Divide By Zero’s Accucraft i250D 3D Printer Successfully Used in Investment Casting and Art Projects


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Mumbai startup Divide By Zero, one of the top industrial-grade 3D printer manufacturers in India, is known for its AFPM process, which is the first patented 3D printing technology to come out of India. The company used its Accucraft i250+ 3D printer back in 2015 to 3D print several musical instruments that were played at a concert during Inside 3D Printing Mumbai, and recently shared some success stories about two clients that successfully used its Accucraft i250D 3D printer to take on some interesting projects.

In Rajkot, Gujarat, 3D printing and scanning service provider Spiral 3D Technologies offers its services to multiple industries, including hardware and tool and die manufacturers, interior designers and architects, and investment casting and metal sand casting. The consultancy works with manufacturers to develop new production technologies, and assists clients in swiftly finishing their final product design stage.

Spiral 3D Technologies is focused on leveraging 3D printing and scanning technologies for use in industrial applications, and is helping equipment manufacturers fix the “production bottlenecks” they run into as a result of traditional manufacturing. The company offers its large client base a way around these bottlenecks by employing Divide By Zero’s industrial Accucraft i250D.

The hybrid dual-extruder printer ensures easy 3D printing, as it comes pre-assembled, calibrated, and tested. It offers a 200 x 250 x 200 mm build volume, minimum post-processing requirements, quick-load functionality, and remote monitoring, thanks to an onboard camera. Spiral 3D uses the Accucraft i250D to enhance the conventional manufacturing method of investment casting, also called lost wax casting, for multiple manufacturers. We’ve been seeing an increase in the last few years of manufacturers combining additive manufacturing technology with investment casting and other types of traditional production processes.

Investment casting is expensive, as it requires specialized equipment and long mold-making operations, in addition to being pretty labor-intensive. 3D printing is a much more cost-effective solution, and combining the technology with the casting process can cut back on production time, as it gets around the typical use of injection molding tools and die. Spiral 3D worked with Alltech Technocast Pvt. Ltd. in Rajkot, and together, the two companies used the Accucraft i250D to develop 3D printed patterns for investment casting, which were successfully used to produce automobile parts.

“We have observed that many clients want to know capabilities of foundry firm or want sample casting before finalising the order. In such cases, it’s difficult to invest in injection molding tools and die for the wax pattern. Apart from financial investment, it is a time- consuming process. In such cases, 3D printed patterns are a quicker and cheaper production option for casters. When the volume of production of each design is less, the cost of tools and die incurred is high. This further impacts the production cost. In such cases, 3D printed casting pattern provides the cheapest production option,” said Spiral 3D co-founder Manthan Mendapara when asked about the advantages of 3D printed investment casting patterns. “The cost of tools and die increase exponentially with the increase in complexity but that’s not in the case of 3D printed patterns. The cost of 3D printed pattern remains almost the same, irrespective of the complexity of the design. So for highly complex designs, 3D printed casting patterns has a major advantage over conventional production processes.”

Divide By Zero’s dual-extruder Accucraft i250D was also used recently to help create a unique 3D printed sculpture.

“We have been collaborating with many large enterprises and SMBs, offering them support for efficient prototyping, small volume production, design testing and getting the product to the market in much lesser span of time,” Divide By Zero wrote. “However, our collaboration with Srujanamm was a tad different than the others, for it led to a wonderful journey of art, philosophy and intriguing application of the 3D printing technology in the field of art.”

The Srujanamm art studio in Pune was founded by artistic couple Shwetali and Uday Raghuwanshi. The two follow a concept of “the bliss from your inner self,” which is reflected in their creative artwork. Srujanamm gives “integrated art offerings” to corporations, hospitals, interior designers, and collectors, and each piece is inspired by their spiritual philosophies. In an effort to express some new conceptual ideas, the studio recently decided to try out the more contemporary medium of 3D printing technology to create unique pieces. Thanks to different post-processing techniques, the 3D printed pieces of art can feature multiple kinds of finishes, from molten copper to a shiny pearl-like finish.

Srujanamm first created a 3D model of the proposed sculpture, and used the Accucraft i250D to 3D print many individual parts that would be used to make up the larger final piece. The pieces were assembled into the form of the sculpture and then fixed on a pedestal, before post-processing was completed.

The 55″ x 52″ x 20″ conceptual piece (48″ x 44″ x 15″ without the pedestal) is titled “Attraction of Unknown” and weighs about 20 kg. It took about 900 hours to print all of the pieces, using a mix of ABS, resin, and alumina. The sculpture, featuring a pearly finish, is based on a spiritual philosophy that Julian Johnson quotes in his work, “The Path of the Masters.”

“With the grace of Great Living Master, realization of two things in the spiritual state [inner raptures]: the longing to see God, obscuring all else, so intense is the desire and the other is an excessive gladness and delight, which is so extreme that while living, the soul appears to swoon away and seems on the verge of leaving the body.”

Divide By Zero explained that this simply means that every soul has a right to know its creator, and this is illustrated in the four components of the sculpture: the mermaid is the seeker, while the anchor represents creation. The fish are all of the souls “entangled in the creation,” and the dolphin represents the living master, who supervises our world and the afterlife.

These two very different Accucraft i250D projects are both great examples of the versatility and customization that 3D printing offers. Discuss in the Divide By Zero forum at 3DPB.com.


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