Laser-Sintered Robot Gripper
Tailor-made grippers e.g. for mounting, labeling and packaging of products are traditionally machined from aluminum. Now Intrion NV, Huizingen, Belgium, has decided to produce these products using an additive process. The company commissioned the Materialise Group to laser-sinter the first custom gripper members.
There are good reasons for this decision. First, the material employed - a specialty polyamide - is lighter. This is a precondition for higher robot speeds and shorter cycle times - combined with low energy consumption. A second advantage of rapid manufacturing is the short engineering and production times. It takes just two weeks to create the first model for testing and optimization. Third, laser sintering allows greater design freedom compared with machining. Channels for power and signal cables and compressed air lines can be integrated directly into the gripper, and the design can be modified at any time.
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