Ponds and lakes often accumulate nutrients, which causes excessive growth of plants. Each year, the overall growth of both beneficial and unwanted plants increases and can eventually become a problem.
Too much plant or algae growth looks unsightly, can cause poor circulation, make it difficult to swim or make the pond difficult to use for recreation.
To counter this, amphibious lake weed mowers are used – the cutting knives are tensioned and guided with the help of expendable bushings which require replacing up to 3 times each season. Replacing the bushings each time can cost up to 180$ in parts alone. The costs quickly add up if a business owns multiple such lake weed mowers.
With 3D printing the cost was reduced by up to 15 times.
3D printed bushings in action
With 3D printing, the Latvian company “Amfilat” reduced the part cost by up to 15 times and gained the ability to produce spare parts and jigs in-house which in turn, greatly reduced equipment down-time. The bushings are printed using Mass Portal XD20 and Igus Iglidur l180-PF – which proved to be a good alternative to the original parts, Igus Iglidur l180-PF was chosen because of excellent wear resistance as well as high temperature resistance, ensuring longevity of the 3d printed spare parts.