At the 2019 GIFA International Foundry Trade Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, leading industrial 3D printer provider ExOne has announced the launch of the S-Max Pro, a new industrial 3D sand printer. Alongside the S-Max Pro, ExOne has also revealed a partnership with global technology and industrial manufacturing company Siemens. Their collaboration will see Siemens’ Digital Enterprise Portfolio of software and automation technology integrated into the new 3D printer from ExOne.
The S-Max Pro is designed for both prototyping and industrial series production, with a focus on speed, reliability and precision. The implementation of Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio is intended to help the system leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0, to the benefit of industrial customers in the foundry, aerospace, automotive, energy and other markets.
Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries, commented, “We are proud to further strengthen our partnership with ExOne and advance the industrialization of additive manufacturing. Siemens brings new digital technologies and its profound industrial domain know how to help ExOne generate further value.”
“The new ExOne S-Max Pro™ 3D printer proves that seamlessly integrated software and automation solutions result in shorter time to market, higher performance and maximum availability.”
The new ExOne S-Max Pro 3D printer
ExOne’s new S-Max Pro 3D printer is capable of printing at speeds of up to 135 liters per hour, equivalent to 18 seconds for each layer. It is reported that these speeds enable the 3D printer to produce two 1,800 x 1,000 x 700 (mm) job boxes, each with a volume of 1,260 L, in 24 hours. Key features of the system includes a new printhead designed to increase efficiency, as well as an automated recoater. ExOne has also made it possible to easily replace the molding material, making the S-Max Pro a suitable option for 3D sand printing complex parts using various casting materials.
Furthermore, the S-Max Pro features a ‘box-in-box’ design, helping it meet the market requirements for 24/7 operation in chains of interconnected facilities. The intention is to enable the possibility of a fully automated, scalable production line with the 3D printer. It also comes with an enhanced control system featuring inline processing and machine monitoring that allows for the monitoring of digital processes. This is designed to create a convenient machine operation experience, allowing for the early detection of printing errors and automated corrective action.
The S-Max Pro can be seen at GIFA, with ExOne exhibiting in Hall 15 at Stand A11 through June 29 at the Messe Düsseldorf.
Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio
Siemens’ Digital Enterprise portfolio consists of various hardware and software services intended to support ExOne and the S-Max Pro. This includes helping ExOne create a “digital twin”, allowing the company to virtually map its entire development process using a shared data model alongside the entire value chain. This will potentially benefit machine operators with shorter lead times, increased machine performance and smarter service decisions. Siemens recently launched a software solution allowing manufacturers to create digital twins, called Sinumerik One.
ExOne is also leveraging the MindSphere operating system from Siemens in its ‘3D Live’ app. MindSphere is an open cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) operating system, which enables the real-time analysis of machine data to provide automated decision making. Using the 3D Live app, ExOne machine operators can, for example, identify anomalies for the prevention of unplanned downtime. “With this expanded partnership, ExOne will deliver even more value to our foundry and manufacturing customers who rely on our industrial 3D printers,” stated ExOne CEO John Hartner.
“We are proud to be the first industrial 3D printer to fully integrate the latest of Siemens control, sensing and motion technologies and this new MindSphere technology, which will give our customers a new level of control and plant integration.”
As well as its expanded partnership with ExOne, Siemens, the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, has also made several other developments in the area of additive manufacturing. Most recently the company awarded a contract to develop an aerospace design and production software for metal 3D printing by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Advancing binder jet 3D printing with ExOne
The new S-Max Pro from ExOne appears to be an update to the company’s previous standard S-Max additive manufacturing system. As well as launching the S-Max Pro 3D sand printer this year, ExOne recently launched its X1 25PRO metal binder jetting 3D printer as well, which was showcased at RAPID + TCT in May 2019.
Regarding the two new releases, Hartner added “With the recent release of our X1 25PRO™ 3D metal printer, and now the launch of our new S-MAX Pro™ 3D industrial sand printer, ExOne is delivering leading-edge 3D binder jetting technology solutions to a broad range of industries and applications around the world.”
ExOne has also launched a material partnership program in a bid to advance its binder jet 3D printing technology. Since launching the program, the company has collaborated with both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Swedish engineering group Sandvik to help develop the binder jet 3D printing process.
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Featured image shows the ExOne S-Max Pro. Photo via ExOne.