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Casting Molds 3-D Printed Rather Than Cast



"voxeljet increases its presence in the U.S. growth market with the start-up of the largest 3-D printing system in Michigan, the VX4000 3-D printer," said a company spokesperson. "This benefits in particular the U.S. foundry industry, which is a direct consumer of these services. For example, 3-D printers can be used to manufacture large rotors and turbines - and usually much more quickly and cost-effectively than using traditional methods."

The VX4000 3-D printing system for sand molds offers larger continuous build volumes. At 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm (L x W x H), the build space more or less corresponds to the size of a VW Golf car.

"The market for cast parts in the U.S. has always focused on size," said David Tait, Managing Director of voxeljet America "With the VX4000, we not only produce the largest sand molds in the world, but can also combine these with smaller mold components. The resulting flexibility provides for rapid delivery times and cost-efficient production."

Printing Process Adapted to Large Designs

"The VX4000 is very fast and easy to operate. In addition to ensuring cost-effective production processes for very large individual molds, this huge 3-D printer can also be used to produce small series parts or a combination of the two," said the spokesperson. In addition, it also prints stable sidewalls, which means that the size of the build space can be adjusted as needed.

The layer building method has been especially adapted for this printer. Therefore the building platform is not lowered during the printing process, but rather the print head is raised with each layer. The machine thus supports the heavy weight of the building platform, which can also be quickly replaced via a rail. This allows for permanent printing.

The molds are created with the layer-wise application of the particle material quartz sand, which is glued together with a binding agent. After the printing process is complete, the mold only has to be unpacked, i.e. cleaned of excess sand. Since sand molds are created directly from CAD data, they provide richness of detail and precision.

"Although voxeljet has specialized in additive manufacturing for the foundry industry, in general every company that uses casting processes - hence designs, processes, uses or optimizes cast parts - can benefit from voxeljet's technology," said the spokesperson.

"We decided to place our largest printing system in the U.S. in order to service growing demand in the U.S. market. Our objective is to strengthen our most important growth market with a diversified portfolio of machines, materials and processes," said Rudolf Franz, COO of voxeljet AG. Indirect beneficiaries of this high-end technology are the automotive industry, the special machine building sector and the spare parts industry in particular.

Advantages of 3-D-Printed Sand Molds and Cores Reported by voxeljet

  • Economical production: Sand molds and cores are printed in one piece without complex and expensive tool production.
  • Large-format printing: Large molds can be produced on a build platform measuring 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm (L x W x H).
  • Fast availability: Express delivery in only 3 working days.
  • Complex components: Nearly unlimited geometries and even undercuts can be implemented.
  • Precise sand molds and cores with high surface quality: With 300 µm thin quartz sand layers.
  • Familiar features: Quartz sand and furan resin with series-comparable mold and casting properties.
  • Suitable for sand-casting all castable metals, such as aluminum, brass, magnesium, iron and steel casting as well as all common alloys.
  • Combinations possible: 3-D printed cores can be combined with traditional sand molds, and vice versa.
  • Simple core removal: A low binder content means that the behavior during outgassing and core removal is similar to traditional methods.
  • Ideal for prototype production and tool optimization: The development and improvement of e.g. tools using 3-D printing is faster, more flexible and more economical.

For more information contact:

David Tait, Managing Director

voxeljet America Inc.

41430 Haggerty Circle

Canton, MI 48188

734-808-0025

david.tait@voxeljet.com

www.voxeljet.com

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