voxeljet AG (NASDAQ: VJET), a global leader in industrial 3D printing solutions, has unveiled a groundbreaking innovation at the prestigious GIFA 2023: the new cold IOB (Inorganic Binding) 3D printing technology. With this unique process, moulds and cores for the foundry industry can be produced for the first time from sand and an inorganic binder without the need for microwave treatment.

This year's GIFA was all about inorganics for voxeljet. Together with its partner Loramendi, the Bavarian company presented not only the joint project ICP (Industrialization of Core Printing) for BMW, but also a new, patent-pending, cold-curing inorganic process technology (cold IOB). The ICP project involves a fully automated manufacturing system that is in use at BMW's light metal foundry in Landshut. Within this manufacturing cell, casting cores are printed with inorganic binders and then cured with a microwave. Accordingly, this is a warm process technology.

Cold IOB: low investment and operating costs and fewer emissions
For the first time, the new cold IOB technology does not require a microwave and is thus characterised by lower investment and operating costs. The use of IOB technologies opens up numerous advantages for the foundry industry, e.g. only water vapour is produced during casting instead of harmful gases. This not only reduces emissions but also improves working conditions in foundries.

"The introduction of cold IOB technology is an important step towards the further spread of printed cores and moulds with inorganic binders in the foundry industry," says Dr Ingo Ederer, CEO at voxeljet. "Our goal is to provide innovative solutions that not only increase efficiency, but also help to promote the sustainability of metal casting."

The features of cold IOB process technology and moulds and cores produced with it include high dimensional accuracy, very good detail resolution and edge sharpness, and the ability to 3D print large moulds and cores. In contrast to warm IOB processes, where printed cores have to be cured and dried using a microwave, voxeljet's cold IOB technology only requires drying after printing, which takes place outside the machine. This eliminates high investment and operating costs for industrial microwaves for customers. The process can be used on all voxeljet platforms. It is currently being tested and offered on the VX1000 and VX1000S printers, and an expansion of the offer to the VX2000 is planned for the near future.

voxeljet's strategy meets growing demand for cold IOB
The use of inorganic binder in the foundry industry, especially in the automotive sector, is gaining popularity. In view of increasing environmental regulations, the demand for inorganic-bonded moulds and cores is expected to rise steadily. voxeljet is committed to expanding its leading role in the field of environmentally compatible 3D printing processes and to making a significant contribution to the voxeljet Group's revenue growth through this strategic focus.

The cold IOB technology is particularly suitable for prototyping and medium series sizes and is commercially available with immediate effect. Interested customers already have the opportunity to order benchmarks.


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