At the 56th International Engineering Fair in Brno, the MSV 2014, the Freeformer was presented to the Czech trade visitors for the first time. With great success: the new industrial system for the additive manufacturing of functional plastic parts was awarded the gold medal in the category "Best Innovative Exhibit".
"We're delighted that our Freeformer was awarded the gold medal. We will share this success with our existing and new customers," said Jaroslav Novak, Managing Director of Arburg's subsidiary in the Czech Republic. The competition is sponsored by the Czech Association for Industry and Trade and the Czech University, and adjudicated by an international panel of judges. This year, 24 exhibits were nominated, of which five received awards. Jan Mládek, Minister for Trade and Industry, presented the award for the Freeformer in the setting of a gala evening on 29 September 2014.
The Freeformer and the additive Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF) process, which celebrated their world premiere at the K 2013, convinced the panel of judges and the trade visitors in Brno alike. The capability to process inexpensive, commercially available standard granulates and to produce fully-functional components based on 3D CAD data without a mould is unique. As with injection moulding, the granulate is first melted in a plasticising cylinder. The plastic droplets are then applied in layers onto the component carrier using a stationary discharge unit featuring a special nozzle. The desired three-dimensional component is thus created layer-by-layer.
The range of products which can be manufactured additively with the Freeformer includes components with complex geometries, hard/soft combinations and fully functional replacement parts. Brand new for the Freeformer is the option of building up water-soluble structures from a special supporting material. This makes it possible to achieve unusual or complex component geometries.
Freeformer awarded in Czech Republic