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3D Printing News

Additive Manufacturing’s Future

We're fascinated by this video we came across with Pete Zelinski, Senior Editor for Modern Machine Shop and Editor-In-Chief for Additive Manufacturing. He's speaking about trends and answering questions about the future of additive manufacturing:

Zelinski really hits the nail on the head when he says additive manufacturings growth relies on "designers becoming more aware of the freedoms and possibilities that additive manufacturing brings them."  

Take a quick minute to watch this short video and see if additive manufacturing needs to be in your future. And, if you happen to be headed to Chicago this week for the International Manufacturing Technology Show this week, be sure to stop by the Additive Manufacturing Center at Booth W-10. 

A Racing Engine Oil Pump Produced through Addictive Manufacturing

 This week's Must See video and article comes from Modern Machine Shop. Gears are expensive parts to make in small quantities. This video from 3D Systems describes how just one gear—for an oil pump—was critical to overcoming a problem with excessive oil pressure in a Mitsubishi 4G63 race engine for a car run at over 185 mph.

English Racing of Camas, Washington, knew that a change in gear size might solve the problem, but the team didn’t know how to get this gear. The complex custom part would have been costly to machine as a one-off job, particularly since one-off prototypes would also be needed to test and refine the design.

Enter Metal Technology of Albany, Oregon. They proposed additive manufacturing instead, printing the part directly from the CAD model on its ProX 300 direct metal sintering machine. This video shows the part not only being additively manufactured in this way, but also functioning successfully at full speed within the engine:


Additive manufacturing once again solves issues previously too costly or too difficult to machine. Tip of the hat to HPI's Steve Murray for the heads-up about the video!

Scouring The World For News About 3D Printing and Other Cool Stuff

In our never ending search for cool news about 3D printing and foundry related information, we have two sites for you to check out.

Spin Casting Miniature Soldiers 

Our first site comes from Foundry Management & Technology Magazine, and it features a great video on spin casting miniature soldiers by an Australian entrepreneur  who shows us what he's learned about melting, molding design and casting in the effort to start a new business. Check out the video:

A Free 3D Print File Health & Science Library from the National Institute of Health

Our second link comes from Live Science,  a great website that spotlights new technology across all industries and disciplines. This article discusses a new website, launched by the National Institutes of Health:

People can now download, share and edit files for use in 3D printers from a new government website. The site has files that can be used to create models of anything from a human brain to deadly viruses.

The website, launched by the National Institutes of Health, is called the NIH 3D Print Exchange, and contains a library of files that a 3D printer can read and print. The files all relate to health and science; the available files include models of a human femur bone, the West Nile virus and a white matter section of the brain.

Users can also share their own files, edit exiting ones or create files using a tool that converts scientific data into ready-to-print 3D files.

Check out their video:

If you've been looking for files to 3D print your very own brain; this is for you. Enjoy!

Free Tickets For RAPID 2014 Exhibition Hall

These past few months have been busy, and June is no exception. We'll be at the 2014 RAPID Conference and Expo June 9-12 in Detroit. RAPID is a great destination for learning, networking, and growing your business with additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

Dave Rittmeyer and Steve Murray are attending and, to celebrate the event, we have a few free tickets we're giving away to get into the Exhibition Hall, valued at $75 each.

They're available to you on a first-come, first served basis. If you want one, call (260) 724-9430, and we'll make arrangements to get one to you.

And if you're attending, be sure to visit us at booth # 1627!

Case Study: OK Foundry & Oswalds Mill Audio

HPI Case Study

Client: OK Foundry, Richmond VA 
End User: Oswalds Mill Audio
Product: Cast Iron Open Baffle Loudspeaker


OK Foundry, an iron foundry based in Richmond VA well known for their architectural castings, was recently involved in creating a very unusual end product: a large, freestanding open baffle speakers made of gray iron. The dimensions for this one-of-a-kind set of speakers were 34.6" x 51.1" x 3" each and weigh around 330 pounds each.  

