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3D Printing News

Hoosier Pattern Produces Molds for Cadillac Intake Manifold

When Cory Taulbert of Taulbert Chassis Components reached out to Hoosier Pattern to work be apart of this project, we didn’t realize how cool the results would be! Hoosier Pattern’s 3D sand printers created molds for an intake manifold that ended up being a part of a Cadillac V8 rebuild.

Bill Ganahl (South City Rod and Custom) is currently building a hot rod for client Mark Warrick.  The 1936 Ford 3 window coupe hosts an immense amount of subtle custom touches, something South City Rod and Custom is known for.  Under the hood sits a 1955 Cadillac V8.

 

Engine conversions were very common in the early days of hot rodding, as it offered the owner an easy way to get more power as Detroit rolled out better engines.  In parallel, the aftermarket quickly supported the new engines with custom camshafts, multiple carburetor intakes, and even supercharger systems.

A company called Supecharger Company of Turin (SCoT) sold superchargers of various displacements for popular engines, but more importantly, produced the intake manifolds that allowed everything to be bolted together.  Fast forward to today, some of these parts are still around but the original limited-production has made those parts extremely rare today.

Back to Mark’s 1936 Ford – he wanted to put a SCoT supercharger on the Cadillac V8.  Bill had the tall task of locating an original SCoT intake to put the package together, but there were none to be found (that were for sale anyway).  Bill turned to a friend, Cory Taulbert, to see what they could come up with.

Cory suggested that they make a new intake manifold.  This would allow them to custom tailor it to Mark’s car, as well as give Mark the exclusivity to unique “one-off” part.  Cory offered up the CAD services and got to work designing a new intake manifold, with inspiration from the original SCoT intake manifold.

When it came time to actually make it, Cory reached out to Hoosier Pattern.  He had recently seen a friend working on a 1920’s Packard Indy Car engine block, that was created from scratch.  Hoosier Pattern 3D printed the molds, so it was clear that it was the place to go to.

At Hoosier, Todd Yoder worked with the 3D model to develop the 3D printed molds.  The molds were then shipped to Crystyl Engineering in Piqua, OH, where an aluminum casting was poured and heated treated.  To finished off the casting, Tooling Science Inc in Maple Grove, MN finish machined the interfacing surfaces and flanges.

 

It’s always very exciting to see a project that we were a part of come together in the end and even better when we get to share these projects with the rest of the industry. The possibilities with the 3D sand printers at Hoosier Pattern are truly endless. Need a quote for a project that requires 3D printed sand? Go here.

Hoosier Pattern Joins Forces with Michigan Art Studio to Create Stunning Manhole Cover

Evolution Art Studio is owned and operated by Jay Elias, a former United States Marine who served during the Gulf War. Jay’s passion is to make art accessible to everyone. Jay reached out to Hoosier Pattern for a project involving a manhole cover that was to be part of the renovation at the 17th District Court in Redford Township, Michigan. The new manhole cover will be front and center of the walkway entrance to the court.

 

The design was simple: to include the state seal of Michigan and the name of the court. The only other requirement was that it says “sanitary.” The state seal of Michigan features the state coat of arms. The moose and elk represent Michigan (they are both natives of the state), the bald eagle is a symbol for the United States. The Latin phrases on the seal are:

  • “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice” is Michigan’s state motto meaning “if you seek pleasant peninsula, look about you.”
  • “E Plurbus Unum” means “From Many, One” or “One From Many” meaning our nation is made from many states
  • “Tuebor” means “I Will Defend” and refers to the frontier position of Michigan

Hoosier Pattern printed a set of 3D molds that came together to create this manhole cover. Once completed, the items were shipped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the final product was poured.  

 

When asked if there was any significant history behind this project, Jay explained:

“Not so much history behind this project as there is a lot of irony (pun intended). I am a disabled veteran who returned from overseas deployment just after the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. Unaware that I was suffering terribly from PTSD, I wound up getting into trouble with the law and serving many years in prison for something that may have been avoided with intervention.

