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Incremental Sand Casting Powder Bed.

Posted by Ezrec 
Incremental Sand Casting Powder Bed.
October 03, 2014 07:39PM
Considering MetallicaRap (I'm working on building a powderbed printer), I was wondering if incremental sand casting was ever considered?

It would require three X/Y heads:

  1. A water misting head (ie inkjet technology)
  2. An electro-valve controlled vacuum pipe, that can suck up dry sand grains.
  3. A metal 'pour' head (ie solder flowing into a hollow tip soldering iron, like the design used for solder removal irons)

I would envision printing would follow this process:

  1. Part bed lowers by one Z increment
  2. Powder feed (fine grain dry sand) bed raises by one Z increment
  3. Fine sand is rolled from powder feed to part bed
  4. Water mist head on the X/Y head traces a halo around the printable portion of the Z slice (to prevent sand from sliding into printable area)
  5. Vacuum head is selected on X/Y plane, and dry sand in the printable portion of the Z slice is removed.
  6. Metal pour head is selected on X/Y plane, and pour is performed at selected spots in the Z slice for fill operations (a bit of tricky math going on here for good spread)
  7. Go to 1.

The intent is to do incremental sand casting, where you are casting one layer at a time, using sand as a support structure, and you can perform the operation at normal atmospheric pressure.

If you have an existing powder bed setup, this shouldn't be impossible to prototype.

I have no interest in metal casting myself (I'm working on a water fused sucrose powder bed printer), but maybe someone else might find this idea useful.

Thought I might as well write it down here.

Anyone know of existing technology like this?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2014 07:39PM by Ezrec.
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