Unique work of art created with the world's largest industrial 3D printer for sand

It is four meters high and has a complex geometry that causes a stir: The sling ball is a unique work of art that has adorned a roundabout in Friedberg (Bavaria) since June 2018. voxeljet, manufacturer and operator of industrial 3D printing systems, produced the molds for the aluminum artwork with its VX4000.

The sling ball measures an impressive 3.2 x 3.5 x 4 meters. It consists of eight triple knots, six quad knots and 24 connecting arms, which are highly complex intertwined to form a geometric endless loop. The design was made by the American artist Bathsheba, who uses CAD software to design her modern art works. The district administrator of Friedberg, Dr. Klaus Metzger, inaugurated the sling ball in June 2018. “This is the most beautiful roundabout in the district,” explained Metzger to the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.

Printing in the world's largest industrial 3D printing system

The next step involved 3D printing of the top and bottom boxes as well as the casting cores. For printing the system uses standard foundry sand for aluminum metal casting. voxeljet experts transfer the finished CAD data to the VX4000, the world’s largest 3D printer for sand printing. The combined building space measures 4 x 2 x 1 meters. Beside several smaller printing systems, voxeljet AG operates three of these high-performance systems at its service centre in Friedberg. The service center has a total capacity of up to 400 tons of printed material per month.

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Art foundry casts aluminium components

The third production step was to send the molds to the Kunstgießerei Kollinger GmbH in Elchingen near Ulm. As a non-ferrous metal foundry, Kollinger is an expert in the field of large-format aluminium casting. The product portfolio of this foundry includes delicately crafted artistic sculptures, sacral objects, fittings, fountains for outdoor use and high-quality technical prototypes.

Wildly interlaced: Eight three-nodes, six four-nodes and 24 connectors

The sling ball is an impressive eye-catcher. Not only because of its expansive dimensions, but also because of its unusual and playful form, which could not be produced with such precision using any other production technique. “An incredible work of art that attracts attention from afar,” confirms 3D printing expert Kudernatsch, who is glad to have chosen the right design by artist Bathsheba. Artist Bathsheba writes on her website:

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