This manhole cover is being installed at a courthouse where they now have “veteran’s court,” something that wasn’t available when I went through the system. There’s so much more awareness about PTSD and the importance of mental health these days. This manhole cover is very symbolic of the healing that can take place through the artistic and creative process. I’m living proof. “

Jay also believes that when it comes to 3D sand printing and the art industry, this process opens up a new world of possibilities for artists and designers. Prototyping is a snap, and one-off projects with difficult parameters can quickly be completed.

Evolution Art Studio offers metal casting to veterans for free through an art therapy program. The studio is always looking to provide workshops for veterans. If you are interested, please contact Jay Elias at Evolution Art Studio. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Quality Checks for 3D Printed Sand

“The response to every task requested from our customer is a reflection of our quality.”

The quote above is found throughout Hoosier Pattern, as well as in our Quality Room, where we have a sizable banner that continuously reminds our employees, we serve our customers to the highest possible standard. Even since our humble beginnings, our commitment to quality has never wavered. This philosophy applies to every item that leaves our dock, including 3D printed sand molds and cores.

In 2013, Hoosier Pattern was the first service provider in the world to own and operate a sand printer. Since then, we have added three more 3D sand printers in-house, with a total of four in our facility. Three of these printers are owned and operated by us. While the fourth is owned by one of our customers.

Our process starts in the quoting department. A CAD designer or engineer will inspect the 3D model and make sure that the design will not have any issues, such as thin walls. Once the 3D model is approved, this begins the printing process. After the molds and cores are printed, the part gets strategically placed in a job box, ensuring that it will be easy to extract the sand without damaging the final product. Test bars are printed throughout various areas in the job box. Every job box gets tested for strength and durability using these test bars.

Next, 3D printed parts are placed on carts and moved to the cleaning room where an employee will brush away any loose sand using paintbrushes, pipe cleaners, and compressed air. Some parts can be cleaned in under a minute. Others can take an hour or two depending on the intricacies of the design. At times this process can be challenging. It takes patience and a steady hand to clean these products.

Below there are 3 quality charts: Far-left - no marks on the chart means that this part has not been clean or audited. Middle picture: one mark - this means that the part has been cleaned. The person that cleaned it marked their square on the chart identifying who cleaned the part. Far-right: a chart with 2 marks on it indicating that the part has been cleaned, audited, and is ready to be packed.

  

The quality process with 3D printed sand parts at Hoosier Pattern is unique because we have a two-check system. Every part gets imprinted with a grid of squares on each item. This grid does not affect the casting, nor will it show up on the final product. Each square on the grid represents an employee identification code. Once an employee finishes cleaning their task, then they will scratch their square on the grid to indicate they have completed their detail.

Next, an auditor comes in and inspects the piece for any erosion made with an air hose, scratches caused by wire, or any other imperfections that could affect the outcome of the casting. Once the part passes our audit test, then the auditor scratches their box on the grid. Finally, the product is now ready to be packed and sent off to the foundry.

The packing process at Hoosier Pattern also has its own set of quality checkpoints. First of all, our packers check to make sure each product has two squares scratched off on our grids. That way, our packers know that every printed part has been audited and is ready to be packed and shipped. During this part of the packing process, employees take photos inside the containers. This process ensures that if anything shows up broken, we can look back at the pictures and see if the product was improperly packed or if the transit was just a little too rough. These issues rarely happen, but when they do, we’re able to improve and refine our process.

At Hoosier Pattern, our 3D printed sand process is a series of simple actions that all add up to make a big difference. From the initial inspection of our 3D model to our highly detailed extraction process to our step-by-step accountability grid program. Rest assured, our 3D sand molds and cores will be delivered to your foundry on-time and with the highest level of quality that Hoosier Pattern is known for in our industry.

Visit us at Rapid + TCT 2019

 

Next week HPI employees will be in Detroit at the RAPID+ TCT Show at the Cobo Center Tuesday the 21st through Thursday the 23rd.  HPI is excited to be an exhibitor on the show floor for the fifth year in a row now at RAPID. Since Detroit isn't too long of a roadtrip from Hoosier Pattern, we are excited to be sending some employees throughout the week to the show for a little field trip to explore the show floor and get a small taste of what a trade show is like. Hoosier Pattern will be at booth 721 this year. 

It's always great to get messages and emails from current and potential customers but the networking and in - person time we is priceless and we look forward to having the 3D printing industry at our fingertips and being able to connect with colleagues at the show. 


