Sweden’s first 3D printer for sand moulds was installed at RISE in Jönköping. This printer makes the production of sand moulds easier and faster, with family-owned steel foundry Smålands Stålgjuteri being one of the businesses able to benefit from printing their own moulds.
Sweden’s first sand printer, from global developer and supplier ExOne, was installed at RISE in August 2015. Since then, hundreds of companies have visited the facility, with many of them continuing to show great interest in the technology.
The ExOne printer is used for commercial manufacturing as well as research and development. Smålands Stålgjuteri is one of the foundries using this 3D technology.
“We have been in contact with ExOne in Germany for a number of years; however, our work has been made significantly easier now that we have access to a printer here in Sweden,” says Per Ytterell, CEO of Smålands Stålgjuteri.
According to Per Ytterell, the company’s close collaboration with RISE is likely to lead to further projects, as lead times for prototypes are reduced thanks to having a printer available here at home. Prototypes that once took 3-4 months to produce can now be ready in 3-4 weeks.
The 3D printer also simplifies the manufacture of moulds with special details or designs.
"One of the advantages of the technology is that we can solve issues such as moulds involving complicated geometry. There is no need to weld joints, as the mould is manufactured in a single piece,” explains Per Ytterell.