3D Printed Molds & Cores
3D printed sand molds and cores were once an idea for the future but are now available to the foundry industry. These molds and cores are made without the cost of an expensive pattern. They are especially beneficial for small-run jobs or prototypes. Both furan and phenolic binders are available. Phenolic, however, offers higher tensile strengths at lower binder levels and yields a finer surface finish. Once a 3D STP File has been generated, the molds or cores can be 3D printed from those files and shipped to customers.
For 3D printed investment casting patterns, a PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) binder generates the mirror of the part to be cast. This PMMA pattern is then coated in a shell as the foundry’s typical wax pattern would be. However, instead of baking out the wax in an autoclave, the PMMA pattern is flashed out, leaving little or no ash residue. The shell is then poured as usual. Again, the foundry yields a pattern without tooling.
The printer machines are also available for purchase. Contact Carpenter Brothers to discuss your project.