3D Systems Debuts Solution for Investment Casting Wax Patterns

ProJet MJP 2500 IC eliminates the cost and time of tooling and storage with 3D printed wax patterns that can be used in existing foundry casting processes, according to 3D Systems. This enables affordable design iterations and improved design functionality for the resulting metal cast components.

3D Systems makes available its new 3D printing solution for investment casting professionals, the ProJet MJP 2500 IC, which produces RealWax patterns in a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional pattern production. Drawing on 3D Systems’ deep expertise and workflow approach including software, hardware, materials and services, this digital foundry solution is designed to transform an old manufacturing process, enabling time and cost savings, the company reports.

Go from wax to shell to casted part with 3D Systems ProJet MJP 2500 IC and RealWax materials. Image courtesy of 3D Systems.

Typical production time for a 3D printed wax pattern is a few hours or less; no time or money is wasted on an injection molding process for traditional pattern tools. Cost reductions for initial patterns can be significant when the cost of traditional injection molding tooling is taken into account. 

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 optimization, lightweighting 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 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 optimization for complex parts can now be done quickly and economically, according to the company.

3D printed impeller in the VisiJetM2 ICast 100% wax material built on the ProJet MJP 2500 IC with melt-away wax supports. Image courtesy of 3D Systems.

“In keeping with 3D Systems’ strategy of transforming manufacturing with optimized 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. According to Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions, the global investment casting market is valued at nearly $14 billion which includes parts for the aircraft and automotive industries. The ProJet MJP 2500 IC not only eliminates the need for injection-molded tools, it could potentially increase the casted part functionality while reducing part weight, both critical factors for improving part efficiency,” says 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.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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