Maintenance-free 3D Printed Grippers Make Packaging Machines More Effective

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI | Plastic grippers from a 3D printer and made with tribo-filaments from igus are 85 percent cheaper and 70 percent faster than most competitors currently being used in the packaging industry. 3D printing, one of the most impactful trends emerging in modern industry, allows for the single batches to become a reality and enabled for the personalized serial production of furniture, shoes, and watches, for example. The packaging industry can also benefit from additive manufacturing.

Since 2015, igus has been offering tribologically optimized 3D printing filaments for the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process, specifically for the printing of wearing parts. The filaments are made from self-lubricating iglide high-performance plastics and are optimized for wear and friction. Many companies have already had success using the igus tribo-filaments.

Companies that do not have 3D printers can have their individual wear-resistant parts printed directly at igus using the FDM process or selective laser sintering (SLS). For these cases, igus offers a 3D printing service.

Tribo-filaments can be obtained as a filament material, or alternatively as an already finished, ready-to-install printed component from the igus 3D printing service. The appropriate data is transferred online into the browser window in STEP format via drag and drop. Next, the required quantities are specified and a suitable material selected.


In the SLS printing process, igus can also produce complex special parts very quickly and even make components with a height of up to 300 millimeters, which could only be produced in mechanical or casting technology with much more elaborate processing and using expensive special tools.

Small batches of up to 500 units are being produced from the company’s own laser sintering material iglide I3 and the SLS material for gears iglide I6 within a very short time.


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