Danko Arlington invests in 3-D Sand Printing

January 17, 2018 | Categories: Member News

January 2nd 2018.  Danko Arlington, Inc., the American Foundry Society’s Metalcaster of the Year, is excited to announce the installation of its first 3-D sand printer.

Designed and made by Voxeljet AG in Germany, the new VX1000-PDB is the first of its kind in the USA.  PDB stands for phenolic direct binding.  Voxeljet’s unique printing process uses a 600dpi printhead to selectively eject glue on a thin bed of sand.  An application of infrared heat then cures the glue to literally build-up a solid mold, layer by layer in sand.  Sand molds are used for metal casting because they do not burn.   After printing, any unbound sand is 100% recycled and reused in the PDB process.   After metal casting, the solid PDB sand molds can be crushed and thermally reclaimed in the company’s existing sand recycler.

The additive process eliminates the need for a die or pattern to create a mold cavity. The traditional sand casting process dates back over five thousand years ago to the Bronze Age.  This technological advantage now enables engineers to design metal castings on the computer then have the printer make the sand molds automatically.  With 3-D sand, molten alloys can be poured to custom shapes within hours instead of allowing weeks or months for time to make traditional tooling.

For years, the VX1000 has been a proven platform for printing plastic models and molds for the investment casting process using PMMA (Poly methyl methacrylate) material.  With the adaption of the machine now for sand, printing layer thicknesses of approximately 300 µm or .012” will allow for incredibly high accuracies. The machine’s printing envelope of 1000mm x 600mm x 500mm (39-3/8”x 23-5/8” x 19-5/8” high) is ideal for quickly manufacturing medium sized components, function prototypes, and complex sand cores.

Danko Arlington has recently renovated and dedicated approximately 5000 square feet of its original pattern shop constructed in 1945 to house this new state-of-the art equipment.  The new Additive Manufacturing (AM) center will also house the company’s two large Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3-D printers which have been producing polycarbonate patterns and core boxes since 2010.  This next-generation AM center will be the first of its kind in the foundry industry — allowing customers, engineers, artists, and students to access this incredible next-generation technology in Northwest Baltimore City.

Danko Arlington looks forward to inviting commercial and military customers, founders, manufacturers, educators, and local legislators to formally showcase its new AM center in the Spring of 2018.

For more information watch this video:  Phenolic-Direct-Binder Process – YouTube


Courtesy of Danko Arlington