Review – Application – 3D-Printer Ragnar Prototyping

We could not have found a better time to visit Ragnar Prototyping. The company, which specialises in 3D printing, put a prototype into operation for the first time at Aarhus University, Denmark, with an impressing print area of 1000 x 1500 x 1000 mm. And this printer is full of igus® parts.

The new dimension of 3D printing: 1000 x 1500 x 1000 mm. Merely the red ribbon indicates the celebratory atmosphere of the moment
Ragnar employees and students from the university all had their hands full in the few hours running up to this historic moment for the company and most of them got barely any sleep the previous night. One of these is Sylvester Stormby-Szöllösi, cofounder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Ragnar Prototyping. “Normal printers are smaller and thus suited to small prototypes”, he explains. “The models created by this printer can be the same height as a human.” But it is not all about spatial dimensions. “Much of what is currently printed is simply for show”, comments Stormby-Szöllösi. However, for the creator of Ragnar Prototyping it is not just about models, but about the future ability to create usable products such as sofas and chairs.

In this regard, the Danes are breaking new ground, and it becomes clear to me when speaking to Sylvester Stormby-Szöllösi that the name Ragnar was chosen for good reason. Ragnar Lodbrok was an important Viking who took risks, entered uncharted territory and “enjoyed cool adventures, just like us”, comments Stormby-Szöllösi with a wink. The Danish designers are following in the footsteps of their legendary forefather.

Many igus® components are found here: drylin® W profile guides, dryspin® high helix threads, e-chains® and iglidur® plain bearings

A look into the printer makes it possible to see various igus® components: echains ®, drylin® linear guides and dryspin® high helix threads, or to be more precise, the zero-backlash lead screws for sustainable minimum reverse play, as well as iglidur® plain bearings. Stormby-Szöllösi highlights the high pitch of the lead screws, which makes it possible to quickly position the print head for large objects. But why igus®? Mainly because of the self-lubricating properties. Stormby-Szöllösi: “We see igus® as a pioneer in its field and feel honoured to be the first company to use its technology for 3D printing” – we are simply leaning back for a moment and enjoying the complement.

Review – Application – 3D-Printer Ragnar PrototypingThe new, human-sized 3D printer from Ragnar Prototyping forms the backdrop for our obligatory group photo

We feel honoured to be part of the Ragnar Prototyping history. Thank you for this opportunity.

Best regards
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team

Review – Application – machine tools FPT Industrie S.p.A.

The company, FPT Industrie S.p.A., which we visited at its headquarters in Santa Maria di Sala near Venice, has over 44 years of experience in the production of machine tools. Since it was founded in 1969 the enterprise has continuously extended its market share domestically and internationally. Its success is due to innovative developments, particularly its own research in the area of optimising processes and products. FPT delivers machines with the highest level of technical equipment. With e-chains® from igus®.

“Dinox” is a model of the series of vertical milling machines. Design plays an important role for the Italian manufacturer. e-chains® that fit in well with the overall look of the machine are connected on the axes 

We took a closer look at machine, a boring mill from the “Spirit” series. FPT is particularly proud of this machine because the firm’s experience in building large machines and in the area of hydrostatic technology are optimally combined in this device. Our e-chains® are on all axes: For vertical motion for the downward movement of the tool, and at the front for the tool changer.

On the milling and boring machines of the “Spirit” series, the lines for the energy supply, data cables, and numerous hydraulic hoses are routed in e-chains® on all axes. The detail photos on the left show them for vertical movement (top) the downward movement (middle) and closed in front for the tool changer

Of special interest here, is the fact that on the back of the unit there are open chains, although the chains in front are closed. The reason is that processing only takes place at the front, and the lines on the back do not need to be protected against swarfs or cooling fluid. Lines for the energy supply, data cables and numerous hydraulic hoses to supply the appropriate drives are in the e-chains®.

