ExOne has made significant investment into its 3D printing technology for the manufacture of sand molds and cores to provide a cost-effective and time-reducing alternative to traditional methods for creating prototype and low-volume castings. Metal castings are universally used for industrial, military and consumer products and are increasingly being evaluated for cost-effective applications in new product development programs. Traditional castings are produced using a “pattern” technique, which is a critical and integral step of the casting process, but is also the most time and labor-intensive portion, hampering the ability of manufacturers to remain agile. 3D printing sand molds and cores directly from CAD data eliminates the need for physical patterns and pattern storage, since parts can be stored digitally. Design freedom is the largest advantage of the process - even very large and complex mold and core designs can be realized, and the digital nature creates increased uniformity and improved accuracy, which creates a better, more efficient casting.