Sand casting is the age-old process in which casting of metal is done using a mold made of sand. It is the most economical and efficient way of producing metal patterns. This technique is basically used by primary manufacturers, consisting of small pattern shops and foundries.The process is quite simple to follow and can be used by anyone, even by students. The process includes the making of a mold by using various patterns and layout. The molten material is then poured into the mold, left to cool and solidify. Then, the solid sand mold is removed and the metal item is ready for further processing.
Now the question arises if the sand casting is an efficient method, why move on to 3d printing industry?
The answer lies in the very approach to the 3d printing.
The 3d printing industry can eliminate the very problems the industry currently faces.
Benefits of 3d printing sand casting
- In the conventional approach, a manufacturer had to wait till a mold was formed to cast the metal piece. 3d printing would specialize in outsourcing in-house.
- The execution time will decrease, increasing efficiency.
- The patterns used now are manufactured manually leaving room for error, which can be eliminated by using 3d printing.
- A quick modification of patterns can be done easily, which was not possible if conventional mold-making is considered.
- It can reduce manufacturing costs up to 60% of what is now incurred.
- The materials used are acrylonitrile butadiene styrene(ABS) which are way stronger than those from CNC molds used now.
- High degree of flexibility can be achieved, ranging from the design of molds to the size of the batch.
- It also reduces the storage space required to store additional tools for repair and maintenance.
- It promotes Toolless engineering.
- Complex designs can be cast directly rather than producing different parts and joining them together, reducing delivery time.
Why use 3d printing sand casting?
The usage of 3d printing in sand casting can be beneficial, in the correct circumstances.
It is particularly beneficial if used within low to medium level of production, for example, say 5000 parts. The complex designing process is automated which provides accuracy and reduced execution time. Last, but not the least, the mold should be compatible with the printer, its size must be bigger than the printer, otherwise, problems might occur.
Since time is money, and there is no possible way to ignore the level of productivity with time, keeping all the above factors in mind, the 3d printing is a far superior alternative to the conventional sand casting process.
It should be that due to the advent of 3d printing, conventional sand casting is not used. It should be kept in mind, that 3d printing can be combined with the conventional process at will, thus innovation can occur hand in hand with technology and knowledge.