Demand for sand casting molds and plastic models made with 3D printers has grown rapidly in recent years. The benefits this offers in producing prototypes and small batches are obvious: shorter production times, less reworking of cast parts and cost-efficient implementation overall. Up to now, the main beneficiaries have been foundries that use 3D printing as a useful addition to classic mold construction. However, this approach does not yet adequately cover many industrial applications. The voxeljet service center offers industrial and business customers advice on the ways in which they can benefit from 3D printing.

voxeljet is a leading manufacturer of industrial 3D printing systems. The company also operates service centers for the production of metal casting molds and models in its locations in Germany, the United States and the UK, which are able to manufacture sand molds and plastic models on demand, based on CAD data.

3D printing is used in the rapid development and (small-batch) production of cast parts. The more complex the geometry, the more economical it is to produce the parts with 3D printing. However, 3D-printed molds can be produced quickly and flexibly even when laminating CFP molding materials and when optimizing components (to reduce weight or enhance functionality). voxeljet's customer base includes well-known automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, foundries as well as innovative companies in the arts and design industry.

The key benefits of voxeljet's on-demand service are:

  • Economic feasibility: 3D printing often turns out to be the most cost-effective manufacturing method, depending on the component geometry and size of the series.
  • Size advantages: voxeljet has one of the biggest industrial 3D printers in the world, making it possible to flexibly produce large individual molds, many small components or a combination of the two.
  • Fast availability: Express delivery in only 3 working days is available by arrangement.
  • Complete solution: Expert consulting, from data generation to the finished cast part, ensures smooth project execution.
  • Experience: Founded in 1999, voxeljet has many years of experience as a provider of 3D solutions and offers a wide range of services.

Interview with Martin Haugg, Director of Customer Service at voxeljet

3D printing is a hot topic of conversation. Which specific industries can benefit from voxeljet technology? 

We specialize in additive manufacturing for foundries. In principle, however, the technology benefits anyone who constructs, processes, uses or optimizes cast parts. The vast majority of our customers are development departments in the automotive industry. Increasingly our processes are also being used in the manufacture of special-purpose machinery, the spare parts business as well as art and architecture. 

How does voxeljet's ordering process work?

Customers can, for instance, send us a 3D data record or a drawing. They can choose whether to simply purchase the molds or whether they'd rather hire us to produce a finished cast part. We review all inquiries individually to determine their technical requirements and feasibility. If necessary, we arrange consultations with the customer. As part of our service, we check the data for errors that may have arisen, for example, during conversion and correct them free of charge in the case of minor impairment. We have high data security standards and take a professional approach to data management. To offer our customers the utmost flexibility, we give them the option of choosing different delivery periods and sand types. Our consultants in the various service centers are happy to provide details and respond to any questions or suggestions.

What sizes can voxeljet handle?

Our service center in Germany uses the VX4000, one of the world's largest industrial 3D printers for the production of sand cores and mold packages, with a build space of 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm (L x W x H). When it comes to plastics, voxeljet offers models with maximum dimensions of 1,000 x 600 x 500 mm (L x W x H). At the same time, molds of any size can be created with the use of individual mold divisions.

How does voxeljet calculate its prices?

We aim to offer our customers fair prices, based on the circumstances. In coming up with a price formula, we consider a wide range of factors, weighted according to different criteria. These include dimensions, volume, desired quantity, material, component complexity and, of course, delivery time. While this may sound complicated, it is the only way for us to come up with good prices for a wide range of requirements.

How would you describe voxeljet as a business partner?

We are a young, dedicated team who are fascinated by the possibilities of 3D printing. We are interested in working with industrial partners to come up with new applications daily. Our company is prepared to provide small test parts in order to discover new potential applications. We recognize the importance of development projects and the time pressures involved. Our goal is to work with innovative partners on implementing our technology in order to generate competitive advantages. Customer proximity and fair treatment are therefore particularly important to us.

What can customers worldwide expect when working with voxeljet?

We would like to establish high standards worldwide in terms of our experience, quality and service concept. At the same time, however, we also address country-specific requirements to ensure sustained expansion.