voxeljet claims to have the largest 3D printing system located in Michigan– the VX4000 3D printer. Such large 3D printers fill a need in the cast parts market, which in the U.S. focuses on build size. At 4000 x 2000 x 1000 mm, the build space more or less corresponds to the size of a VW Golf car. Thus, this printer can be used in the manufacture of large rotors and turbines, often more quickly and cost-effectively than using traditional methods.
The VX4000 produces large sand molds and can combine these with smaller mold components for the flexibility needed to deliver molds quickly and cost efficiently. It also prints stable side walls, which means that the size of the build space can be adjusted as needed.
This printer handles heavy weight easily. Instead of the build platform lowering during layer deposition, the print head is raised with each layer. The building platform can also be quickly replaced with a rail for virtually continuous 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 is unpacked–cleaned of excess sand. Since sand molds are created directly from CAD data, they set the trend in terms of 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 use this technology. Such as the automotive industry, machine building sector and the spare parts industry, in particular.