3D Printing Technology Cuts Sand Casting Production Time & Cost by 50%

From small to large parts, simple to complex, iron to magnesium – 3D printing continues to revolutionise the way things are being made across industries on a global scale.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, 3D printing complements conventional fabrication methods by reducing production lead time and costs while bringing better products to market faster. Incorporating systems that streamline the production of these items can result in greater productivity and ergonomics for businesses.

Sand casting patterns are commonly produced by using computer numerical control (CNC) machining, but problems like incorrect shrink compensation and design flaws can occur which in turn require the pattern be reworked – creating additional costs and lead time that Australian manufacturers cannot afford to outlay while under increasing pressure to improve time, cost and production efficiencies.

To combat these issues, sand casting patterns can be 3D printed with Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) Technology™ – creating substantial savings in cost, labour and time which ultimately speeds up new product development, design, manufacture and deployment. 

FDM is an Additive Manufacturing process that builds plastic parts layer by layer, using data from computer-aided design (CAD) files. FDM parts have the compressive strength needed for use as a sand casting pattern.

FDM & sand casting – The surface finish of FDM created parts meets all the requirements of sand casting patterns when post-processed. Post processing also seals the molding surface which prevents release agents from penetrating and sand from sticking. FDM Technology is also being used in both green and no-bake operations for pattern and core box production.

How it works – Sand casting is the process of metal casting using sand as the mold material. When creating a sand cast mold, sand is packed around the pattern and the resulting mold cavity is then used to create finished metal parts. If voids are required within the mold cavity, core boxes are used to create sand cores.

Applications – It is a cost-effective, efficient process for small-lot production or high-volume manufacturing when used in conjunction with automated equipment.

Enhanced productivity – Manufacturers can achieve a lead time reduction up to 70%, are able to make faster design revisions and an interchangeable gate and runner system.

Reduced CostManufacturers can gain a pattern cost reduction up to 70%.

Customer Story – Melron Corporation – With the use of FDM Technology, Melron Corporation, a manufacturer of window and door hardware, can print 3D patterns, core boxes, gates and runners with greater production efficiency – they have reduced the cost of producing matchplates by 60% and lead times by 50%.  

For more information on how FDM technology is helping speed products to market, improve production efficiency and reduce operational costs, click here. Alternatively, you can watch this video.

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