3D Printers

ExOne working with Catalysis on new rapid tooling process

Additive manufacturing OEM ExOne has collaborated with Catalysis Additive Tooling, an Ohio-based 3D print tooling and part manufacturer, to create a new process for 3D printed tooling for low-to-medium volume production parts.

Furthermore, Catalysis is working with ExOne to help manufacture the new X1 25 Pro 3D printer using its tooling processes, which will be showcased at RAPID + TCT in May 2019.

The “revolutionary new rapid tooling process”, utilizing binder jetting technology from ExOne, will provide Catalysis’ customers with a uniquely designed tool as well as advantages in speed and cost. “We are pleased to add ExOne’s binder jetting technology to our family of 3D printing offerings,” explained Darrell Stafford, Chief Executive Officer and President of Catalysis Additive Tooling. “We offer a number of different 3D printing technologies and select the best technology to meet and exceed our customers’ needs, based on the specific application. Given its speed and volume capabilities, we are especially interested in binder jetting for production parts. ExOne offers the best solution to satisfy this need.”

“With an ever-increasing number of applications, we are finding that our go-to technology for development of thermoforming, composite and foam tooling is binder jetting.” 

The vacuum forming tools used to produce the panels for the ExOne X1 25 Pro 3D printer. Image via Catalysis.
The vacuum forming tools used to produce the panels for the ExOne X1 25Pro 3D printer, made using its binder jetting process. Image via Catalysis.

Increased efficiency with binder jetting tooling

Catalysis Additive Tooling aims to provide its customers with a complete “One Stop Shop” solution by 3D printing tooling as well as manufacturing parts for customers. With customers in a variety of sectors, including automotive, medical and aerospace, Catalysis has developed tooling and manufacturing processes for metal forming, vacuum forming and plastic injection. It combines its unique tool designs and proprietary resins and coatings with 3D printing to offer customers tooling or end use parts with reduced cost and lead times compared to conventional manufacturing processes.

The process developed by Catalysis and ExOne begins with a sand mold which is 3D printed using binder jetting technology in ExOne’s S-Max system. Binder jetting enables the tooling to be used in vacuum forming and layup tooling processes. The mold is based on a unique design provided by the customer, which is then processed with Catalysis’ proprietary coatings. These coatings allow the mold to become a reusable tool to make a plastic, fiberglass, foam or other composite part within traditional injection, vacuum formed or cast processes. With ExOne’s binder jetting technology, Catalysis is able to produce a uniquely designed and reusable tool with increased speed and reduced costs, thus benefiting its customers as well.

“This collaboration with Catalysis represents yet another avenue for us to deliver the benefits of our 3D printing binder jetting technology to the market,” commented Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer. “Catalysis’ broad and innovative customer base seeks the significant cost and efficiency advantages that our technology provides.”

The companies have continued to develop their collaborative relationship, with Catalysis also helping to manufacture ExOne’s X125 Pro 3D printer by producing the panels for the new system, using binder jetting technology. Catalysis is 3D printing vacuum forming tools specifically designed for the ExOne 3D printer with CAD design software, and then vacuum forming the covers for the system with the uniquely designed tool. The ExOne X125 Pro 3D has also been nominated for the Enterprise 3D printer of the year (Metals) category in the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards. To cast your vote, and view the other nominations, visit here.

Vacuum forming the X1 25 Pro cover using tools made with binder jetting technology. Video via Catalysis.
Vacuum forming the X1 25Pro cover using tools made with binder jetting technology. Video via Catalysis.

The ExOne X1 25Pro 3D printer

3D Printing Industry has taken an in-depth look at ExOne’s new X1 25Pro 3D printer and its technical specifications. The system is built to satisfy the high standards set by traditional metal injection molding (MIM), powder metallurgy, and manufacturing technologies using ExOne’s patent-pending powder processing technology. This is achieved through ExOne’s latest state-of-the-art recoating technology, which has also helped MIM supplier MiMtechnik to cut its product development lead times using ExOne’s INNOVENT+ system.

Regarding the X1 25Pro, Rick Lucas has commented, “Our X1 25PRO™ is the first of two machines that we are introducing by the end of the first half of 2019, utilizing our state-of-the-art patent pending MIM powder processing machine technologies. We believe these new production machines will be the most flexible and highest performing binder jetting machines in the market.”

ExOne’s X1 25Pro 3D printer has been nominated in the third annual 3D Printing Industry Awards. View the nominations and help decide this year’s winners now.

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Featured image shows the vacuum forming tools used to produce the panels for the ExOne X1 25 Pro 3D printer. Image via Catalysis.