OK Foundry’s client, Oswalds Mill Audio (ΩMA), is a unique audio company based in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Their design philosophy states, “Instead of following current trends and embracing so called ‘cutting edge technology’ we take a look back.” All of their hand made audio equipment is made in Pennsylvania out of local hardwoods, slate and steel. In addition to their extremely high-end products having a retro appearance to them, they also embrace audio fidelity concepts used in cinemas and studios in the 1930's through the 1950's.

ΩMA had created a design for a large open baffle loudspeaker system cast from iron. Because of the complexity of the design, the foundry determined that the 3D sand mold made more sense than the price for tooling for essentially a “one-off” casting. Also, the tooling to extract the mold would have compromised the design and because HPI was able to print the right and left sand molds there was no need to individually tool the same set.


HPI created the complex mold utilizing our ExOne® 3D Sand Printer and OK Foundry was able to pour and create a remarkable product which will be on display at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, May 17th-20th at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Photographer Cynthia van Elk has provided some photos capturing the whole process of creating the speaker from sand mold to end product.

HPI takes pride in being able to provide a wide range of solutions to complex design issues facing foundries and fabricators today.

Pump Castings Using 3-D Printing

The March issue of "Pumps & Systems" a monthly magazine who deliver relevant industry news coverage and powerful technical information to 42,500 BPA-qualified managers, engineers, operators and maintenance professionals around the world has an article by HPI's Steve Murray. Steve talks about how 3-D printing can positively impact pump castings and eliminate the need for core boxes: "By producing a core that does not require a core box, the design and efficiency rule and are not constrained by manufacturability of the foundry tooling. This is not an all-or-nothing technology. It must be used with existing processes or as a standalone. Pump manufacturers and end users should incorporate it when and where it makes sense."  Steve discusses in depth the impact that 3-D printing can have on Pump Component Molds. Also, there are some great photos of sand core impellers. Check it out

Sand Printing’s Side Benefit

Hoosier Pattern, Inc.'s ExOne S-Max 3D Sand Printer has such a large job box, we can often print fun little projects like this foundryman figurine, at no time cost to the client. Sand Printing's Side Benefit

In Pete Zelinski's blog in the February 3, 2014 on-line issue of "Modern Machine Shop" he outlines in great detail how HPI's 3D Sand Printer serves multiple purposes:

"Initially, Hoosier Pattern’s team members added simple blocks to provide the spacing. But why be so plain? In 3D printing, a complex form is just as easy to generate as a simple one. Therefore, the company began using the geometry of this foundry industry symbol as a spacer instead. When the engineer needs to vertically separate two jobs, he pulls in this figurine’s geometry and positions it between the different CAD models. That means numerous figurines might be produced in the course of running any batch of parts. The result has been an abundance of the figures, which the company gives away at trade shows and other events." [Link]

We at HPI are very fond of The Classic Foundryman. It reminds us that no matter how advanced the technology gets that the end process remains fundamental and iconic.

Check out the full article. | Modern Machine Shop Blog by Peter Zelinski

Stainless Foundry & Engineering Inc.

On a recent visit to Stainless Foundry & Engineering Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we were able to watch a 3D printed mold being poured.  We would like to thank the guys at Stainless for taking the time to show us around. HPI looks forward to working with them on future projects. You can check out their website by clicking here and be sure to view the video below.


HPI featured on

Hoosier Pattern was recognized on unvieling the purchase of their new S-Max™ 3-D sandprinter.  The article gives great insight into the new world of 3-D printing.  Though the Stock photo only shows one job box, Hoosier's double job box set up increases production and ensures customers recieve orders in shorter lead times.  Hoosier has also opted for the larger print head decreasing print time making over night printing a viable option.  HPI prides itself in being one of the first in the world to offer foundry grade printed sand with ExOne's process.  Be sure to check out what the S-Max™ has to offer by clicking here.


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