ETG Has 3D Solution For Investment Cast Companies

Wellesbourne based Engineering Technology Group (ETG) has now introduced the latest addition to its remarkable range of additive manufacturing technology with the arrival of the ProJet® MJP 2500 IC from 3D Systems. Developed for investment casting professionals, the ProJet® MJP 2500 IC from the originator of 3D printing can produce RealWax™ patterns in a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional pattern production.

Drawing on 3D Systems’ deep expertise and unique workflow approach including software, hardware, materials and services, this digital foundry solution from ETG is designed to transform a centuries-old manufacturing process. This significantly reduces time and provides cost savings whilst creating new possibilities for the types of parts that can be cast. Typical production time for a 3D printed wax pattern is a few hours or less; no time or money is wasted on an injection moulding process for traditional pattern tools. Cost reductions for initial patterns can be significant when the cost of traditional injection mould tooling is taken into account. For example, in a cost comparison analysis conducted by Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions, a pattern tool for a mechanical cam can cost over £5000 while the 3D printed equivalent pattern cost less than £20 – with the only lead time being the short time to print the pattern.

An ideal solution for the production of metal cast components, the ProJet MJP 2500 IC is well suited to span production needs from the iterative initial design phase to bridge manufacturing and low volume production. Working in a digital workflow provides complete design freedom, enabling wax patterns to benefit from topology optimisation, light-weighting and part consolidation. Design files are prepared for 3D printing and managed with 3D Sprint™ software. The patterns are produced in VisiJet® M2 ICast, 100% wax material which delivers the same melt and burn-out characteristics of standard casting waxes and fits seamlessly into existing foundry protocols.

3D Systems’ MultiJet Printing (MJP) technology enables smooth surface finishes, sharp edges and fine details with high fidelity and repeatability to hold tight tolerances. Design iterations and design optimisation for complex parts can now be done quickly and economically.

“In keeping with 3D Systems’ strategy of transforming manufacturing with optimised additive manufacturing solutions, we developed the ProJet MJP 2500 IC to improve both the economics and functionality of investment casting patterns and the resulting parts. The ProJet MJP 2500 IC not only eliminates the need for injection-moulded tools, but it could also increase the casted part functionality while reducing part weight, both critical factors for improving part efficiency,” said Mike Stanicek, vice president, product management, plastics, 3D Systems. “This also means that service foundries can now charge a premium for parts produced in days instead of weeks. The ProJet MJP 2500 IC is a genuine game-changer for all industries that use investment casting.”