What is Rapid + TCT?
Rapid + TCT is where the whole additive manufacturing industry community comes together to check out what next big things are next for the industry. Companies reveal new technologies and products, there is plenty of networking opportunities and a lot of exicing things to see on the show floor.   Attendees can see some of the biggest advancements in the 3D printing industry serving all sectors from manufacturing and medical to aerospace and appliances. 

Registration for Rapid+TCT is still available! And if you want to make the trip to Detroit you are more than welcome to attend this show as Hoosier Pattern's guest. Please email alyssa@hoosierpattern.com to get your promo code when registering for the show.

Important info to remember: 
• Event: Rapid + TCT 2019
•Location: Cobo Center - Detroit, MI 
•Dates: Exhibits open - May 21 - May 23rd
•Hoosier Pattern Booth: 721

21st Anniversary Printed Sand Sale!

Hoosier Pattern celebrated 21 years as a company on November 10th and although there are multiple contributors to how we got here, it wouldn’t be possible without quality customers and loyal partnerships. Hoosier is extending the anniversary celebration to include customers by having an anniversary sale on 3D sand printed projects. 15% off will be given to projects that are printed using silica sand, our standard 2 week lead time and with a minimum printing order of $1000. This sale does not include CAD and engineering time, specialty media or expedited orders.

 

Now is the perfect opportunity to get those end of year projects started. Purchase orders must be received between November 16th and December 16th to qualify for this promotion. To request a quote or place an order contact orders@hoosierpattern.com or upload your files through our secure web portal: https://hoosierpattern.com/send-a-file

 

Best Uses for 3D Printing

Prototyping

Sand printed molds and cores can only be used once, which makes them the perfect option for prototypes. If you have more than one design for a potential part, prototyping can be used to determine which mold or casting is the best option. All of the designs can be sand printed quickly, simultaneously, and at a cheaper cost. Each mold will be individually identified, which prevents confusion when it reaches the customer. Since all 3D printed sand parts start with a CAD file, parts can also easily be tweaked and re-printed.

Low Volume Production

The term “low volume” can be defined differently by every company. We define “low volume” as anywhere from 10-500 units per year. It may not be the best choice for a company to invest in the traditional tooling process if a part will only be used for a short amount of time. Sand printing may be the best option for smaller or temporary projects.

Strict Deadlines

Sand printing is the best choice when projects require a fast turnaround. At Hoosier Pattern, many of our employees have a foundry background, so we understand how critical deadlines can be. Our standard turnaround time for 3D sand prints is 10 days. This is 10 days from the time the order is placed to the time the project will be back on the foundry floor.

Our 10-day turnaround time has changed the game for many of our customers. In the past, it could have taken several months for a tool to be completed and reach a foundry. After we receive the CAD file, we plug it into a job box. Our job box is roughly the size of an average refrigerator and takes 20-22 hours to print. Because this turnaround time is so fast, we are sometimes able to do rush orders. Our employees do everything they can to ensure a customer has their product when they need it.

Case Study: Dalton Foundry

Foundry Uses HPI's 3D Sand Printer To Make Deadline

Dalton Foundry of Warsaw, Indiana had a case to solve for a customer—and time was running out.

Client: Dalton Foundry

Product: Gear Case Housing

Batch Size: Prototype (20)

Product Size: 29" x 26" x 12"

Material Cast: Class 30 Gray Iron

Traditional Method Cost & Timeframe: 8 Weeks at $13,000.00

HPI's 3D Sand Printing Method Cost & Timeframe: 1 Week at $1,165.00

Product Overview

The problem part in question was a section of 443-pound gray iron gear case. The corners—or ribs—in several points were cracking during the casting process. The gear case cover housing is used in industrial air compressors found at work sites to generate air and power. This was a prototype casting that was scheduled to go into production but couldn't be moved forward in the process if the end result was cracked.

Client Challenges

Dalton attempted several different processes and gating-related modifications, but a crack kept appearing. Because of the location and nature of the crack, Dalton employees thought the cracking may be a result of stress during the solidification process. Repeated simulations were run referencing the original design, which led to the conclusion that the defects were related to the design itself. The stress in the casting was the result of the original design’s base being so large that it took much longer to solidify than the other areas of the casting.

