3D Printed Smart Molds for Sand Casting
3D printing, additive manufacturing, electronics, sensing, simulation
International Journal of Metalcasting
Additive manufacturing, also commonly referred to as 3D printing, stands to transform sand casting with binder jetting technology that can create sand molds with unmatched geometric complexity. With printed sand molds, castings can be optimized with regard to the strength-versus-weight trade-off and structures such as periodic lattices are now available within molds that are not possible with traditional casting technology. However, an increase in design complexity invites more challenges in terms of understanding and managing both the thermodynamics and physics of the casting process. Simulations of castings are more important than ever, and empirical in situ sensor data are required to validate high fidelity computer modeling (e.g., MAGMASOFT®). One novel solution is to leverage the design freedom of CAD-based solid modeling to introduce unique mold features specifically for housing sensors (Internet of Things) within the mold to enable the collection of a diversity of data at manifold locations: temperature, pressure, moisture, gas chemistries, motion of the molds and internal cores (shifting or rotation), and magnetic field. This report describes a proof of concept in which unprecedented levels of process monitoring were integrated—both wirelessly and wired—at strategic locations throughout a printed mold and inside of internal cores. The collected data were used to validate the quality of a casting in situ as well as to provide feedback for optimizing the casting process, mold design, and simulations. A trade-off was explored between sensor survivability and disposability.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Walker, Jason; Harris, Evan; Lynagh, Charles; Beck, Andrea; Lonardo, Rich; Vuksanovich, Brian; Thiel, Jerry; Rogers, Kirk; Conner, Brett; and MacDonald, Eric, "3D Printed Smart Molds for Sand Casting" (2018). Faculty Publications. 658.