Sand (and plastic) binder jetting 3D printer vendor voxeljet also operates as a major service provider. In 2020, its’ service activities have delivered an impressive 131,000 3D printed parts, which—if stacked—would measure 604 meters in height (based on the average build platform of all 3D printers operated in the company’s European Service Center).
That’s not all. The total machine runtime to produce these parts was 32,000 hours, which is 1,333 or 3.7 years of printing. In total, the weight of the materials consumed reached 750 metric tonnes. These are not “standard” 3D printing material consumption rates but this is what sand binder jetting can achieve today.
About two-thirds of the parts produced were printed in sand with furan resin-based (FDB) binders the rest is divided between plastics (mainly PMMA) and sand using phenolic resin-based binders. Voxeljet’s 3D Parts On-Demand service can deliver anything from polymer models, plastic patterns or molds and cores for metal casting or finished castings, right through to effective outsourced industrial production of small and medium-sized components and sand mold series.
The German company’s 3D production specialists for additive manufacturing have built experience over two decades and in Germany alone, the company offers on-demand service with production capacities of over 4,700,000 liters per year. In addition, voxeljet now runs service centers in the USA and China.
Developed for 3D sand, plastic and ceramic printing, voxeljet Universal Binder Jetting (UBJ) is a powerful 3D printing technology for producing high-precision sand, PMMA and ceramic prints. For example, for the industrial production of sand cores for metal casting. In contrast to conventional processes, the binder is processed inline in the machine with pinpoint accuracy, for controlled results with dynamic inline inkjet technology. All of voxeljet’s 3D printing systems rely on high-quality, specially developed print heads designed for 24/7 operation.
Metal casts can thus be manufactured without tools using just the Binder Jetting process with specially matched sand binder combinations for a wide range of metals and alloys. This can lead to an economical alternative to fast and flexible production with small and extremely large components in a volume range from 300 x 200 x 150 mm³ to 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm³. Casting volumes of up to approx. 80 tons casting weight have already been realized.
PMMA is used for the additive production of plastic investment casting models. These acrylic plastics have excellent burn-out properties and can be used to produce complex geometries in small and medium runs, without the need for costly model production. Component sizes can go up up to 1,000 x 600 x 500 mm³.