Voxeljet Largest industrial 3D printer
United States – German 3D printer company Voxeljet, which specialises in the development of industrial additive manufacturing systems, has recently expanded its presence in North America by launching operations of the largest 3D printing system, the VX4000 3D printer, the company said.
The new, large-scale 3D printing system will be operating at Voxeljet’s Michigan location, and effectively showcases the German company’s growing importance in the US additive manufacturing market.
According to the company, the system offers a build space of 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm, or roughly the size of a Volkswagen Golf. “The market for cast parts in the US has always been focussing on size," David Tait, managing director of Voxeljet America, said. "With the VX4000, we not only produce the largest sand moulds in the world, but can also combine these with smaller mould components. The resulting flexibility provides rapid delivery times and cost-efficient production.”
Unlike smaller 3D printers, which lower the building platform with each new layer, the VX4000 uses a coater to deposit new layers and incrementally raises its print head, allowing the machine to support heavy loads. The coater deposits raw silica sand as particulate material, which is then combined with a phenolic resin binder applied by the print head. The print head itself is wide enough to print a complete layer in two passes.
The VX4000 prints at a 300-dpi resolution with a layer thickness of 300 µm, Voxeljet said. It also prints stable side walls to support large volume parts, allowing the dimensions of the build space to be adjusted as needed. These features are said to make it well-suited to creating sand moulds for casting large components, such as aerospace and automotive body parts as well as rotors and turbines in the energy industry. According to the company, parts built by the VX4000 are compatible with all castable metals, including aluminum, brass, magnesium, iron and steel.
With the decision to introduce the VX4000 in the United States, Voxeljet completes its service range for the on-demand 3D printing of large sand moulds in this market. “We decided to place our largest printing system in the US in order to service growing demand in the US market directly on location. Our objective is to strengthen our most important growth market with a diversified portfolio of machines, materials and processes,” Rudolf Franz, COO of Voxeljet explained.