People and Projects

Rapid prototyping assisted metal casting for
industrial and medical applications
Abhaykumar M. Kuthe

Background : A revolution in manufacturing industries is underway, from mass-production to tailor-made-fabrication, using rapid prototyping or 3D printing technologies. These also have application in metal casting industry: at present, the patterns for creating mold cavities are fabricated by machining, consuming much time and cost. Rapid prototyping technology promises to change the way tooling are fabricated, not only much faster, but also economically, especially when the order quantity is small.

Methods : Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) rapid prototyping system has been employed for fabricating patterns for investment casting as well as sand casting processes. The middle disc of Oldham coupling was produced by both casting processes and compared in terms of defects and cost. The casting methods design was modelled and optimized using a simulation software.

Results : It was also shown that RP patterns are very useful in case of intricate and complicated designs, which cannot be easily made by a pattern maker in wood or metal.

Conclusion : The e advantages overcome its cost.