PERFECT-3D is recognized for its entry at the Additive Manufacturing User Group’s annual meeting
FAIRBORN, Ohio—PERFECT-3D, a division of Renaissance Services, Inc., recently won an award in the technical competition at the annual meeting of the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) for its entry, “Rapid and Affordable Castings from 3D-Printed Ceramic Molds.” The entry addressed the need to manufacture production castings in as few as four weeks, the company said in a release.
PERFECT-3D provided ready-to-pour 3D-printed ceramic molds that comprise the complete mold tree, including gating and integral filters. The process used ceramic additive manufacturing to enable the foundry to bypass many of the time-consuming steps involved in investment casting. This innovative application of additive manufacturing enabled the foundry to produce vintage automotive throttle bodies in a fraction of the conventional time to acquire new castings, the company said.
HTCI Foundry, in New Carlisle, Ohio, contacted PERFECT-3D with the desire to do short runs on various types of parts. In this case, the geometry was a vintage car throttle body that required 30 castings. HTCI provided the engineers at PERFECT-3D with the CAD geometry of a machined part.
During the collaboration with the foundry, PERFECT-3D created a casting model used to create the mold design, which included an integral pour cup and filter. Upon design completion, the parts were printed on one of PERFECT-3D’s printers with proprietary ceramic material.
Molds were removed from the printer, cleaned, inspected, and placed in a high-temperature furnace to produce fully sintered mold components. The mold components were then inspected, assembled, sealed, and packaged for delivery of the ready-to-pour mold (RTPM) to the foundry. The molds arrived at the foundry, bypassing the traditional wax and dip processes, and went directly to the production line for pouring of the molten metal.
“From a time perspective, this completely changes how we go about producing new castings,” said PERFECT-3D Manager of Operations Bryan Deptowicz, in the release. “With the assembled RTPM, we can eliminate many of the up-front processes at the foundry. Being able to skip these steps greatly decreases the efforts of the foundry and the amount of time to get a casting.”
Shawn Franks from HTCI reported that the delivered molds enabled his company to produce castings from design to production in just weeks. The integral cup and filter assembled on the mold was said to reduce chances for damage during handling and filter installation. HTCI’s testing of PERFECT-3D filters showed no discoloration of metals through the filter, indicating no gas entrapment. Quicker fill rates with less turbulence are said to result in fewer defects throughout the process.