3D printing from CAD has been around a while, delivering interesting shapes and products mainly in various plastics – as a hobby and a bit of fun but now increasingly used for commercial reasons.
Parts are being printed now in steel in the US from a new machine whose design is on open source for anyone to download and build for themselves! Image above right.
3D printing of sand casting moulds and cores has also moved on and can be done quicker, cheaper and with increased precision. A well established traditional castings company in Shropshire has recently invested in the latest 3D sand printing technology with advanced high strength casting sand to produce complex castings for various clients including motorsport, with a capacity of 0.8m x 0.5m x 0.4m which can take up to 3 small car cylinder heads. They are producing precision castings that cannot be achieved by traditional casting methods due to their complexity; and prototypes are being produced quicker and cheaper than ever before. Their investment payback is comparatively short and they are enjoying a growing order book and growing commercial success !
It seems therefore there is money to be made from sand after all !
by Mike Osborn
“It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe”
Robert W. Service
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Sir Winston Churchill
ps If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike