3D Printed Sand Mold Castings
3D printed sand molds is the newest technology General Foundry is offering to create very accurate and economical prototypes. It is very similar to any ink jet printer, except instead of printing ink, the machine is building layers of sand to create a one-time use sand mold. Printed sand molds give customer’s complete design freedom and eliminate the need for draft. Because the sand is printed or layered, there are build lines that appear on the casting’s surface finish but the process offers the same alloy choices and the same cooling rates as any of our production sand processes. For prototyping geometries that may completely change or for reducing design risks without investing in tooling, this is a game changer. Furthermore, launching sand molds while concurrently building production tooling will reduce lead times by weeks. Among other advantages, there are no size constraints, as molds can be puzzled together.
The 3D sand printed casting process is as follows:
- customer’s model is rigged by our designers
- sand molds/cores are printed from model
- sand molds/cores are cleaned and assembled
- metal is poured into printed sand molds
- shake out (off) sand from solid metal geometry