“How long does my printed gear last?” New igus online tool predicts running time

Sven Weber | 13. May 2019

To change torque or speed over one or more stages, gears are used in some gearboxes. Since gears with complex involute toothing are often required, which cannot be designed without tools, igus developed the gear configurator two years ago. This was extended last year by the configuration of double gears. In just a few steps, the user only has to enter the data of his gear such as tooth module, number of teeth, width and inner diameter of the bore. A 3D model is automatically displayed and can be exported as a STEP file. By uploading the file in the igus 3D printing service (www.igus.de/3DDruckservice), the configured gear can be ordered directly from igus from the extremely durable SLS material iglidur I3. So that the customer can also determine the service life of his wear-resistant gear, igus has now developed the gear service life calculator. This gives the user a concrete statement about the service life and application limits of his gear pair in just three steps.

within 3d steps to the perfect gear

In the first step, the user must first enter the number of teeth, the width and the tooth module of the gear pair again. Here the customer can choose between gears made of iglidur I3, a metal or another plastic. In the second step, the tool asks for the speed and the torque of the large or small gear wheel, depending on which gear wheel the values are for. The last step is to determine the duty cycle of the printed gear, the mode of operation, the ambient temperature and the safety factor. Based on the specified parameters, the new online tool can determine the service life of the 3D-printed gear in seconds. Maintenance can thus be planned in advance.

Printed gears convince in the swivel test

The high-performance plastic iglidur I3 has been specially developed for the production of wear parts such as gear wheels using the SLS process. The material is very abrasion-resistant and durable, as a test in the in-house 3,800 square metre test laboratory shows. In the swivel test at 1440┬░, at a speed of 0.1 m/s and a torque of 2.2 Nm, an additive gear wheel made of iglidur I3 was pressed against a POM injected gear wheel and a POM milled gear wheel. All gears had 30 teeth and a width of 16 mm. While the injected POM gear already failed after 4,000 cycles and the milled POM gear also broke after 12,500 cycles, the iglidur I3 gear withstood almost 20,000 cycles.

The gear life time calculator can be used free of charge at

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