Technologies：Future Additive Manufacturing for 3D Sand Casting
New manufacturing process using the latest technologies.
We installed a Sand Casting Additive Manufacturing Device (3D Printer) at the Modeling Institute that was added to Yonago Plant of Tsurumi Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in November 2018. It has since been used daily in research targeted at developing a production system for making high-quality cast products of high dimensional accuracy in shorter amounts of time and promoting the transformation to digital manufacturing.
Next-generation in sand casting
Sand casting with wood casting patterns is the conventional approach to casting customized products. The process begins by drafting 2-dimensional drawings of the end-product and using those drawings to fabricate wood casting patterns into a mold. The mold is then packed with sand to prepare it for casting. Most of the work that goes into making the wood casting patterns is done by hand, which requires a lot of man-hours and accounts for a large amount of the time needed to produce a customized product.
However, with a Sand Casting Additive Manufacturing Device (3D Printer), sand casting molds can be made directly from 3-dimensional shape data, which completely eliminates the wood cast pattern fabrication process and greatly shortens the amount of time employed to produce a customized product. Moreover, it facilitates shape modifications and casting operations, which leads to faster development work and improvements in product quality and reliability. And, a Sand Casting Additive Manufacturing Device (3D Printer) can form products of any shape whereas sand-casting with wood casting patterns poses restrictions on product shape.
Example of casting process for vacuum pump impeller
Similar to the conventional manufacturing method, the sand casting mold is assembled and injected with molten metal, which then takes the shape of the cast product when cooled and processed -- an impeller in this case. The sand casting mold made on the Sand Casting Additive Manufacturing Device (3D Printer) has smooth surfaces, so pieces easily fit together, which enhances the dimensional accuracy of cast products.
At the Yonago Plant of Tsurumi Manufacturing Co., Ltd., we are using casting analysis software to visualize casting flaws and a 3-dimensional coordinate measuring machine to check dimensional accuracy, in addition to the Sand Casting Additive Manufacturing Device (3D Printer) , in order to ensure high-quality manufacturing.