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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Munish Chhabra and Rupinder Singh

This paper seeks to review the industrial applications of state‐of‐the‐art additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in metal casting technology. An extensive survey of…

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3547

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to review the industrial applications of state‐of‐the‐art additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in metal casting technology. An extensive survey of concepts, techniques, approaches and suitability of various commercialised rapid casting (RC) solutions with traditional casting methods is presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The tooling required for producing metal casting such as fabrication of patterns, cores and moulds with RC directly by using different approaches are presented and evaluated. Relevant case studies and examples explaining the suitability and problems of using RC solutions by various manufacturers and researchers are also presented.

Findings

Latest research to optimize the current RC solutions, and new inventions in processing techniques and materials in RC performed by researchers worldwide are also discussed. The discussion regarding the benefits of RC solutions to foundrymen, and challenges to produce accurate and cost‐effective RC amongst AM manufacturers concludes this paper.

Research limitations/implications

The research related to this survey is limited to the applicability of RC solutions to sand casting and investment casting processes. There is practically no implication in industrial application of RC technology.

Originality/value

This review presents the information regarding potential AM application – RC, which facilitates the fabrication of patterns, cores and moulds directly using the computer‐aided design data. The information available in this paper serves the purpose of researchers and academicians to explore the new options in the field of RC and especially users, manufacturers and service industries to produce casting in relatively much shorter time and at low cost and even to cast complex design components which otherwise was impossible by using traditional casting processes and CNC technology.

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Vivek Kumar Tiwary, Arunkumar P., Anand S. Deshpande and Nikhil Rangaswamy

Due to intrinsic limitations, fused deposition modelling (FDM) products suffer from the bad surface finish and inaccurate dimensional accuracies restricting its usage in…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to intrinsic limitations, fused deposition modelling (FDM) products suffer from the bad surface finish and inaccurate dimensional accuracies restricting its usage in many applications. Hence, there is a need for processing polymer patterns before, during and after their productions. This paper aims to highlight the importance of pre- and post-processing treatments on the FDM-based acrylonitrile butadiene styrene patterns improving its surface quality so, that it can be used in rapid investment casting process for making medical implants and other high precision components.

Design/methodology/approach

As a part of pre-processing treatment, the machine parameters affecting the surface quality were identified and optimised using design of experiments. The patterns developed after the first stage of optimisation were given different post-processing treatments, which included vapour smoothening, chemical treatment and sand paper polishing. The results were compared and the best ones were used for making patterns for making medical implants via rapid investment casting technique. The surface quality was checked while the dimensional changes happening during the stages of this hybrid technique were recorded using a three-dimensional optical scanner.

Findings

The surface roughness of the FDM based ABS patterns reduced from 21.63 to 14.40 µm with pre-processing treatments. Chemical treatment (post-processing treatment) turned to be the most suitable technique for reducing the surface roughness further down to 0.30 µm. Medical implants that used these pre- and post-processing treatments gave an average surface roughness of 0.68 µm. Cost and lead time comparisons showed that rapid investment casting technique can be a better method for low volume, customised and with specific requirements.

Originality/value

FDM parts/medical implants produced by rapid investment casting technique suffer from the inferior surface finish and inaccurate dimensional accuracies limiting its applications. A systematic approach to overcome this issue is presented in this research paper. This will directly help the end users and the manufacturers of medical implants, wherein, better surface finish and dimensionally accurate components are expected.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

P.M. Dickens, R. Stangroom, M. Greul, B. Holmer, K.K.B. Hon, R. Hovtun, R. Neumann, S. Noeken and D. Wimpenny

The Tooling and Casting subgroup of the European Action on Rapid Prototyping (EARP) has undertaken a project to investigate the problems associated with using rapid

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1336

Abstract

The Tooling and Casting subgroup of the European Action on Rapid Prototyping (EARP) has undertaken a project to investigate the problems associated with using rapid prototype models as sacrificial patterns for investment casting. The accuracy and surface finish of the models and the castings were also assessed so that a comparison could be made. Models from each process were manufactured by different members of EARP and then three foundries were each given a set of models to convert to castings. Observes that one of the oldest metal manufacturing techniques, which dates back to 4000‐6000 BC, is being used with one of the most modern ‐ rapid prototyping.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

M. Vaezi, D. Safaeian and C.K. Chua

Conventional investment casting of turbine blades is a time consuming and expensive process due to the complications in wax injection steps and the complex shape of…

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1822

Abstract

Purpose

Conventional investment casting of turbine blades is a time consuming and expensive process due to the complications in wax injection steps and the complex shape of airfoil surfaces. By using rapid investment casting, a substantial improvement in the gas turbine blade manufacturing process can be expected. However, this process needs to be able to compete with conventional investment casting from a dimensional accuracy view of point. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the manufacture of gas turbine blades via two indirect rapid tooling (RT) technologies, namely epoxy (EP) resin tooling and silicon rubber molding.