FPT Industrie and igus® have now been collaborating for 14 years. Over this 14 year period technical difficulties have been extremely rare. If technical difficulties did occur, there was always technical consulting and support, if desired. This reliability convinced the Italian tool maker of igus®’s capacity. And naturally the versatility of the e-chains®, as well as their accessories, such as crossbars for optimal guidance of individual lines, were also impressive.

Our group photo also gives an idea of the dimensions of the machines that we were involved with at FPT Industrie S.p.A.

The “iglidur on tour” thanks FPT Industrie S.p.A. for the impressive tour. And for the fact that again and again they provide applications in which our e-chains® fulfil their intended destiny.

Best regards
igus® and the “iglidur on tour” team

Review – Application – special vehicles Auto Ribeiro Lda

The last customer visit of “iglidur® on tour” led us into the Portuguese Canelas (Vila Nova de Gaia). There, Auto Ribeiro Lda manufactures and retrofits security and special-purpose vehicles. António Soares Ribeiro founded the company in 1976. Today it supplies more than 300 vehicles annually throughout Europe. Some of the transporters on the company grounds are so large that our iglidur® mobile would fit comfortably. When they are equipped, they serve, for example, as an ambulance or armoured car.
We are looking at a deployable armoured car up close. Inside we find one of our drylin® N low profile guide. The mechanism is driven by a motor. Advantages of our component over other solutions are the low space required, particularly in depth, as well as the vibrationdampening and self-lubricating properties. Because, once installed, the lock must function reliably.

 The locking mechanism with the drylin® N low profile guide

 The stretcher of the ambulance can be secured on a transport frame and detached again, thanks to the well thought out design with igubal® clevis joints, which requires only one person for handling.

Heroes of the street: While our iglidur® test car was travelling halfway across the world, the two ambulances from Auto Ribeiro were being equipped to save lives in the future

The “iglidur® on tour” team would like to thank Auto Ribeiro for the educational tour. It reminded us once again that perfection depends on every small detail.

All the best!
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team

Review – Application – GAI S.p.A.

In march we visited the company GAI S.p.A.,  an italian leader in wine filling machines & labellers.

We got the opportunity to visit their well organized and modern production facility. In their filling machines several iglidur bearings are used with the advantages of beeing maintenance & corrosion free.

Review – Application – GAI S.p.A

Review – Application – GAI S.p.A.2

Review – Application – Solar plant at CNIM in Paris

In La Seyne sur mer we visited a fully automatic solar plant of the company CNIM. Here the sun’s rays are concentrated by a mirror system. Water was heated and transformed into steam, which can be converted into electrical energy. The slow movements of the mirror for long periods advised the installation of igubal® pillow block bearings. One of its advantages is that they are maintenance-free and also extremely weather-resistant.

Each mirror cell is carried by igubal® pillow block bearings

To ensure maximum energy utilisation of the plant, a cleaning robot tidies up line by line of the mirror system. The corrosion-free, chemical-resistant iglidur® plain bearings were installed in the bracket of the squeegee. Polymer ball bearings of the xiros® series were used for the wheel bearings. At a later point of time, igus® echains ® will be integrated again, so that the cables are routed during the cleaning process.

The cleaning robot cleans the mirrors of the installation and contributes to a maximum utilisation of energy. The squeegee is mounted with maintenance-free iglidur®.

CNIM wants to offer its customers complete turnkey solutions, since the selflubricating, maintenance-free igus® products fit well in the system.

