This project seeks to develop and demonstrate fast 3D sand printing technology hardware that would be affordable to small and medium-sized enterprises while developing a knowledge-base of design rules to enable design optimization in metal casting to reduce overall manufacturing costs.
3D sand printing can enable new casting designs with reduced mass, part consolidation, and complex fluid flow channels. Mass manufactured vehicle optimization efforts, including improved fuel economy and lower emissions, would benefit from AM sand printing, but slow process speeds and high cost limit integration into production operations.
Three areas of opportunity to improve AM application for full production of castings in this project include: (1) demonstration of fast printing technology hardware that is affordable to the domestic metal casting supply chain; (2) development of knowledge-based design rules; and (3) execution of industry-valued workforce outputs to accelerate widespread technology applications and support regional manufacturing systems integration.
The technical approach is to design hardware to work with open-source bonding resins and aggregates for reduced operational costs. Flexible print settings will be developed to optimize and reduce the volume of sand required. Software development will augment emerging hardware advances. The University of Northern Iowa and the Pennsylvania State University—Applied Research Laboratory will advance knowledge-based design rules to facilitate engineer design optimization work, ideally integrating these design rules into legacy software applications.
Other Project Participants
- Youngstown State University
- American Foundry Society
- Tinker Omega Manufacturing LLC
- Penn State University (PSU)
- Humtown Products
- Dassault Systems
- Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC
- U.S. Department of Defense
- National Science Foundation
- U.S. Department of Energy