For part designers and component sourcing specialists who deal with castings frequently, the unique design capabilities of the process can be taken for granted, but every so often we come across a customer still learning about metalcasting who is blown away by what can be achieved by pouring molten metal in a mold. This year’s Casting of the Year, which was awarded at the AFS Metalcasting Congress last week and will be featured in the May/June issue of MetalCasting Design and Purchasing, was such a success, it made not just a casting believer but a casting lover out of its customer.
Although Polaris Industries, a maker of snowmobiles, ATVs and motorcycles, had sourced castings to prototype specialist Craft Pattern and Mold before, its most recent project, a cast aluminum component for the frame of a concept motorcycle, was a unique application. Converted from a steel fabrication, it integrated 20 parts into a single piece and helped the motorcycle designers achieve the minimalist concept that was the inspiration behind the whole project.
When our editors spoke with Greg Brew, director of industrial design at Polaris, he had plenty to say about the advantages of the casting process.
“You have this great medium that doesn’t hold you back when you want to do just a really crazy shape,” He told us. “It can do things that would be a headache in any other medium. I just love it.”
The judges love it too. Congratulations to Craft Pattern of Maple Plain, Minn., for producing this year’s Casting of the Year.
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