Design/methodology/approach

The second stage blade of a Ruston TA 1750 gas turbine (rated at 1.3 MW) was digitized by a coordinate measuring machine. The aluminum‐filled EP resin and silicon rubber molds were fabricated using StereoLithography master models. Several wax patterns were made by injection in the EP resin and silicone rubber molds. These wax patterns were utilized for ceramic shell fabrication and blade casting.

Findings

Dimensional inspection of cast blades showed that silicone rubber molding was not a suitable approach for production of blade wax patterns. The maximum deviation for the final cast blade made using the silicone rubber mold was +0.402 mm. The maximum deviation for the final cast blade made using the EP resin mold was lower at −0.282 mm. This showed that EP resin tooling could enable new cost‐effective solutions for small batch production of gas turbine blades.

Practical implications

The research results presented will give efficient industrial approach and scientific insight of the gas turbine blade manufacturing by use of rapid technologies.

Originality/value

There are some general research works related to utilization of rapid technologies for manufacturing of gas turbine blade. However, this paper presents a unique procedure of integrated reverse engineering and RT technologies for rapid investment casting of gas turbine blade through presenting comprehensive comparison between two techniques from dimensional accuracy view of point.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Brian Rooks

A seminar organised by the Rapid Prototype and Manufacturing Association (RPMA) held at the UK Castings Development Centre in Birmingham presented a series of case studies…

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1487

Abstract

A seminar organised by the Rapid Prototype and Manufacturing Association (RPMA) held at the UK Castings Development Centre in Birmingham presented a series of case studies on the application of rapid prototyping methods in the manufacture casting tools. Methods described included stereolithography, laser sintering and sand cast moulding. Amongst the case studies were descriptions of the production of a novel A‐post for the Volvo Safety Concept car, the production and ranking for accuracy and repeatability of aerospace components and the direct production of sand moulds for cylinder heads and a hydraulic valve.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Sunpreet Singh and Rupinder Singh

This paper aims to review the industrial and biomedical applications of state-of-the-art fused deposition modelling (FDM)-assisted investment casting (FDMAIC). Brief…

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1108

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the industrial and biomedical applications of state-of-the-art fused deposition modelling (FDM)-assisted investment casting (FDMAIC). Brief literature survey of methodologies, ideas, techniques and approaches used by various researchers is highlighted and use of hybrid feedstock filament-based pattern to produce metal matrix composite is duly discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Pattern replica required for investment casting (IC) of biomedical implant, machine parts, dentistry and other industrial components can be directly produced by using FDM process is presented. Relevant studies and examples explaining the suitability of FDMAIC for various applications are also presented.

Findings

Researches to optimize the conventional IC with FDM solutions and develop new hybrid feedstock filament of FDM done by researchers worldwide are also discussed. The review highlights the benefit of FDMAIC to surgeons, engineers and manufacturing organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The research related to this survey is limited to the suitability and applicability of FDMAIC.

Originality/value

This review presents the information regarding potential IC application, which facilitates the society, engineers and manufacturing organizations by providing variety of components for assisting FDM. The information reported in this paper will serve doctors, researchers, organizations and academicians to explore the new options in the field of FDMAIC.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Dilip Sahebrao Ingole, Abhay Madhusudan Kuthe, Shashank B. Thakare and Amol S. Talankar

The purpose of this paper is to apply rapid prototyping (RP) philosophy as a technology transfer in industries to take its time and cost‐effective advantages for…

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2056

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply rapid prototyping (RP) philosophy as a technology transfer in industries to take its time and cost‐effective advantages for development of rapid tooling (RT).

Design/methodology/approach

Experimentations are performed for development of RT for sand casting, investment casting and plastic moulding applications.

Findings

This paper reports the procedures developed for manufacture of production tooling using RP. A cost/benefit model is developed to justify implementation of RP as a technology transfer in industries.

Research limitations/implications

The examples are limited to parts build by fused deposition modelling RP process. However, the concepts experimented may be applied for other RP processes.

Practical implications

RP has proved to be a cost‐effective and time‐efficient approach for development of RT, thereby ensuring possibility for technology transfer in casting as well as plastic industries.

