While desktop 3D printing has certainly become a very potent prototyping technology, many end-product manufacturers still stay away from 3D printers for a number of reasons. Production quality is certainly one of those reasons (and one that can be overcome), but material limitations cannot be underestimated as well. Injection molding simply has access to a far wider range of materials with attractive properties. But even this is slowly changing, and more and more filaments with industrial-level properties are appearing. German manufacturer igus has just added another to that list with C210, a Tribo-Filament that is highly resistant to chemicals, high temperatures and abrasion.
igus, as you might know, is a German manufacturer of a wide range of industrial plastic components. With offices throughout the world and more than 3000 employees, they are a market leader when it comes to plastic plain bearings, spherical bearings, linear guides, technical polymer components and other plastic parts. When it comes to plastics, they pride themselves on developing over 100 new compounds every year.
While their plastic experts are mostly focused on injection molding materials (referred to as Triboplastics for their attractive abrasion-resistant properties) those same materials are now increasingly being adapted for 3D printing. Back in 2014, they already released the world’s first 3D printable Tribo-Filament, which was 50 times more resistant to abrasion than conventional 3D printing materials and even suitable for the 3D printing of bearings. Five more of these Tribo-Filaments followed.