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MetalCasting Design & Purchasing

Designing From Example

A few months ago, a group from work gathered for one of those evening paint classes I’m sure you are familiar with. An instructor takes the group through the process of painting an image, going step by step through the brushstrokes and paint mixing. Although the color choices, spacing, and shaping were unique, in the end, we all had paintings of an owl on a branch in the moonlight.

Contrast that with another recent art project, this time with my kids. They were given several tubs of Play-Doh with pictures of colorful sculpture examples displayed on the packaging—a butterfly, a clown, a flower. After studying the pictures, they came up with their own creations. The butterfly turned into a purple and red lady bug and the clown turned into a snowman with a pointy hat.

Both these adventures in art remind me of the design and engineering process for manufacturing a part.

Step-by-step instructions, rules of thumb, design guidelines, and protocols help you achieve the function of your parts. Examples and case studies show what has already been achieved, so you can make the connection to how it may be applied to your own project.

In this issue of MCDP, we’ve focused on examples. Check out what other designers are doing to achieve their goals for reduced lead time, improved quality, and decreased costs:
•  In the Design Details column on page 20, an aluminum crankcase assembly provided part consolidation, short lead times and part consolidation by combining 3-D printing with low pressure sand casting.
•    In the feature article, “Cast in Place: Integrating Non-Cast Components Into Castings,” on page 28, collaboration between a turbine manufacturer and metal casting supplier resulted in a cast solution that improved part consistency and reduced total cost.
•    The article on page 32, “3-D Technologies Ease Replacement Part Challenges,” is about a project that was specifically launched in order to be a case study for how additive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing practices can increase throughput and reduce cost.
•    Finally, in the Casting Innovation on page 49, “Casting Simulation Helps Part Conversion,”  a marine exhaust housing was successfully converted from another process with the aid of casting process simulation to design a new gating system.

Even though you may not be designing for any of the alloys or end-uses in these case studies, the decision-making process may spark an idea for your own project. Or maybe you have been toying with using additive manufacturing for prototyping but don’t have any experience. Studying case studies and examples opens new possibilities.

Alternatively, when you have completed a successful project, sharing the results with the casting design community may spur the next great design or solution.

Keep creating, and enjoy the case studies in MCDP.

Click here to see this story as it appears in the July/August 2017 issue of MCDP

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