Events and News

Casting-Based Research Project One of Five Announced by DMDII

October 16, 2015

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI Labs collaboration established in 2014, announced its first five national contract research awards. The contracts are valued at more than $7 million, include 14 DMDII partners from across the U.S., and will fund research aimed at advancing the field of digital manufacturing and design. Over the next three years, DMDII, which is a federally-funded research and development organization, anticipates launching dozens of projects touching several topics and encompassing collaboration from hundreds of institute members.

One of the first five research projects is casting-focused and led by American Foundry Society (AFS) member Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC. AFS, the Steel Founders’ Society of America and Arizona State University’s Design Automation Lab are also on the research team. The project, “Intelligent Adaptive Machining Fixtures for Castings (IAMFixR)” will develop a set of methods and a software enabler, called IAMFixR, to reduce the setup time for machining large castings and fabrications and eliminate scrapping these high value parts by capturing piece to piece dimensional variability prior to machining with little or no setup time. The team aims to incorporate the casting industry standard into a 3D model and use digital technology to capture the changing dimensions of features critical to machining for every part produced. 

The four other research projects will explore structural composites design, optimization of CNC machining, CAD assembly instructions, and automatic tolerancing of mechanical assemblies.

The five applied research and demonstration projects will take 12-18 months to complete.

DMDII is one of three major federal research institutes AFS is involved in as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation initiative. The other two are America Makes and the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII).

The American Foundry Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.