AdvancedTek Part of the Week – 5/24/16
No ears, guns or cars – just real parts and real applications.
Today’s Part of the Week is a part that I saw at the recent event for the Casting industry. As I worked the event, I was surprised to see a number of different vendors using 3D printed models at their booths. In this case, the printed part is being used as an educational tool to help demonstrate the casting process for this particular vendor. The casting process typically requires a number of steps and requires a sort of “seeing in reverse” which can often be a confusing to understand or visualize.
The printed parts assembly (shown in olive green and red colors) literally looks like a complicated puzzle. The printed parts can help to illustrate how the casting process will work to produce a metal part. The printed part identifies the sand casting mold cavities (air space which will be the actual cast part) and cores (printed internals represent the internals of the cast part) that need to be produced in order to create the metal cast part that is shown at the top of the photo. The printed parts also can help to illustrate all of the requirements for the runners (channels to get the molten metal to fill the cavities) and the risers (reservoirs to allow the cavities to fill completely and expel gasses).
Interestingly, I ran into one of our casting customers that has one of our largest production systems, the Fortus 900mc, at the event. The customer told me that one of the areas that has shown a return on their investment has been the ability to produce educational models internally and externally. Direct access to the technology has allowed them to produce educational models for prospects, which helps them add value to the sales process and ultimately win more business. They also use the printed educational models as part of their on-boarding process internally. The educational models help illustrate the different casting processes and specific competitive advantages to their own unique process for new hires in engineering and business development roles. Along with the educational models, the customer is producing concept models, prototypes, patterns for tooling, as well as other manufacturing tooling. The customer has been very pleased with their decision to bring the technology in-house and other facilities are inquiring about adding systems to increase direct access as well.
Please contact AdvancedTek if you’d like additional information about the benefits of direct access to 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Please consider following AdvancedTek on LinkedIn for future samples and customer stories.
Posted by Matt Havekost, AdvancedTek Director of Sales – Additive Manufacturing