VOXELJET TECHNOLOGY GmbH has developed a new, large-scale 3D printing system that operates at three times the speed of the company’s standard 3D printers, with comparable resolution and precision thanks to a particularly wide printing head that produces a 120-micrometer layer in just two passes. The system is already in use by Voxeljet’s service division, producing metalcasting sand molds and prototypes.
Voxeljet, of Augsburg, Germany, designs and supplies printing machines for patternless manufacturing of sand casting molds and plastic components, according to customer specifications. Its service division manufactures sand molds and cores for foundries.
The VX4000 machine is able to produce objects with dimensions of 4 × 2 × 1 meters to be produced. "With our new VX4000 we can generate molds the size of a sports car, the limit being a volume of eight cubic meters,” according to Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO. “This presents users with undreamt-of possibilities. The enormous build space enables the rapid production of large individual molds, but is also flexible enough to allow the cost-effective production of small batches."
The complete system is nearly 20-m long, measuring 7 × 4 m (H × W), and built to endure industrial conditions. All the components of the VX4000 are designed for continuous, round-the-clock operation.
Using 3D CAD data, the molds are generated automatically and without tools in a layering process. The labor- and cost-intensive process of mold set-up required by other methods is eliminated, and thanks to the VX4000’s ability to build the layers reliably at record speeds, the production of diverse objects and molds is not only fast but also cost-effective. Even complex geometries with undercuts can be generated in minute detail and with high precision.
"Adding the VX4000 to our range of models expands our product portfolio of standard and high-definition printers in a logical way. With a range that extends from the VX500 through the VX800 to the VX4000, we now cover build space lengths of 500 to 4,000 mm. This means that we have the right system in our portfolio for virtually any application and any client – from architectural office to automaker," said Dr. Ederer.