be formed without supporting structure and the build process to be optimised with the component shape.
Kavia currently supports our customers that require prototypes or short batch runs with a number of solutions that is most effective for the customer requirements that typically include: cost, time, quality and functional performance.