3DP Applications

voxeljet enters alliance to industrialize core tooling production using 3D printing

German 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet has entered into an alliance with Loramendi, a Spanish tooling maker, and ASK Chemicals, a global foundry material-science company, to develop the Industrialization of Core Printing (ICP) technology. Reportedly the “world’s first fully automated 3D printed core production solution”, ICP has been designed to produce complex sand core tooling for casting processes.

Using voxeljet’s additive manufacturing technology, ICP overcomes the design limitations associated with traditional core tooling, while also matching the conventional core making process in serial-production. Dr. Ingo Ederer, Chief Executive Officer of voxeljet, commented: “We started nearly 20 years ago as a spin-off from Technical University Munich with a clear vision in mind: to match conventional manufacturing by constantly pushing technological boundaries.”

“Today I can say that, together with our partners, we are set to become the world’s first to use fully automated 3D printing in automotive serial-production. The 3D printing industry is at an inflection point and this achievement marks a key milestone in our mission.”

The ICP technology and partnership will be officially launched at the GIFA international foundry trade fair in Düsseldorf on June 26th.

3D sand printing using voxeljet 3D printer. Photo via ASK Chemicals.
3D sand printing using voxeljet 3D printer. Photo via ASK Chemicals.

ICP uses inorganic binder system on voxeljet 3D printer

Founded in 1973, Loramendi maintains a substantial background in designing and supplying solutions and turnkey projects for core making, molding and casting services. Using this expertise, the company designed ICP as a core production line that is both 3D printed and fully automated, enabling high production flexibility. Loramendi aims to increase the opportunities of industry 4.0 for core making factories and foundries with the ICP technology. “Loramendi has built equipment for the foundry industry for more than 45 years and nowadays enjoys world-wide prestige,”  stated Joseba Goitia, General Manager of Loramendi. “We are really excited about starting this new journey that will completely transform the landscape of the foundry industry and set new standards for core making.”

In order to ensure the success of the ICP solution, Loramendi collaborated with voxeljet to leverage the company’s expertise in 3D printing, as well as precision mechanics, microfluidics and materials sciences. voxeljet provided the project with its new VJET X 3D printer, said to be over ten times faster than its previous models.

Furthermore, ASK Chemicals, a supplier of casting materials, is part of the alliance to develop inorganic binding materials tailored to the requirements of the ICP technology. Its material expertise will potentially help ICP produce core tooling that meets the expected quality and productivity goals. The company provided its inorganic binder called INOTEC 3D, which was equipped on the voxeljet 3D printer. A two-component system, the INOTEC 3D consists of a printing fluid and promoter, applicable for hot-curing additive manufacturing processes.The INOTEC 3D binder will help the voxeljet 3D printer to produce sand cores with low finishing effort required, leading to castings with potentially high dimensional accuracy and surface quality.

“3D sand printing has been used in the foundry industry for many years to produce prototypes and small series. However, with the development of ever faster printers, the technology now offers new opportunities for foundries. We are therefore very pleased to take the important step towards industrialized core printing with our alliance partners Loramendi and voxeljet,” states Frank Coenen, CEO of ASK Chemicals.

Loramendi can be found at stand E34 – E26 in hall 16 at GIFA 2019, where the company will be discussing and presenting the ICP partnership and technology.

Diagram of the VJET X system. Image via Voxeljet
Diagram of the VJET X system. Image via Voxeljet

The new VJET X 3D printer

voxeljet announced that its new VJET X mass 3D printing system will be shown to the public for the first time at GIFA 2019. The VJET X is designed to be integrated into conventional metal casting lines, focusing in particular on the automotive industry.

Initially, the forthcoming VJET X was announced in August 2018 by James Reeves, Managing Director at voxeljet UK. On an investor call in April this year, reporting FY 2018 results, Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO of voxeljet, confirmed that the company had taken the first order for the system and it was currently being assembled.

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Featured image shows 3D sand printing using voxeljet 3D printer. Photo via ASK Chemicals.