Foundry Essentials: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best 3D Sand Mold Printer

October 22, 2023

By Jeff wei

What is 3D sand printer?

A 3D sand mold printer is a specialized type of 3D printing device designed for manufacturing sand molds used in casting processes. It utilizes specific sand powder materials and builds the sand mold layer by layer through a process of stacking and bonding. These sand molds can have highly complex internal and external structures, including cavities, channels, and intricate geometric shapes. Once the sand mold is printed, it can be used to cast various metal components, such as iron, aluminum, steel, and more.

3D sand mold printing technology has revolutionized the traditional casting industry. Compared to conventional mold-making methods, 3D sand mold printers can rapidly produce intricate sand molds, significantly enhancing production efficiency. Moreover, it offers greater flexibility for customized production since specific molds are not required, allowing the production of sand molds in various shapes based on specific requirements. This technology finds widespread applications in industries such as automotive manufacturing, aerospace, shipbuilding, energy, and more, providing manufacturing sectors with more efficient and flexible production solutions.

How are sand 3D printers currently being used in foundries?

Currently, the application of 3D sand mold printers in foundries has become increasingly widespread. This technology enables the direct manufacturing of intricate sand molds from 3D graphical data, revolutionizing traditional casting methods that involve molds, cores, patterns, and flask assembly. Compared to traditional casting techniques, 3D sand mold printing technology offers numerous advantages, such as shortened manufacturing cycles, increased production efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced product quality.

In foundries, the application of 3D sand mold printers brings many benefits. Firstly, it significantly boosts production efficiency, reducing the research and development as well as production cycles of products. Secondly, 3D sand mold printing technology allows the manufacturing of castings in any shape without mold limitations, making product design and development more flexible. Additionally, by utilizing 3D sand mold printers, foundries can achieve green casting practices, reducing waste and pollution.

In practical applications, 3D sand mold printers have played a crucial role in many foundries. For instance, some automobile manufacturers and aerospace companies have begun using 3D sand mold printing technology to produce complex engine components and framework structures. Furthermore, companies specializing in the research and production of 3D sand mold printing technology continue to grow and expand.

In summary, the application of 3D sand mold printers in foundries has made significant progress. This technology enhances casting production efficiency, flexibility, and environmental sustainability, providing new avenues and methods for the future development of the casting industry.

As the owner of a foundry, what aspects should be considered when purchasing a 3D sand mold printer?

  • Determine the needs
    The actual needs of the foundry need to be defined, including the specific size, shape and number of sand molds to be printed, as well as the requirements for printing accuracy and productivity. Consider whether the sand molds to be printed require a high degree of complexity or fine detail. Also, possible future growth in demand needs to be considered in order to select a machine that will be able to meet future needs.
  • Selecting the right type of machine
    Choose the right type of sand 3D printer based on actual needs. If high-precision printing results are required, you can choose a laser-cured sand 3D printer. This type of printer uses a laser to cure the binder on the surface of the sand mold, which provides high printing accuracy but is relatively expensive. If fast printing and cost reduction are required, you can choose an inkjet sand 3D printer. This type of printer uses an inkjet to spray the binder on the surface of the sand mold, which is faster, but the precision is relatively low.
  • Focus on Printing Materials
    Foundry sand and binder are key materials for sand 3D printers. It is necessary to choose high-quality casting sand and binder that meets the needs of the foundry to ensure that the printed sand mold has sufficient strength, hardness and precision. At the same time, attention needs to be paid to the performance parameters and service life of these materials to ensure the normal operation of the machine and production stability.
  • Consider print size and precision
    According to the actual needs, choose the appropriate print size and precision. Different casting products require different sizes of sand mold, so you need to choose the appropriate print size according to the actual needs. At the same time, you need to consider whether the required printing accuracy meets your requirements. Generally speaking, the larger the print size, the higher the printing accuracy, the higher the price of the machine. You need to weigh these factors and choose the machine model and parameters that suit you.
  • Examine the machine brand and after-sales service
    Machine brand and after-sales service are important factors to consider when shopping for a sand 3D printer. Machines of well-known brands may be more guaranteed in terms of performance, quality and after-sales service, but the price is also relatively high. You need to consider these factors comprehensively and choose a brand and model that meets your needs. At the same time, you need to understand factors such as the warranty period and maintenance methods of the machine, so that you can get timely technical support and solutions during the use of the machine.
  • Weigh the price and cost
    The price and cost of sand 3D printers are important factors to consider when shopping. Different models and configurations of sand 3D printers have different prices, while their operating costs and maintenance costs also need to be taken into account. You need to consider both price and cost factors to choose a machine model that fits your budget range and long-term benefits.
  • Consider production capacity and efficiency
    When choosing a sand 3D printer, you need to pay attention to its production capacity and efficiency. A proper machine can significantly increase productivity, shorten production cycles, reduce costs, and improve product quality. Factors such as the machine’s print speed, molding size, and complexity of sand patterns that can be printed, as well as the machine’s ease of operation and level of automation, need to be considered.
  • Explore value-added services
    When purchasing a sand 3D printer, consider opting for value-added services such as prototyping, design support, and technical consulting. These services can help to better use and maintain sand 3D printers and improve productivity and quality.
  • Focus on energy consumption and environmental protection
    With the increase in environmental awareness, you need to consider the energy consumption and emissions of sand 3D printers. Choosing a low energy consumption and environmentally friendly machine model can help reduce running costs and minimize environmental impact.
  • Refer to user reviews and word of mouth
    Before purchasing a sand 3D printer, you can learn about the reviews and word-of-mouth of other users through the Internet, trade shows and other channels. This information can help to understand the performance and quality of the machine, as well as the after-sales service, in order to make a more informed buying decision.

To summarize, there are many factors to consider when buying a sand 3D printer. As the owner of a foundry, you need to combine your actual needs and product characteristics, weigh various factors, and choose a high-quality and efficient sand 3D printer that suits you.

Ready for Action?

Contact us anytime for a quick quote.
Longyuan AFS Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of 3D printing equipment and manufacturing services in China, providing high-quality R&D pilot production and rapid manufacturing services for small-lot, multi-species and complex structure metal products based on the integrated technology of "3D printing, casting, machining and inspection".

  • Email:
  • Phone:+86 13299265105
  • Add: No 7 Yudong Road, B Area, Tianzhu Konggang Industrial Park, Shunyi District, Beijing, China.