Determining the Service Life of 3D-Printed Plastic Components

Unplanned machine downtime is a horror for every engineer, especially since a failed component can lead to further damage to the machine with a little bad luck. The associated costs and effort cause a lot of companies considerable trouble. Very few manufacturers are able to state the expected service life of their components. In most cases, the machine manufacturer has to be prepared to check regularly whether signs of wear indicate an imminent replacement. Another way to prevent machine failure is to invest time and money into replacing components with wear-resistant alternatives.

A 3D printed plastic bearing after suffering mechanical failure and breaking

A worn out plastic bearing

But what if you could also determine the service life of special parts in advance?

igus® has always made it a priority to test the service life of components from its own production through extensive tests in its own laboratory. The data is made available to our customers without restriction, and what applies to the tried and tested bushings made from iglide® also applies to components with individual dimensions and geometries that are manufactured in additive manufacturing. The service life calculators for 3D-printed gears and plain bearings are already available online and without registration. 

What options are there to determine the service life of printed components made of iglidur®?

1. The gear service life calculator: With this proven, registration-free online tool, the expected service life of iglide® gear wheels can be determined. It is possible to combine iglide® gears with gears made of metal and other plastics. After completing the calculation, the tool gives tips on which modifications could make the gearwheel even longer. 

2. The plain bearing service life calculator: The "iglide® Expert System" makes it possible to find the best iglide® material for your own plain bearing by specifying your application parameters. Injection-molded bearings from the igus® catalog range as well as 3D-printed bearings are taken into account. With some adjustments and additional calculations, the plain bearing service life calculator can also be used to calculate other printed components.

Individual service life determination for printed components

The online service life calculation offers a good opportunity to quickly and easily get an impression of whether the iglide® plastics are suitable for use in your own application. If you need more precise information in the course of product development or when looking for a new, quick source of spare parts, our engineers will determine the service life of your component for you. Taking this route means you can clarify questions and provide individual information on the specific application. 

To request the service life calculation of a bearing material for a specific application, contact an igus® expert