Plastic machine part

Plastic gear printed in 3D

Reduction of production line downtime

Could plastic be better than aluminium? In this particular situation it definitely is.

‘Using plastic gears printed on a 3D printer significantly reduces the costs of repairing the production line and its downtime.’

Client’s statement

The aluminum gears that were used on a customer’s production line would break during operation (because of overloading) causing machine damage. As a result, the machine was off the production line from 3 to 6 months. Such a long downtime generated high costs and dissatisfaction among the company’s customers whose orders could not be met.

The company was looking for an alternative to the aluminum parts that were the cause of the problem.

The perfect solution would be a durable material that would not affect other machine elements. It should break straight away – not wrap around other parts (as was the case with aluminium gears). The decision was to replace aluminium parts with those printed in 3D technology.

At present, if a gear fails in machine mode, it does not affect the proper working of other achine parts. It breaks, the machine stops and the part is replaced by another one printed in 3D (with PC-ABS-47). The customer prefers to change the plastic part once a week instead of having the machine repaired every quarter.

3D print specification

INDUSTRYFood Industry
CATEGORYTooling
MATERIALPC-ABS-47
PRINT TIME12 h
SIZE300 x 300 x 20 mm
WEIGHT450 g