Our Solution

A plan was put in place to cut the metal tooling again, but the redesign of the part took much longer than expected. Now time was becoming critical to the project. It was at this point that Dalton turned to Hoosier Pattern and opted to make the cores using our 3D sand printer. In this specific case, Dalton saw the 3D printer could print directly from the CAD file without the upfront tooling cost—this was groundbreaking, especially with a prototype piece that had a history of cracking. With our 3D sand printing capabilities, design changes could be made quickly and a new core could be printed and pour-ready within days.

Results & Conclusion

The first pour using the 3D printed sand core was a success—no defects or cracks were found on the prototype. Twenty additional castings were needed and all of them were poured flawlessly using the 3D printed cores. Not only were there zero defects, but all the prototypes were made in a few days rather an in the few weeks a traditional tooling method would have required.

Our Competitive Advantage

Hoosier Pattern works very closely with all of our customers, enabling our designers to make changes on the fly to keep projects moving forward and meet customers’ needs and deadlines. Hoosier Pattern's 3D sand printer operation is effective and more practical for quick turnaround times.

"Our customer was up against the wall needing parts. We were aware of 3D printing and that a printed core would be turned in less than a week. The success of the part required two leaps of technological faith: stress simulation and using printed cores. Both worked out great" - Rob Burita, Tooling Engineer, Dalton Foundry

Case Study: Strand Design

Product Development and Prototypes On A Time Constraint

Chicago designers get help with redesign, a prototype, and tooling for a project all in one place.

Client: Strand Design

Product: Fourneau Bread Oven

Batch Size: Prototype

Material Cast: Gray Iron

Traditional Method Timeframe: 2-3 Weeks

HPI's 3D Sand Printing Method Timeframe: 1 week

Product Overview

The Fourneau Oven is a cast iron container that goes inside of an oven. It is designed to make bread using the “no knead method” made famous by Mark Bittman of The New York Times. The device's walls heat the dough evenly and the enclosed cooking space traps the steam from the baking bread, creating a crispy golden crust.

Client Challenges

Strand Design came to HPI more than once with multiple oven design molds that weren't possible due to the way it was designed. The designers asked HPI to re-engineer the molds to add proper gating and risers, allowing it to be completed within a short time span. Once the design was tested, it was noted that it was too heavy as one solid piece.

Our Solution

As designers themselves, Strand Design understandably did not want to hand over the design work to a third party. With that in mind, Hoosier Pattern worked side-by-side with the owners to redesign the oven and make this project a reality. The final design was broken up into parts so the oven was easier to handle—the 3D printed sand molds were printed within a really tight schedule and came out perfectly and ready to be cast.

Results & Conclusion

Ultimately, Strand Design opted to not only have Hoosier Pattern print the prototypes for the Fourneau Oven, but they also decided to have Hoosier Pattern complete the tooling as well for production. Strand Design's Fourneau Oven is just one of the many projects that prove Hoosier Pattern is the one-stop shop for prototyping projects that will ultimately need tooling in a short amount of time.

Our Competitive Advantage

Hoosier Pattern works very closely with each customer, enabling our designers to make changes on the fly and keep all projects moving forward to meet customers’ needs and deadlines. Hoosier Pattern's 3D sand printer operation is effective and more practical for quick turnaround times.

"Working with Hoosier was such a pleasure and they were so accommodating that we already knew before the prototypes were done that we would want to work with them to create the production tooling for the project" - Ted Burdett, Co-Owner, Strand Design

If you’d like to see the Fourneau Oven and learn more about how it works, click here

 

Cost Analysis Breakdown of 3D Sand Printing

Calculating the Cost of 3D Sand Printing

In traditional tooling, there are three big points of cost that can make or break a project budget—machining and maintenance, materials, and labor. Each retooling change can add tens of thousands of dollars to overall cost, be it a large design alteration or a small adjustment. Having to wait to find faults in a mold or core after pouring the part in a foundry not only adds to costs, but also adds time you might not have to the frame of the project. A new mold or core will need creating based on an updated design and the process will need repeating until a successful part is produced.

The solution? 3D sand printed molds and cores.

