Maycast-Nokes is an aerospace and defence foundry based near Colchester. In collaboration with voxeljet UK, the company has produced large prototype castings using 3D printed sand molds.
Focusing on the renewable energy sector, the process has enabled the fast turnaround of ‘ready to use’ prototype parts on time and cost effectively with a reduced number of pieces to create the mold.
Conventionally manufactured sand castings can take months to progress from drawing to final cast component. With voxeljet’s 3D printing, it is possible to print and cast the parts within a matter of weeks, following receipt of the CAD design.
Maycast-Nokes UK supply sand and investment castings, as well as 3D scanning, non-destructive testing and in-house machining. The expert services offered by Maycast has enabled them to cast many large components with voxeljet UK’s 3D printed sand molds.
Simon Gill, Business Development Manager for Maycast-Nokes, says: ‘We’ve always offered large precision sand castings up to 300kg in weight, voxeljet’s printed molds offer our customers added flexibility during the development of a new project. Clients can now revise designs without the fear of scrapping expensive patterns. Lead times can be as short as five days which is beneficial for start-up projects.’
The 1,450mm x 1,450mm x 450mm sand mould packs are printed on voxeljet's VX4000 high-performance printer with a build space of 4 x 2 x 1 m. The mold can then be produced in only seven individual pieces made up of a top, bottom and five identical cores.
Dave Blower, Director of Sales for Maycast-Nokes, says: ‘We are very much set up to be a one stop shop for fully-finished, production line ready castings. voxeljet’s printed molds now allow us to offer larger castings without the need for expensive patterns, which are ideal for reverse engineering, development work or low volume batch work.’
|Technical Data - Sand mold|
|Total Size||1,450 x 1,450 x 450 mm|
|Mold weight||1,750 kg|
|Cast weight||150 kg|
|Overall casting weight||93 kg|
|Individual pieces||7 (cope, drag & 5 cores)|
|Material||Sand - GS14|
|Layer Thickness||300 µm|
|Lead time||4 weeks|