ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING: Arburg Brings Freeformer to Orlando

A 3D printer built for molders gets North American debut.

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Arburg’s new additive manufacturing system, the Freeformer, will make its North
American debut at NPE2015. Arburg, Newington Conn., will display two Freeformers, which the company launched at K 2013 (see Dec. ’13 Close Up). NPE marks the commercial launch of the machine for the U.S. market. At the show, a Freeformer will make a part from a soft TPU with a water-soluble support material—a first in additive manufacturing, according to Arburg. Bellows, hoses, sleeves, and flexible components for robotic grippers are among the possible applications.

The Freeformer utilizes standard injection molding pellets to print parts with inkjet-style deposition, instead of the liquid resins, powders, or filaments applied by other 3D printers. The second discharge unit can be used add a second material, allowing designs with multiple colors or hard/soft combinations.

In addition to running two Freeformers at the show, Arburg will also offer several presentations on additive manufacturing. Helmut Heinson, managing director-sales will provide an outlook on the global and U.S. markets at the SPI’s new NPE3D event; while at the SPE ANTEC, Heinz Gaub, managing director of technology and engineering, will discuss how additive manufacturing is changing the plastics industry.