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 Industrialisation 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.
“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,” said Dr. Ingo Ederer, Chief Executive Officer of voxeljet.
The ICP technology and partnership was officially launched at GIFA 2019.
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, moulding 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. 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,” stated Joseba Goitia, General Manager of Loramendi.
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 10 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 industrialised core printing with our alliance partners Loramendi and voxeljet,” said Frank Coenen, CEO of ASK Chemicals.