3D printing cuts costs and can help shorten the production process dramatically from what you would expect from traditional tooling methods. Because just one CAD data file is needed to construct a 3D sand printed mold or core, entire steps that would normally be necessary in a traditional process can be factored out. Because of this, economical production is possible with 3D printing, enabling volume to range from individual pieces to small batches of parts.

In 3D sand printed molds and cores, the possibilities in complexity are near limitless—with that complexity also comes an added benefit of cores and molds having potential to be printed in one piece, taking out the entire step of assembly in the overall process and any costs associated with the step.

Our Cost Calculator 

When determining the cost for a core or mold, we typically take the L x W x H dimensions of the to-be-printed piece’s bounding box in cubic inches and multiply them by $0.13. If we don't have to clean the core or mold and can ship it exactly how it comes out of the box, we multiply the amount by $0.11 per cubic inch. Our minimum printing charge is $450.00.

Hoosier Pattern is an industry leading innovator and manufacturer. We pride ourselves in elevating our work and our customers with quality, cost-effective solutions, meaning great castings and quick turnaround times. Contact us today to get started.

Prototyping with Sand Printing

Creating Prototypes with Sand Casting 

The process of sand casting has been the same for hundreds of years. First, a pattern is placed in sand to create the mold and a gating system of some type is incorporated for the molten metal to flow into the mold. The pattern is then removed and the cavity is filled with molten metal. After the metal has cooled, the sand is broken away and the casting is removed.

Although Hoosier Pattern started as a traditional pattern shop—machining and building these patterns while becoming an industry leader—there was more to be explored within the sand casting world. Patterns are reusable and perfect for production use, but what about low volume productions or prototypes?

Back in 2013, Hoosier Pattern bought their first 3D sand printer, expanding their capabilities to more than just hard tooling. Five years later, Hoosier Pattern now has three sand printers in house and is more equipped than ever to provide prototypes.

How It Works

The 3D sand printing process is fairly simple and works as a normal 3D printer would. A CAD file is plugged into the machine and a layer of sand goes across a large job box (70.9 x 39.37 x 27.56"). Binder is then dropped where the part is to be made—the binder joins the sand together and, after layers of this repeated process are bonded together, the mold is formed and extracted from the job box. The created mold is then cleaned and sent to the foundry to be poured within 10 days of receiving the purchase order.

Benefits to 3D Sand Printing

There are two big benefits to 3D printing prototype molds and cores—cost and time.

Traditional pattern making is expensive and it can take months to get your first casting and maybe realize it's not even what you want. Under strict timelines, this may only give engineers and designers a couple of tries to get it right. With 3D printing, a customer can have a casting in a matter of days if needed. Depending on the size of the mold or core, multiple versions of a prototype can be printed at once in the same large job box and sent to the foundry together for maximum use of time.

Hoosier Pattern's method of 3D sand printing allows a customer to print multiple versions of the same prototype at the same time because we aren't committed to tooling. Within a short amount of time, multiple designs can be printed, poured, and tested, allowing for additional alterations or decisions to be made on even a shorter timeline.

Manufacturability is another gain when it comes to 3D printing. Designers are free to castings made true to design and designs don't need to be altered or compromised by manufacturability. Complex cores that would normally need assembly can be printed as one piece. Cores can also be printed with a hollow interior, allowing gas to escape or a core to collapse if need be—this achieves high-quality internal passage systems for castings.

Additionally, 3D printing has the potential to highlight issues that—in situations of traditional tooling—may not normally come up until the molds are moved into production. Finding these issues earlier in the timeline and after fewer resources have been spent help prevent these errors from surfacing for the first time further along in the project timeline, saving time and money in the end.

Every great product started as multiple prototypes that helped shape, adapt, and perfect the final product. Prototypes are essential in detecting problems, testing to see where improvements can be made, and ultimately making the final product more useful to the end user. 3D printed sand is not directed at a certain industry or a particular customer—this technology can be used by a wide range of customers from various backgrounds and industries of all levels.

Hoosier Pattern is a boundary-breaking industry leader—we take pride in elevating ourselves and our customers to top-notch solutions, meaning higher quality castings and quicker turnaround times. Contact us today to learn more or take the first step toward working with us.