Scaling efficiency as sand 3D printing fleets grow

In foundry operations, efficiency and precision are paramount. The adoption of sand 3D printing has revolutionized the casting industry by offering faster production times, reduced waste, and increased design freedoms. However, as additive manufacturing capabilities scale, managing 3D printers efficiently, especially fleets of multiple machines, can make a significant difference.

With foundries increasingly integrating sand 3D printing into serial production – more than 50% of our binder jetting systems are installed at multi-machine facilities – manual binder loading can become an efficiency bottleneck. Not only does it require dedicated manpower to fill fluid cabinets in each machine before each build, but it also increases the risk for error and inconsistency. 

Automating this process with a centralized fluid dispenser addresses these challenges by: 

  1. Improving efficiency: Automatic binder loading from a bulk source reduces downtime between prints, allowing for continuous production and maximizing machine utilization

  2. Increasing reliability: Printing processes run as planned with automated dosing for precise printing and easy, centralized maintenance

  3. Enhancing safety:, Operator interaction with liquid solvents is minimized by using bulk tanks rather than individual containers, improving workplace safety

Automate the loading and removal of process liquids into sand 3D printers

Fluidmatic is a system from ExOne for the automatic supply of liquid binder and cleaner to sand binder jetting systems. Trusted for over a decade, the accessory automatically pumps liquids from external bulk tanks to supply the 3D printer.

Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) provide a 1040 L (275 gal) source of both binder and cleaner. Rather than an operator manually filling the individual fluid cabinet of an S-Max® sand 3D printer before each build, a Fluidmatic enables the machine to run with a continuous supply of liquids from IBCs for about four weeks, depending on various factors like designs and machine usage. Waste liquid is also automatically emptied into a third tank for bulk disposal.

And for multi-machine sites looking to take the next step in making the most out of a binder jetting fleet, we’ve continued to innovate so that one Fluidmatic system today supports up to four 3D printing systems, together with separate upgrade kits for each additional printer.

Operating a Fluidmatic offers several key benefits that directly impact the overall efficiency and productivity of facilities:

  1. Cost savings:  Take advantage of bulk savings to optimize consumable costs and reduced labor costs for significant savings, leading to a fast ROI on the investment in a Fluidmatic 

  2. Less Labor: Automate fluid supply for efficient operation and reduce daily employee interaction with process liquids

  3. Reduce logistics: Minimize the supply chain by sourcing in bulk amounts rather than purchasing, storing, and disposing of individual canisters

Driving long term growth with efficient sand 3D printing

Binder jetting is transforming foundry operations, and at ExOne we're committed to helping facilities embrace the future with additive manufacturing production. Fluidmatic has been working in the field for over 15 years, allowing sand 3D printers to operate more efficiently. 

And to ensure we can help our customers scale to accommodate additional machines with the growth of their binder jetting capabilities, our latest Fluidmatic version, released in 2024, enables multiple sand 3D printers to benefit from the investment in one accessory, providing a future-proof solution.

Learn More About Fluidmatic

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