New plastic 3D printing process for higher quality results in investment casting

October 2017 - voxeljet AG, a leading provider of high-speed, large-format 3D printers and on-demand parts services to industrial and commercial customers, today announced the release of PolyPor C2 (PPC²). PPC² is an advanced PMMA 3D printing process, to achieve overall higher quality outcomes in investment casting. The process will be officially presented at the 64th Technical Conference and Equipment Expo, in Covington, KY taking place Oct 15th to 18th 2017.

Higher resolution

The new PPC2 is a modified version of the existing PolyPor PMMA processes, offered by voxeljet, that are mainly used to create investment casting patterns. Compared to the existing PMMA processes, models that are printed using PPC2 have an overall increased resolution.

The improved surface quality and clearer edges on the parts are related to a finer PMMA particulate material of 37 µm (0,037 mm), which enables printing at a reduced layer thickness of 100 µm. 

A combination of a high definition printhead, that prints with a resolution of 600 dpi, a reduced grain size and layer thickness, results in very detailed 3D printed models that are ideal for investment casting patterns. The material set causes almost no residual ash.

Economical, productive, and recyclable

“Our new PPC2 process will be initially offered on our VX200 system, with an effective build space of 274 x 174 x 127 mm. It is an affordable entry into 3D printing for investment casting foundries with an efficient part production for commercial castings such as turbine impellers, turbine blades. Thanks to our binder-jetting technology, no additional support structures are needed. By means of this, precious build space can be used efficiently by building parts stacked on top of each other” (Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO).

Tobias Gruen (Product Manager, voxeljet) adds that “the use of a new and more compatible binder ensures that our industrial printheads have an increased lifetime that perform a consistent printing quality. Moreover, the unbound PMMA powder can be reused and recycled for forthcoming printing jobs, which ensures efficient material usage”.

Release and samples

voxeljet’s new PPC2 process will be officially presented at the ICI 2017, a conference solely for investment casting held by the Investment Casting Institute, in Covington , KY, USA taking place Oct 15th to 18th 2017. Currently, benchmark parts of the new PPC² process can be supplied from voxeljet´s HQ in Germany and from the US subsidiary in Canton, Michigan.