ACTech invests in innovative 3D cold printing technique ExOne machine

The ExOne Company, a global provider of three-dimensional (“3D”) printing machines and 3D printed and other products to industrial customers has announced the installation of the first machine running with the new binder agent, cold hardening phenol (“CHP”). The printer was installed at the ACTech GmbH premises in Freiberg, Germany.

ACTech is a leading global rapid prototyping company, which designs and produces casting prototypes and small batches for customers from various industries. Worldwide, this is the first 3D printer using the new class of phenolic binder, eliminating the curing process for the cores and moulds. As a result, ACTech is now able to provide prototypes of even challenging parts much faster and more cost-effectively. Compared to traditional rapid prototyping procedures, this new technology enables the production of high strength moulds and cores for sand castings, which until now were achievable only with laser sintering.


Moulding technique of the future: 3D cold printing with phenolic resin

With ACTech having years of experience in additive manufacturing, it was the perfect partner for ExOne to collaborate with in developing the cold 3D phenolic printing process. This process uses less binder while producing resistant cores and moulds, which stand up to the complex load of the casting process. Compared to the former procedures, ACTech reduced the use of binder significantly, which is a positive effect that reduces faulty parts caused by gas occlusions. Eliminating the curing time, ACTech can now produce more challenging and fragile moulds in less time and with a decreased reject rate.

Faster production of flexible to use moulds
CHP combines advantages in productivity with high-standard characteristics of the produced moulds. As a result, formative parts such as cores are now also suitable for iron and steel casting. Previously, this method was limited with conventional 3D printing systems.


CHP accelerates the production process, reduces the risk of rejection and decreases the consumption of resources

Rainer Hoechsmann, Chief Development Officer of The ExOne Company, commented, “With our focus on accelerating the adoption rate of our technology particularly in the foundry markets, we are excited to offer this new binder solution. Our customers are pleased with the strength, surface finish and high temperature resistance of our cores and mould packages printed with CHP, particularly for light metal castings, such as aluminium, magnesium, iron and steel. We view this as an important offering in our technology, and expect a shift in demand toward our machine platforms that allow this type of production.”

About ACTech
ACTech designs and produces casting prototypes and small batches for customers from various industries including the automotive industry and its suppliers, for the aerospace industry and for machine and equipment manufacturers. As one of the leading global rapid prototyping companies, they provide all design and production processes, under one roof, necessary for the speedy production of a complete casting prototype. From the 3D data set, the company produces complete castings, which are ready to be installed and tested. State-of-the-art rapid prototyping processes, combined with CNC pattern making and CNC machining, provide for extremely fast production of prototypes that, from the very first casting, are comparable to series production.

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