SCHUNK’s 3D-Printed Grippers Grab All The Attention

2 min read

Various types of 3D-printed grippers from SCHUNK

Learn how SCHUNK worked with Materialise to create eGrip, the world's first fully automated design and ordering tool for 3D-printed gripper fingers. 

The challenge

Automate the design and ordering process of tailored grippers

In industrial automation, speed, accuracy, and precision are of the essence. Grippers used to pick and place items in the production line are a great example. The better you tailor them to the purpose they serve, the better they perform. But that’s usually both time-consuming and expensive. Or is it? German expert in clamping technology and gripping systems SCHUNK worked with Materialise to create eGrip, the world’s first fully automated design and ordering tool for 3D-printed gripper fingers. 

Close-up of SCHUNK 3D-printed grippers

The solution

Automated engineering and co-creation with Materialise

Materialise supported SCHUNK with software for 3D printing to create a user-friendly interface that automates the design phase and allows for immediate order placement. In addition, the platform is integrated with Materialise’s additive manufacturing automation and control software Streamics and places orders automatically in Materialise’s certified production for laser sintered PA 12

SCHUNK metal 3D-printed gripper lifting an item

The result

Design and order in 15 minutes

With just a few clicks on the web-based, license-free eGrip application, the order is on its way. Users just have to upload STEP or STL data of the part to be gripped and add specific information such as weight, gripper base, extraction direction, and relative position of the part to the gripper. The software automatically configures the gripper fingers around the part, generating the optimal finger design, and immediately gives price and estimated delivery information. The part will be delivered within a few days, which is a stark comparison to traditional methods that take several weeks. 

Various SCHUNK 3D-printed grippers lifting items

Every year, the German Messe AG rewards one innovative solution in the industrial technology field with the Hermes Award. In April 2015, five companies were nominated for this prestigious industry award, and SCHUNK was one of them! It is a great achievement that SCHUNK was selected from 70 companies based in 10 different countries. SCHUNK eGrip definitely brings tailored solutions for grippers to a whole new level. 

“eGrip is a strong example of the innovative ideas you can realize when you combine the core competencies of two leaders in their fields — SCHUNK for gripping and clamping and Materialise for 3D printing software and services,” concludes Marcel Nagel, Head of Product and Portfolio Management Gripping Systems at SCHUNK. 

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This case study in a few words


Industrial automation 

Solutions used

Materialise Streamics 

Selective laser sintering 

PA 12 

Why this approach

Automated processes 


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