BMW turns to 3D-printed sand casting for engine cores

BMW has constructed a brand new automated manufacturing facility line that permits the corporate to take full benefit of 3D-printed sand casting for cores, producing hundreds each week and benefiting designers, producers and finish prospects

From origins that date again hundreds of years, by the economic age and now with the addition of 3D printing and inorganic types, sand casting has been by a number of durations of radical transformation in its lengthy historical past.

At BMW Group’s largest part plant in Landshut, Germany, the world’s first totally automated additive serial 3D manufacturing line for sand cores has been constructed. Developed with the knowhow of consultants at BMW, Loramendi and Voxeljet, the Industrialisation of Core Printing (ICP) cooperation venture appears set to inject this historic artwork with added pace, sustainability and design freedom and set a brand new trade commonplace on the identical time.

As an organization, Loramendi has an extended historical past in creating options that maintain foundries on the chopping fringe of manufacturing, with experience in inorganic casting strategies. Joined by Voxeljet’s 3D-printed sand casting expertise, the 2 firms have developed a system for the automated large-scale manufacturing of sand cores utilized in casting cylinder heads for high-efficiency engines.

The ICP line is presently producing hundreds of 3D-printed cores every week to assist the mass manufacturing of the most recent era of BMW Group engines at Landshut, which provides all of BMW’s automobile and engine vegetation worldwide. These areused for nearly all BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce automobiles, in addition to for bikes from the corporate’s BMW Motorrad model.

One-piece sand cores

The manufacturing of inorganic 3D-printed cores has enabled BMW Group to advance the design of its engine parts.

For instance, the cylinder head for BMW’s B48 engine has been considerably improved by utilizing 3D printing to supply water jacket outlet combi cores. Moreover, 3D printing permits BMW to supply sand cores in a single piece, lowering the advanced design of engine parts whereas optimising engine effectivity and gasoline consumption.

The customized, low-emissions manufacturing line considerably reduces foundry emissions, as solely water steam is produced throughout the casting course of.

The ICP venture is a collaboration between BMW, Loramendi and Voxeljet

The automated line integrates Voxeljet’s newest highspeed VJET-X 3D printers into a totally automated preand post-processing workflow, which additionally consists of Loramendi’s industrial microwave curing items.

A print head selectively bonds layers of sand to create the cores, that are then unpacked, microwave-cured, cleaned and inspected earlier than being fed into BMW’s established casting course of.

The printing charges of the Voxeljet VX1300-X have been elevated by an element of ten over earlier fashions, and the toolless design of the sand cores permits BMW to make variant adjustments at unprecedented pace with out time-consuming device adjustments and manufacturing downtime. Unused materials from 3D printers is recycled and reused within the manufacturing course of.