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Rapid Prototyping Discussion

Rapid Prototyping Discussion

Postby PHoodDaniel » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:43 am

Post any ideas on new or existing types of rapid prototyping machines that interests you. Some examples are: SLS (selective Laser Sintering) which is my favorite, laser engraving and cutting, FDM (Fused Deposition Machine), STL (Stereolithography), photoactivated acrylic, 3D laminating machines (paper, plastic sheets, etc.).

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Re: Rapid Prototyping Discussion

Postby johnd » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:10 pm

I would be interested in hearing if anyone has any knowledge or experience of 3D printing using foundry sands to directly produce moulds (molds) for making castings. ExOne seem to be the only commercial company I can find who make machinery for this technology, but from their description it sounds pretty much like an ink jet printing process of the binder, with sand added to build up the layers. Is it something you could adapt a 3D printer to do? Are the materials available?

Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to produce the moulds directly from a CAD file, it appears that shapes that are difficult or impossible to produce using a pattern to mould the sand because of undercuts, drafts etc can easily be produced. While I know there are other methods such as producing a conventional 3D pattern in a plastic material and coating it in investment material the direct route to a sand mould seems good for one offs and prototypes of larger sizes.

John D
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