3D printing with sand: Fast, economical casting molds

3D printing systems by voxeljet create sand molds and cores for metal casting quickly and cost-effectively. To achieve this, silica sand is built up layer by layer until the desired part has been constructed. The layers of sand are selectively bonded using a binder, ensuring stability and flexural strength. This fast process is perfect for manufacturing prototypes or optimizing parts. Large formats up to 4 metres long, 2 metres wide and one metre high are also possible.

Sand in 3D printing: Several advantages

  • Fast and flexible: with 3D printing, tools and parts can be optimised quickly and prototypes can be created much more easily.
  • Economical production: complex sand molds and cores created using additive manufacturing. Expensive tool production is not necessary.
  • Geometrical freedom: Undercuts can be easily realized, resulting in more complex parts than with conventional methods.
  • High resolution print heads ensure particularly accurate sand molds and cores.
  • Easy to combine: 3D-printed sand cores can be combined with traditional molds.
  • Simple core removal: Thanks to the low binder content, the behavior during outgassing and core removal is comparable to traditional processes.

Functional properties of sand for 3D printing:

  • Excellent flexural strength and stability.
  • Ready-to-use molds: no pre-treatment required.
  • Environmentally friendly: depending on the configuration, unprinted sand is virtually 100% recyclable.
  • Common casting materials with comparable properties: Silica sand combined with Furan / Phenolic resin*.
  • Suitable for all standard alloys

*Our service centres offer molds and cores with Furan binders, our printing systems use Phenolic binders.

Contact us and order your component here

Molding MaterialSilica sandCerabeads
Type GS 14 / GS 19 / GS 25Cerabeads
Medium grain size140 / 190 / 250 µm 200µm
Application Molds and cores with high surface requirements/ Cores with high gas permeability /Cores; highest gas permeabilityHigh thermal resistance, low thermal extension, good packaging, good strength and surface, alternative to Chromite, Kerphalite or Zircone
Layer thickness300 / 300/400 / 300 µm300 µm
Build platformup to 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000 mm
Binder-typeCold hardening furan resin*
Loss on ignition ≤ 1.9 %**
Accuracy± 0,1 % (min. ± 1.5 * layer thickness)
Bending strengthFrom 220 N/cm2 (depending on sand /or binder used)

*Only available as 3D print service at the voxeljet Service Center 

**Depending on sand types

Build platformup to 1,000 x 600 x 500 mm
Binder-typePhenolic binder
Accuracy± 0,1 % (min. ± layer thickness)
Bending strength250-500 N/cm(depending on sand /or binder)
Recycling rateapprox. 100 % of the loose material



Learn more about our PDB process