Events and News

AFS Additive Manufacturing for Metalcasting Conference Breaks Ground for Industry

October 13, 2016

The first ever AFS Additive Manufacturing for Metalcasting Conference was held Oct. 3-6 in Novi, Michigan. The four-day conference was AFS’ first full technical conference on additive manufacturing and 3-D printing technologies. The conference featured over 35 expert speakers, each focusing on how the new emerging technologies are being utilized in metalcasting facilities to produce cast components.

“The future of Additive and 3-D printing technologies within metalcasting is an exciting chapter for our industry,” AFS VP Technology, Zayna Connor. “The technology has been around for some time, but metalcasters are starting to see its true potential to help improve their operations.”

On day one, the conference kicked off with plant tours at local foundries utilizing additive or 3-D printing processes:

  • Voxeljet, Canton, Michigan: This company manufactures industrial 3D printing systems for the production of molds and models for metal casting without tools. The American operation includes the VX 4000, the largest 3D printer currently available.
  • Tooling & Equipment International (TEI), Livonia, Michigan: TEI is an aluminum sand casting facility and one of the most advanced users of printed sand molds and cores. TEI builds prototype and low volume production castings for a wide variety of industries.
  • ExOne, Troy, Michigan: This company provides 3D printing machines, 3D printed products and related services to industrial customers. ExOne also supplies complex finished cast parts for prototyping and short run production. The tour will be of the primary sand operation in Troy.
  • Temperform, Novi, Michigan: This carbon and stainless steel casting facility produces heat, corrosion and abrasion resistant castings in nobake, shell and ceramic sand processes.
  • Aristo Cast, Almont, Michigan: A leading user of printed patterns for investment casting, Aristo Cast pours a wide selection of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys and has the ability to provide same-day precision castings in all alloys, in both prototype and production quantities.

Keynote speaker Ralph Resnick, kicked off three days of presentations with his keynote address on Tuesday, October 4. Resnick is a part of NCDMM (National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining) and is also involved with the America Makes, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Resnick discussed the increased importance of additive manufacturing within metalcasting, and where the future of the technology can take the industry.

Spread throughout four days, the conference covered a variety of metals, processes and topics revolving around additive manufacturing, including:

  • Component Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Mold Design and Modeling
  • Equipment
  • Investment Casting
  • Materials
  • Foundry Application Case Studies

Keynote presentations were also delivered by John Danko, Danko Arlington. Danko discussed the role of entrepreneurial management and training as a transformational force. He talked about the additive manufacturing technologies that have been implemented at the Danko facilities. 

Bill Harris, Sikorsky Aircraft, gave his keynote address about using technology to improve product, from helicopters to castings.

The conference also included poster sessions from universities to show what is being done to train the next generation of metalcasters in additive manufacturing principles and techniques.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS is a not-for-profit technical and management society that has existed since 1896 to provide and promote knowledge and services that strengthen the metalcasting industry for the ultimate benefit of its customers and society.


From the conference: top left, Ralph Resnick, National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and America Makes, Top Right, Tom Prucha, MetalMorphasis,  Bottom left, David Weiss, Eck Industries, bottom right, Keynote John Danko, Danko Arlington.