Originality/value

This is the pioneer attempt towards quantifying RP benefits, in view of technology transfer. This paper presents original case studies and findings on the basis of experimentations performed in foundries.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Haihua Wu, Dichen Li and Nannan Guo

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel process of integral ceramic molds for investment casting of hollow turbine blades.

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1957

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel process of integral ceramic molds for investment casting of hollow turbine blades.

Design/methodology/approach

At first, a resin pattern of a hollow turbine blade prototype is fabricated by stereolithography (SL). And then aqueous gelcasting process is utilized to fill the resin pattern with ceramic slurry of low viscosity and low shrinkage, through in situ polymerization of the slurry a ceramic mold is formed. At last, the ceramic mold for investment casting of hollow turbine blade is obtained by vacuum drying, pyrolyzing and sintering.

Findings

An integral ceramic mold is successfully fabricated by combining SL and gelcasting process, cores and shell are connected with each other and thus high relative position accuracy is guaranteed. Properties of integral ceramic mold at room temperature and high temperature satisfy the requirements of directional casting for complex‐shaped thin‐walled blades.

Research limitations/implications

Because the integral ceramic mold is a close body, it is very difficult to directly measure its inner dimensions and the relative position accuracy of cores and shell, and the further research is needed.

Originality/value

This method enhanced the versatility of using SL prototype in the fabrication of integral ceramic mold for investment castings. Although this paper took a hollow turbine blade as an example, this method is also capable of fabricating integral ceramic molds for other complex investment castings.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2010

Xiaoming Luo and Matthew C. Frank

The purpose of this paper is to present an algorithm for an additive/subtractive rapid pattern manufacturing (RPM) process where thick slabs of material are sequentially…

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1441

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an algorithm for an additive/subtractive rapid pattern manufacturing (RPM) process where thick slabs of material are sequentially stacked and then cut to 3D shapes. Unlike traditional rapid prototyping processes where layer thickness is typically uniform, this process is able to vary the layer thickness in order to most effectively generate feature shapes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the factors affecting layer thickness decisions and then presents an algorithm to determine layer thicknesses for a given part model. The system is designed to import a computer‐aided design file and use the algorithm to automatically generate the set of layers based on the slab height, material and bonding properties and the process parameters used in the system.

Findings

The layer thickness algorithm is implemented and tested using an additive/subtractive manufacturing system developed in the laboratory. The algorithm has proved effective in determining appropriate layer heights for thick slab machining, taking into account a variety of geometries. Several sand casting patterns have been successfully created using the proposed system, which could significantly improve traditional sand casting pattern manufacturing.

Originality/value

The proposed RPM process is a new process presented by the authors, developed for rapid sand castings. The layer thickness algorithm is an original contribution that enables automatic process planning for this new process.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 23 June 2021

Radhwan Bin Hussin, Safian Bin Sharif, Shayfull Zamree Bin Abd Rahim, Mohd Azlan Bin Suhaimi, Mohd Tanwyn Bin Mohd Khushairi, Abdellah Abdellah EL-Hadj and Norshah Afizi Bin Shuaib

Rapid tooling (RT) integrated with additive manufacturing technologies have been implemented in various sectors of the RT industry in recent years with various kinds of…

Abstract

Purpose

Rapid tooling (RT) integrated with additive manufacturing technologies have been implemented in various sectors of the RT industry in recent years with various kinds of prototype applications, especially in the development of new products. The purpose of this study is to analyze the current application trends of RT techniques in producing hybrid mold inserts.

Design/methodology/approach

The direct and indirect RT techniques discussed in this paper are aimed at developing a hybrid mold insert using metal epoxy composite (MEC) in increasing the speed of tooling development and performance. An extensive review of the suitable development approach of hybrid mold inserts, material preparation and filler effect on physical and mechanical properties has been conducted.

Findings

Latest research studies indicate that it is possible to develop a hybrid material through the combination of different shapes/sizes of filler particles and it is expected to improve the compressive strength, thermal conductivity and consequently increasing the hybrid mold performance (cooling time and a number of molding cycles).

Research limitations/implications

The number of research studies on RT for hybrid mold inserts is still lacking as compared to research studies on conventional manufacturing technology. One of the significant limitations is on the ways to improve physical and mechanical properties due to the limited type, size and shape of materials that are currently available.

Originality/value

This review presents the related information and highlights the current gaps related to this field of study. In addition, it appraises the new formulation of MEC materials for the hybrid mold inserts in injection molding application and RT for non-metal products.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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