3D Printing 2016, held in Tokyo from January 27-29th, is a show that brings over 50,000 exhibitors and visitors from around the world to enjoy learning about 3D printing technology in Japan. The event presents an opportunity for all interested to learn about trends, new products, and current news within the 3D printing industry, to include 3D printers, laser processing equipment, virtual reality, graphic imaging, and far more. This year was momentous in many ways with so many new companies in the spotlight offering a wide array of products appealing to both mainstream and industrial customers–but one company in particular captured its lionshare of attention at the show with the unveiling of their new industrial 3D printer.
Sentrol Co., Ltd is the first Korean 3D printing manufacturer to develop an industrial sand-casting 3D printer. This is a first for South Korea, and their machine is now one of only several in the world. Since this technology is new to Japan, having the new SS600 printer on display at the trade fair caused some excitement. (While there is actually a prototype in development in Japan that was also on hand at the show, it is not expected to be released for three years or so, as they work under Japan’s Technology Research Association for Future Additive Manufacturing [TRAFAM], which is a national project.)
Sentrol displayed the SS600 at their booth, along with the SM250, an industrial metal 3D printer used to make medical devices and metal parts. They also introduced a number of other related products at the show. Sentrol, headquartered in Seoul, sees this new technology as a real boon for the foundry industry, as the sand 3D printer is able to create casts through a process where they are selectively irradiating laser on a thin layer of applied sand, and then sintering is repeated.
“Compared to the traditional casting production method, it reduces the efforts and time required for the production as it can produce a complete mold with CAD data without the pattern or core process,” states the Sentrol team in their latest press release. “Moreover, the 3D printing technique can produce a product with the desired size or a product with a complex design, which used to be deemed impossible with the traditional method, and yields detailed and even results regardless of the operator.”
In March, the company released the Sentrol 3D SS150, which offers an output size of 150 x 150 x 100 mm. In September, they released the Sentrol 3D SS500, with an output size of 600 x 400 x 400 mm, with their SS150 3D printer having already been delivered to various schools and research institutes. According to Sentrol, they have also already received an order for the new SS600—and with the development and new release of this printer they plan to continue R&D efforts for other products in the large-parts cast production market.
“Our endless efforts to develop new technology and diversify our product line have resulted in rave reviews at the 3D Printing event. We will decide on distribution agencies for sale support to gain a strong footing in the Japanese market,” said Joo Seung-hwan the CTO of Sentrol.
For years now there has been a push in South Korea toward 3D printing as the government sees the technology as an answer to greater productivity all around in manufacturing, and they display a clear understanding of the benefits it offers in terms of speed, streamlining of processes, and the bottom line. This hasn’t just been a suggestion or fleeting idea for a new production trend either, as the government has gone so far as to develop a full-fledged plan with both ‘A Strategy for the Development of the 3D Printing Business’ and ‘A Roadmap for the Development of the 3D Printing Strategic Technology,’ in working to achieve their goals and see a new industry—and economy—unfold and thrive.
Companies like Sentrol are not only a part of this push in Korea, but their goal is indeed to ‘solve the chronic labor issues of the roots industries with the 3D printing technology,’ promoting this as they put their new products into the spotlight. Their hope is to enhance competition nationally within the industry, as well as helping to create jobs in their country.
Sentrol Co., Ltd. is a Korean CNC controller manufacturer with 30 years of history. It commenced the development of 3D printing technology in 2010, and became the world’s third company to successfully develop an industrial sand casting 3D printer and a metal printer in 2015. Discuss your thoughts on their progress in the Sentrol Industrial Sand 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.