voxeljet Announces Arrival of Largest Industrial 3D Printer in North America
Ian Wright posted on April 28, 2016 |
VX4000 has a contiguous build volume of 282 cubic feet.
Inside the VX4000. (Image courtesy of voxeljet AG.)
Inside the VX4000. (Image courtesy of voxeljet AG.)
The VX4000, an enormous industrial 3D printer from voxeljet AG, has arrived in North America. According to the company, it is the largest industrial 3D printer in the world, with a build space of 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm or roughly 282 cubic feet.

 

3D Printing Large Sand Molds

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.
External view of the VX4000. (Image courtesy of voxeljet AG.)
External view of the VX4000. (Image courtesy of voxeljet AG.)
The VX4000 prints at a 300-dpi resolution with a layer thickness of 300 µm. 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 make it well-suited to creating sand molds for casting large components, such as aerospace and automotive body parts, as well as rotors and turbines in the energy industry.

Parts built on the VX4000 are compatible with all castable metals, including aluminum, brass, magnesium, iron and steel.

 

Additive Manufacturing in the USA

“We decided to place our largest printing system in the US in order to service growing demand in the US market directly on location,” said Rudolf Franz, COO of voxeljet AG. “Indirect beneficiaries of this high-end technology are the automotive industry, the special machine building sector and the spare parts industry in particular.”

The VX4000 in action.

The printer was installed at voxeljet’s Canton, MI facility, which will act as a service center for on-demand production of sand and plastic molds based on CAD data. The choice to situate the facility in Michigan suggests that voxeljet AG, like DMG MORI, is optimistic about the prospects for US manufacturing.

For more information, visit the voxeljet website.

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