Nexa3D, the maker of ultrafast polymer production 3D printers announced today the immediate commercial availability of xCast, a new material tailored specifically for the production of precision investment casting patterns on the NXE400 3D printer. xCast is ideal for foundry series production of small, large and complex metal parts for a variety of aerospace, defence, automotive, oil and gas and heavy industry applications, offering a tool less, faster and more accurate alternative to traditional pattern production.
Each xCast printing cycle is optimised for precision and yield using NexaX, the company’s Digital Twin Printing (DTP) software, through process interplay algorithms that ensure part performance and production consistency and higher yields while minimising material usage and waste, and reducing energy consumption per part.
“We are thrilled to digitise parts within the investment casting process, while bringing 20X productivity gains to foundries,” said Brent Zollinger, Head of Customer Success for Nexa3D.
“Having spent over two decades in the investment casting industry as a heavy user, it’s a privilege to be part of its transformation. What is particularly significant is that xCast patterns printed on the NXE 400 dramatically reduce the cost of traditional investment casting patterns by as much as 90% while being produced in one-tenth of the time.”
In a project recently completed for Arcimoto’s Fun Utility Vehicle, Nexa3D rapidly designed complex and light-weighted xCast patterns for generatively designed parts and assemblies. Multiple parts were combined to produce components that would have been impossible to make using traditional injected wax patterns. By using xCast, the weight of the vehicle’s steering knuckle was reduced by 36% compared to a nine-piece weldment. With investment casting to create the part, instead of direct metal laser sintering, the knuckle was printed at a tenth of the cost and time, representing significant savings.
xCast delivers precision patterns for rapid prototyping and series production that seamlessly integrate into any production foundry’s dip-shell or flask-type investment casting process, delivering tool less, semi-hollow plastic patterns instead of wax patterns. xCast patterns are processed similarly to wax without autoclave and are flash fired from the ceramic mould. Featuring low ash content, xCast can be used to create high resolution parts with excellent surface finishes.