To accelerate the research and development of their engines, Weichai employs 3D printing at its state-of-the-art digital moulding center. They’re not printing metal components, rather accurate moulds to cast the final components for diesel engines using sand binder-jetting. High-quality, complex molds and cores are bonded together in layers of sand and delivered to the foundry with the fast. The cores are produced on-demand without waiting for traditional tooling to be made. Conventional tooling requires several months of lead time, making the implementation of ExOne sand 3D printing technology game-changing.
Weichai installed its first ExOne S-Max sand 3D printer in its digital moulding center in 2017. The success of adopting digital casting increased demand and two additional S-Max systems were added in 2019. The three machines offer Weichai flexible production at variable quantities, high productivity and the ability to customize with fewer design limitations. ExOne sand 3D printers create complex sand cores and molds directly from 3D CAD data, allowing the company to produce castings for a versatile range of applications– including blocks, heads and gearbox chambers.
“The leading technology of ExOne’s sand printers helps us produce prototype cast components in advance to validate the process and the product. It has accelerated the improvement of our new engine technologies,” said Dr. Yucheng Sun, Deputy Dean of Technology and Artisan Research Institute at Weichai Power Co., Ltd.