Voxeljet AG, in collaboration with Loramendi, has introduced the first fully automated additive serial 3D production line for sand cores. This development is part of the Industrialization of Core Printing (ICP) cooperation project.
The inaugural ICP production line is operational at BMW Group’s Landshut facility, the company’s largest component plant serving global operations. This state-of-the-art system integrates voxeljet’s rapid VX1300-X 3D printers with a comprehensive automated pre-and post-processing workflow. This includes utilizing industrial microwaves to cure the 3D printed cores. The advanced VJET-X 3D printers have enhanced printing rates by a factor of ten. Moreover, the design of the sand cores facilitates rapid variant changes, eliminating the need for tool changes and minimizing downtime. Impressively, all unused material is recycled within the production chain.
Dr. Ingo Ederer, voxeljet’s CEO, emphasized the importance of this automated line not just for voxeljet, but also for the broader sectors of 3D printing and automotive manufacturing. The collaboration between voxeljet, Loramendi, and BMW has yielded a low-emissions solution that stands out. By utilizing 3D printed cores, BMW has enhanced the design of its engine components, notably the cylinder head for its B48 engine. This 3D technique simplifies engine component design and boosts efficiency and fuel economy. Moreover, the inorganic 3D production method slashes foundry emissions, as only water steam is generated during casting.
Voxeljet’s advanced binder jetting 3D printing technology employs sand and an inorganic binder. This method produces cores which undergo unpacking, microwave curing, cleaning, and inspection before integration into BMW’s casting process. Voxeljet has secured various patents to protect this unique method globally.
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