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A printed sand mold for a 1200mm pump produced by 3Dealise on its ExOne SMax printer

New 3D Printer Following Manufacturing Trends

Nov. 23, 2014
3Dealise six-month progress report shows possibilities for custom manufacturing Two reasons for progress Vintage engine blocks Maximum build area

Printed sand molds are gaining popularity among European foundries, at least as evidenced by the progress of 3Dealise, a new London-based firm that started up in May, offering 3D scanning and measurement, reverse engineering, and rapid prototyping, as well as 3D printing.

“This new technology is important for two reasons,” explained 3Dealise CEO Roland Stapper. “First, the success of manufacturing in highly developed regions depends on the ability to quickly innovate and turn ideas into prototypes and then products. By enabling clients to go directly from a high-quality computer design to a high-quality and high-precision prototype, we can speed up the prototype cycle, which can give manufacturers in this region a real edge.

Stapper then suggested mass production of engineered parts is being displaced by “customized products designed to meet specific needs. 3D printing is particularly well suited to produce customized products because every print can be different,” he said. “Local production is crucial to this concept, because shipping time must be minimized.”

For example, the company is promoting its capability to collectors and restorers of vintage cars and aircraft, offering to recreate engine blocks according to original designs. The service involves 3D scanning of original castings, reverse engineering the block from the scanned data, printing a mold according to the collected data, and producing the casting according to customers’ requirements.

3Dealise prints sand molds on an ExOne S-Max system: With a maximum build area of 1,800x1,000x700 mm, it’s reportedly the largest and fastest 3D printer now available for producing molds in bonded sand material.

According to the new firm’s website, it traces its origins to Sanders Gears Castings Machining, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of cast iron pumps housings, impellers, gear boxes, machine frames, gears, thruster houses, sheaves, and wear-resistant parts.

This week 3Dealise announced it had printed 115,000 liters of sand during the first six months of operation, including large-dimension molds for castings produced without patterns, or metal prototypes, or small-volume production.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)