Excerpt from the September 2020 Foundry Management & Technology Article by Robert Brooks.
CAD meets casting simulation, and then 3D printing, as a specialty manufacturer effectively converts another complex assembly to a more efficient, lightweight casting.
One or two technology cycles ago, metal casters were enthusiastically adopting simulation programs to identify the causes of quality defects during casting production. That wave of development, still in progress, was prompted by the emergence of CAD programs that optimized casting design. One trend line in the current metal casting technology cycle is adaptation of CAD files to guide additive manufacturing programs, as in 3D-printing of bonded sand into optimally designed molds and cores.
Now, all these trend lines are converging with still another initiative in metal casting — redesigning castings (or fabrications, or other assemblies) as lighter, more functionally effective cast structural elements of vehicles, machines, etc. In the example of one manufacturer, coordinating these trends also made it possible to expedite the design of a customized machine to maximize the potential of its market niche.