The ExOne Company, a global provider of three-dimensional ("3D") printing machines and 3D printed and other products to industrial customers, announces the first machine installation running with the new binder agent, cold hardening phenol (“CHP”). The printer was installed at the ACTech GmbH premises in Freiberg, Germany. ACTech is a leading global rapid prototyping company, which designs and produces casting prototypes and small batches for customers from various industries. Worldwide this is the first 3D printer using the new class of phenolic binder, eliminating the curing process for the cores and molds. As a result, ACTech now is able to provide prototypes of even challenging parts much faster and more cost-effective. Compared to traditional rapid prototyping procedures, this new technology enables the production of high strength molds and cores for sand castings, which until now were achievable only with laser sintering.
CHP accelerates the production process, reduces the risk of rejection and decreases the consumption of resources
With ACTech having years of experience in additive manufacturing, it was the perfect partner for ExOne to collaborate with in developing the cold 3D phenolic printing process. This process uses less binder while producing resistant cores and molds, which stand up to the complex load of the casting process. Compared to the former procedures, ACTech reduced the use of binder significantly which is a positive effect that reduces faulty parts caused by gas occlusions. Eliminating the curing time, ACTech can now produce more challenging and fragile moldings in less time and with a decreased reject rate.
Faster production of flexible to use moldings
CHP combines advantages in productivity with high-standard characteristics of the produced moldings. As a result, formative parts such as cores are now also suitable for iron and steel casting. Previously, this method was limited with conventional 3D printing systems.
Rainer Hoechsmann, Chief Development Officer of The ExOne Company, commented, "With our focus on accelerating the adoption rate of our technology particularly in the foundry markets, we are excited to offer this new binder solution. Our customers are pleased with the strength, surface finish and high temperature resistance of our cores and mold packages printed with CHP, particularly for light metal castings, such as aluminum, magnesium, iron and steel. We view this as an important offering in our technology and expect a shift in demand toward our machine platforms that allow this type of production."