Danko Arlington invests in 3-D sand printer

Posted on 03 Feb 2018 and read 555 times
Danko Arlington invests in 3-D sand printerDanko Arlington Inc — based in Baltimore and the American Foundry Society’s Metalcaster of the Year — recently installed its first 3-D sand printer.

Designed and made by the German company Voxeljet, the new VX1000-PDB is the first of its kind in the USA.

PDB stands for phenolic direct binding, which uses a 600dpi print head to selectively eject glue onto a thin bed of sand.

The application of infra-red heat then cures the glue to build up a solid sand mould, layer by layer.

After printing, any unbound sand is recycled; and after metal casting, the solid PDB sand moulds can be crushed and thermally reclaimed in Danko Arlington’s sand recycler.

The additive process eliminates the need for a die or pattern to create a mould cavity, allowing engineers to design metal castings on a computer and then have the printer make the sand moulds automatically.

With 3-D sand printing, molten alloys can be poured to custom shapes within hours, instead of waiting — often weeks — for traditional tooling to be made.

For years, the VX1000 has been a proven platform for printing plastic models and moulds for the investment casting process using PMMA (Poly-methyl meth-acrylate) material.

With the machine now adapted for sand, printing layer thicknesses of about 300µm (0.012in) will allow for particularly high accuracies.

The machine’s printing envelope of 1000 x 600 x 500mm allows for the quick production of medium-size components, functional prototypes and complex sand cores.

Danko Arlington has recently renovated about 5,000ft2 of its pattern shop to house this new equipment.

The company’s new Additive Manufacturing (AM) centre will also house two large Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3-D printers, which have been producing polycarbonate patterns and core boxes since 2010.

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