The largest printer for creating casting molds goes live in the US. It’s a Voxeljet VX4000 with a print area similar to a VW-Golf.
The VX4000 has a huge print area of up to 4 x 2 x 1 meters (LxWxH). In order not to loose its flexibility, the printer can shrink its print area with a special technique. Therefore it prints side walls when printing the forms into the sand. With this trick it can dynamically change the print area if you have smaller objects.
Another advantage of the VX4000 is the way the print head is moved. Until now it was common to move the building platform. But this platform gets really heavy during the printing process because lots of material will be used. So they designed the print head to move and the platform is static during the printing process. When printing is finished you get a mold consisting out of sand and binder. The mold is then used for the conventional molding technique. Therefor it is filled with liquid metal that hardens out in the right form – with this technique the mold is lost after one usage.
Voxeljet hopes to get even bigger on the US market with their new printer and to sell a few VX4000 this year – the first model is already running. 3D printing molds is very efficient according to Voxeljet, it should be possible to reduce the costs up to 75%.
The market for cast parts in the US has always focused on size. 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