3Dealise featured in Castings Buyer

World’s largest commercial 3D sand printer produces first prototypes for UK customers

 

London-based 3Dealise Ltd has 3D-printed its first prototypes for a UK customer using the ExOne S-Max - the largest and fastest 3D sand printer currently available on the market, capable of producing prints up to the size of a phone box (maximum build volume 1800 x 1000 x 700mm).

 

The company uses a sand printing process to produce moulds from which large metal castings can be created. This eliminates the need for a casting pattern and cuts out an entire production step. 3D printing of casting moulds is particularly well suited to create metal prototypes and small production series.


Engineering and Copying

The full-service concept offered by 3Dealise comprises scanning, engineering and printing - this allows copying and reverse engineering of existing parts. A 3Dealise video (www.youtu.be/9JoPXiC7KoQ) shows this capability being used to reproduce and repair the damaged cylinder on a 1912 Brush car.

 

The company's CEO Roland Stapper said: "This new technology is important for two reasons. First, the success of UK manufacturing depends on the ability to quickly innovate and turn ideas into prototypes and then products. By enabling clients to go directly from a computer design to a high quality and high precision prototype, we can speed up the prototype cycle, which can give UK manufacturers a real edge."

 

"Secondly, there is a major trend away from mass production and towards customised products designed to meet specific needs. 3D printing is particularly well suited to produce customised products because every print can be different. Local UK production is crucial to this concept, because shipping time must be minimised."

 

Sand printing additionally allows ‘freedom of design’ because traditional constraints such as draft angles no longer apply, enabling a world of new design possibilities. Higher accuracy and repeatability enable near net shape castings that reduce waste and are more energy efficient over their lifetime.

 

Stapper continued: "Printed parts can be stacked ‘like Lego’ to make even bigger shapes, such as a casting mould for a 1200mm diameter pump that was printed by 3Dealise recently."

 

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