Aug 22, 2016 | By Alec

Industrial 3D printing systems are increasingly finding their way into the hands of large corporations around the world, especially in heavy industries such as the automotive, aerospace and foundry sectors. While the corporations are usually the ones to take that technological leap, the government of Taiwan clearly can’t wait. To ensure that their domestic foundry industry remains internationally competitive, they government has just imported the German-made voxeljet VX2000 3D Printing System for their MOEA Innovation Center in Kaohsiung.

This huge step was made by Metal Industries Research and Development Center (MIRDC), part of the Industrial Development Bureau of the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs, and illustrates the country’s ambition. The same Center previously facilitated several tech upgrades over the last years, but are now upping the ante. Aside from importing the 3D printer, they have also set up the ‘3D Printing Casting Sand Mold Operation and Service Center’ at the MOEA Innovation Center, which will encourage domestic companies to use the technology through proposals, collaborations and samples.

While important for the Taiwanese foundry industry, it’s also a huge step for voxeljet AG. One of the leading providers of large-format 3D printers and on-demand component services for industrial and commercial customers, they mostly work with European and American clients from the automotive, aviation, aerospace, entertainment, and machine building industries. But they are very keen to expand, illustrated by a recent deal that saw them enter the Mexican automotive market.

The Taiwanese foundry industry is doubtlessly also a very attractive target. Ranked 12th in the world in terms of output value, it generates NT$90 billion ($2 billion USD) each year. Sand mold casting actually accounts for 51 percent of that total, most of which consists of casting parts for large machine tools, ductile cast iron components, and auto parts. Plenty of targets, in short, for voxeljet.

While a very modern industry, it can also definitely benefit from sand mold 3D printing, which competitors are also increasingly using. Ford, among others, used the 3D printing tech for their EcoBoost engine to cut down production times by three months and costs down by 30 percent. The voxeljet VX2000 is thus expected to bring the same advantages to Taiwan. Featuring a build space of 2,000 x 1,000 x 1,000mm and a 3D printing resolution of 300 dpi, it is known for being an economical and very fast manufacturer of large prototypes.

The new Taiwanese 3D Printing Casting Sand Mold Operation and Service Center will thus promote the machine, and already has several initiatives planned. For starters, they are working with KYMCO to reduce the thickness of gearbox walls and simultaneously cutting down development times by 35 percent. Production costs are also expected to fall significantly. The same technology will also be used to develop a more efficient and cost-effective turbocharger, as well as a wide range of other components that can benefit from voxeljet’s efficient technology. Taiwan is clearly planning to stay at the forefront of innovation.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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