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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: 10 October 2018

Tugdual Amaury Le Néel, Pascal Mognol and Jean-Yves Hascoët

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current state of the art manufacturing techniques using sand molds for the casting industry by the means of additive…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current state of the art manufacturing techniques using sand molds for the casting industry by the means of additive manufacturing (AM). In particular, this review will cover two families of 3D printing in regards to sand mold fabrication.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper will discuss the sand casting manufacturing processes of AM by binder jetting (3D printing) and selective laser sintering. Scientific articles, patents and case studies are analyzed. Topics ranging from the technology types to the economic implications are covered.

Findings

The review investigates new factors and methods for mold design, looking at mechanical properties and cost analysis as influenced by material selection, thermal characteristics, topological optimization and manufacturing procedure. Findings in this study suggest that this topic lacks vigorous scientific research and that the case studies by manufacturers thus far are not useful.

Research limitations/implications

As demonstrated by the limited data from previous published studies, a more comprehensive and conclusive analysis is needed due to the lack of interest and resources regarding the AM of sand molds.

Practical implications

This study is a useful tool for any researchers with an interest in the field of AM of sand molds.

Social implications

Key perspectives are proposed.

Originality/value

This review highlights current gaps in this field. The review goes beyond the scientific articles by curating patents and professional case studies.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 24 no. 8
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: 16 January 2017

Philip Mark Hackney and Richard Wooldridge

Metal casting industry is in recovery phase after the crisis in 2008; customer demand continues to increase, with 98.6 million metric tons cast in 2011. Traditional…

Abstract

Purpose

Metal casting industry is in recovery phase after the crisis in 2008; customer demand continues to increase, with 98.6 million metric tons cast in 2011. Traditional ferrous and non-ferrous casting techniques require one shot or permanent moulds which require tooling to produce. Tooling particularly for developmental projects can be costly and take valuable time to produce. Additive manufacturing (AM) has been used to manufacture sand patterns for metal sand casting using laser sintering and sand bonding. This research aims to focus on characterising the sand-bonded process developed by ExOne GmbhH Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken in this research is to evaluate characteristics of parts built in the build volume for dimensional accuracy, tensile and compressive crush strength, density, impact strength and high temperature resistance. These properties are required to compare the 3D sand printing (3DSP) process to direct laser sand sintering (DLSS) and traditional Furan-based casting sand mixtures. The samples were taken from a production machine over a period of 30 days to ensure consistency.

Findings

The 3DSP process has the capability to manufacture sand patterns to an accuracy of ±0.5 mm or error less than 0.3 per cent; it has also demonstrated the best build position to achieve accurate parts. The research has demonstrated the 3DSP patterns are comparable to traditional methods for important casting material characteristics such as tensile, compression and impact strength. It has been shown that the 3DSP process is capable manufacturing significantly larger parts, with build production rates up to 30 times higher compared to similar parts manufactured via the DLSS process.

Research limitations/implications

As they has been very few 3DSP machines sold in Europe and particular UK, they has been little research into this new technique, and, therefore, they is a reliance on machine manufactures data for assessment. This research into 3DSP has increased the knowledge of this process significantly.

Practical implications

This research would be of interest to designers and manufacturing engineers wishing to take advantage of the implications of having new design freedom, tool less manufacturing with short lead times in a wide range of materials using fundamentally tried and tested century’s old casting techniques.

Originality/value

The research for this paper revealed very little published academic research in this area; therefore, this work will increase the body of knowledge for this niche AM process.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 23 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: 28 September 2012

Munish Chhabra and Rupinder Singh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate experimentally the effect of volume of casting, pouring temperature of different materials and shell mould wall thickness on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate experimentally the effect of volume of casting, pouring temperature of different materials and shell mould wall thickness on the surface roughness of the castings obtained by using ZCast direct metal casting process.

Design/methodology/approach

Taguchi's design of experiment approach was used for this investigation. An L9 orthogonal array (OA) of Taguchi design which involves nine experiments for three factors with three levels was used. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was then performed on S/N (signal‐to‐noise) ratios to determine the statistical significance and contribution of each factor on the surface roughness of the castings. The castings were obtained using the shell moulds fabricated with the ZCast process and the surface roughness of castings was measured by using the surface roughness tester.

Findings

Taguchi's analysis results showed that pouring temperature of materials was the most significant factor in deciding the surface roughness of the castings and the shell mould wall thickness was the next most significant factor, whereas volume of casting was found insignificant. Confirmation test was also carried out using the optimal values of factor levels to confirm the effectiveness of this approach. The predicted optimal value of surface roughness of castings produced by ZCast process was 6.47 microns.

