Athens, OH 4 November 2015 –
Ever since I took Metal Fabrication and Casting (ETM 2180) my sophomore year, I have been interested in castings. In the class, we were simply learning about the process. Now in my senior year, I’m delving deeper into the process.
One of the projects I have recently been working on is developing a casted aluminum OHIO badge using the sand casting process. My hopes behind this is to use the castings in my senior production run (capstone).
One thing that makes my development process different from traditional methods is that I have been developing and testing 3D printed patterns and runners which are traditionally machined or carved out. I started out with designing the badge using SolidWorks (a 3D drafting software). The part was then converted into a .STL file which could be read by the 3D printers owned by the ETM department.
Once the parts were printed, they were glued to the pattern board where sand could be packed around them. After the board is removed, a cavity is left for the molten aluminum to fill. As you can see, my first couple of patterns did not allow the sand to take.
After some massaging in the interior edges (larger fillets), larger draft angles and additional post print finishing I was able to create a workable pattern that was casted as seen in the picture at the top.
Now after creating a successful prototype and proving the concept, I have developed a (hopefully) ideal casting pattern that can be used in my capstone project next semester.