3D printable bearing material from igus


A few months ago, while I was browsing through the igus catalogue looking for plain bearings I noticed that igus also produces 3D printable filament made from their tribological plastics. I approached igus and requested a technical sample, which they were very happy to do so and sent me a couple of materials.

If you are unfamiliar with igus, they are a German company that specialises in the manufacture of bearings and they were one of the first companies (I believe) to manufacture bearings from reinforced plastic material. They are now a worldwide company that have a number of business areas of which bearings is just one.

Igus very helpfully sent me a pair of material samples, specifically their iglidur I150-PF and the I180-PF materials, these are both what igus call 'tribological' materials, ones with high wear resistance, low coefficients of friction and have a wide operating temperature range. You could use these materials to print custom bearings, rollers, bosses for lead screws or even wear rings.

The I150-PF is stated to print well on machines that are not enclosed, and because I did not have an enclosure at the time I started with that material first. The material prints reasonably well with a fair amount of stringing, however this stringing is simple to clean up.

iglidur I150-PF

After I finished the enclosure I took a crack at the I180-PF, I had a little more trouble with this material and I'm still not sure whether it is best to use gluestick on the PEI sheet or just to use the PEI as it is. The Benchy had considerable surface defects in the shape of little blobs of filament, again though these were easily cleaned up.

iglidur I180-PF

Both of these materials are probably suited for machining in post, which would almost certainly help with the fit if you were using bearings on a shaft.

For more detail on the materials you can go to the igus website.

As always the material profiles that I have used can be found on my GitHub page.

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