One of the xiros® pillow block bearing

The abbreviation CNIM stands for Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée. The French mechanical engineering company was founded in 1966, but its origins go back to the middle of the 19th century. The erstwhile Forges et Chantiers da la Méditeranée had initially made a name in the construction of advanced fighting and armoured ships. Today CNIM is positioned far wider. Environmental technology and energy recovery are among the most important business sectors, and wherever possible, the design engineers rely on the products of the company igus®.

iglidur® on tour on a visit to CNIM

We are grateful to CNIM for sharing their insights and conducting discussions. We wish only the best.
igus® and the “iglidur® on tour” team

Review – Application – Foldable motor scooters

While in France, at Sophia Antipolis in Alpes-Maritimes, we were invited by XOR Motors for a visit. The start-up company was founded in 2007 by Fabrice Marion. XOR stands for “Xtraordinaires Objets sur Route” (“Xtraordinary Objects on Road” in English), and specifically it is about innovative, foldable electric scooters, which have to meet all the following criteria: they must be powerful, clean, practical, affordable – and the fun factor should also not be neglected.

A shared affection for innovative ideas (from left to right): Fabrice Marion, founder of XOR Motors, Karl Weinmeister, Nils Schneider (both iglidur® on tour) and Christophe Riandet (igus® France)

The term “clean” signifies the environmental friendliness. All the engines leaving the XOR Motors factory are exclusively electric and have a very high efficiency. About 90 percent of the energy consumed are delivered to the wheel, which is of considerable value compared to a petrol engine. In addition, 99 percent of the materials used in the scooter are recyclable, including the storage battery. The entire structure is, for example, made of aluminium. The biggest highlight, however, is: XOR Motors manufactures the first high-performance motor scooters that can be folded and thus kept very small when they are not in use.

And right here, igus® comes into action. Because, XOR Motors equips all hinge points of the folding with iglidur® plain bearings. They are inexpensive and extremely lightweight compared to conventional steel bearings, and resistant to weather because they are corrosion free. Moreover, they are self-lubricating, which offers the advantage that the customer need not worry about his plain bearings. You may say, install and forget them.

iglidur® plain bearings are installed at all hinge points of the folding. This saves weight and regular maintenance.

We are grateful to XOR Motors for the interesting time. Their passion for scooters is contagious.

That’s it, folks!

When something comes to an end, people ask you how it started and what you do afterwards.

  • “How did you get involved in the tour?”

A friend of mine, Antal, told me about this trip because I was looking for a job after my studies but received refusals only. He told me that igus® is looking for an engineer to join a road trip. The first thing I thought was: “I don’t like driving for hours.” However, I can’t miss this unique opportunity and thus, I decided to apply. They said: “Yes.” and with Nils and Sandor, the team was complete. It was risky because I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. Everybody of us had different strengths and weaknesses. However, we complemented one another, grew up and had a lot of fun together. If someone was not in a good mood, there was always one of us making the others laugh. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been possible to work and live together for the last 6 months.

  • “What do you do afterwards?”

Life goes on and we are all looking for a job right now but maybe we take some time off to travel. 😉

At the end, I want to sum it up by using numbers:
The iglidur®-car has traveled over 100,000 km with its 56 iglidur®-bearings on board to celebrate 30 years of iglidur® in over 30 countries within the last 14 months. All of the 9 applications (roof kinematics, throttle valve, alternator, window lifter, windscreen wiper, handbreak, break pedal, gear shift and seat adjustment) were tested under various conditions of the 4 continents where the car has been. There were 3 tour representatives: Sascha, Kayla and me which documented every single event and kept everybody up-to-date on the blog and Facebook. Nevertheless, it is always the result of a team working together. Hand in hand. 24/7!

For me, it was an once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity. Everytime I see the photos and videos, I can’t believe that it’s me on the screen. After the world trip and before we started the tour through Europe, I’ve asked Sascha how it feels to see himself on a large screen in front of several monuments and sightseeing spots around the world. He said: “It feels like a second life.” and I agree. Time was flying but I will always remember the trip. I have met two fantastic guys – Nils and Sandor.

I want to thank everybody who was involved in the tour! We experienced so many different cultures and met so many people across Europe. We are all one big family. Let’s never forget that! 

Thanks for following us throughout our journey!

A mosaic of the iglidur®-car based on members of the igus®-family. (Open the photo separately to have a closer look)


PS: 100,000 km and no ticket, as far as I know 😉

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