Originality/value

The paper presents experimentally investigated data regarding the influence of various control factors on the surface roughness of castings produced by using ZCast process. The data may help to enhance the application of ZCast process in traditional foundry practice.

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Donghua Zhao, Weizhong Guo, Baibing Zhang and Feng Gao

The purpose of this paper is to review available technologies, analyse their features, propose a new approach of 3D sand mould printing based on line forming, introduce…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review available technologies, analyse their features, propose a new approach of 3D sand mould printing based on line forming, introduce the manufacturing principle and show advantages of this approach, especially for larger parts with large Z steps in the build, such as 2 mm stepwise.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces 3D sand mould printing, compares and analyses technological process and existing fabrication approaches among available technologies first. Then, a new approach of 3D sand mould printing is proposed to improve build speed. In addition, the proposed system will be analysed or benchmarked against existing systems.

Findings

A new approach based on line forming of sand mould printing is put forward by reviewing and analysing available technologies, to improve build speed from the aspect of basic moulding movement instead of optimization of moulding methods and process parameters. The theoretical calculation and analysis shows that build speed can be improved greatly, and it is more suitable for the manufacture of large-scale casting’s sand mould when considering dimensional accuracy and printing error, as well as uniformity of each layer.

Research limitations/implications

The specific implement scheme of line forming and nozzle’s specific structure of this new approach need further study.

Practical implications

Much higher build speed of 3D sand mould printing with new approach brings evident implication for moulds companies and manufacturing industry, having a far-reaching influence on the development of national economy.

Originality/value

This paper reviews available technologies and presents a new approach of 3D sand mould printing for the first time. Analysis of the new approach shows that this new method of sand mould printing can boost build speed greatly. So, its application prospect is great.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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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

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the problem of high binder content in sand mould and to solve it. Meanwhile, to increase build speed, especially for heavy casting’s sand mould with a high value in layer height, such as 2 mm in construction instead of the industry standard of 0.3 mm, line forming for three-dimensional (3D) sand mould printing is researched.

Design/methodology/approach

Brief introduction of 3D sand mould printing and key issues are given first. Then, this paper quantitatively analyses binder content in sand mould. Finally, to acquire sand mould with appropriate binder content and high build speed, line forming combining traditional furan no-bake sand manufacture technique is researched, as well as relevant feasible schemes and current progress.

Findings

The study shows that compared with traditional technique, binder content in sand mould produced by available 3D printing technique is too high, bad for sand mould’s properties and quality of castings, while line forming brings guaranteed binder content and improved build speed.

Research limitations/implications

More experiments are needed to demonstrate quantitative analysis of binder content and to obtain flowability of moist sand, detailed structure design of nozzle and practical build speed, as well as methods of circulation of materials considering solidification time.

Practical implications

Line forming with higher build speed and suitable binder content means excellent properties of sand mould and castings as well, bringing obvious implication for moulds industries and manufacturing industry.

Originality/value

This new method could increase build speed and meanwhile guarantee binder content. Thus, its application prospect is promising.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Elena Bassoli, Andrea Gatto, Luca Iuliano and Maria Grazia Violante

The purpose of this paper is to verify the feasibility and evaluate the dimensional accuracy of two rapid casting (RC) solutions based on 3D printing technology…

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16935

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify the feasibility and evaluate the dimensional accuracy of two rapid casting (RC) solutions based on 3D printing technology: investment casting starting from 3D‐printed starch patterns and the ZCast process for the production of cavities for light‐alloys castings.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from the identification and design of a benchmark, technological prototypes were produced with the two RC processes. Measurements on a coordinate measuring machine allowed calculating the dimensional tolerances of the proposed technological chains. The predictive performances of computer aided engineering (CAE) software were verified when applied to the ZCast process modelling.

Findings

The research proved that both the investigated RC solutions are effective in obtaining cast technological prototypes in short times and with low costs, with dimensional tolerances that are completely consistent with metal casting processes.

Practical implications

The research assessed the feasibility and dimensional performances of two RC solutions, providing data that are extremely useful for the industrial application of the considered technologies.

Originality/value

The paper deals with experimental work on innovative techniques on which data are still lacking in literature. In particular, an original contribution to the determination of dimensional tolerances and the investigation on the predictive performances of commercial CAE software is provided.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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