General News

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.

3D Sand Printing vs Traditional Tooling

The Benefits of 3D Sand Printing 

Hoosier Pattern opened its doors in 1997 as a traditional pattern shop. Over 20 years later, HPI has become an industry leader as a premier pattern shop and—as of 2013—an additive manufacturer as well. Hoosier Pattern is one of the only shops in the United States that has both rapid prototyping and hard tooling capabilities. Many customers come to HPI and ask how they can determine whether to 3D print something versus having a tool built for their project.

The difference in benefits between 3D printed sand and hard tooling boil down to two factors—time and money. Hoosier Pattern's 3D printed sand molds take around ten days to craft and cost $0.13 per cubic inch. Hard tooling can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete and costs can climb to thousands of dollars.

On the surface, 3D printing looks like the way to go for every project. However, some projects are better suited for sand printing and some for hard tooling depending on the elements and goals for the project itself. But how can it be determined which method best fits your particular needs? We may have the answers you’re looking for.

When to Use 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.

Geometrically Complex Parts

It's not uncommon during the process of conventional patternmaking for engineering changes to appear. Even the smallest change can pose a problem to the castings once the tooling has been produced. Since 3D printed sand begins with a CAD file, engineers are able to design and create geometrically complex casting castings to be manufactured the way they were intended to be.

Compromises don't need to be made in order to have high-functioning manufacturability while maintaining a low cost.

When to Use Traditional Tooling

High Volume Production

Although 3D printed sand molds are more cost and time effective, there are project scenarios in which traditional tooling is a better fit. For example, it doesn't make sense to have single-use molds made for a part that is going to be produced thousands of times—in the long run, a traditional pattern is going to be more cost efficient.

Tool Life

3D printed sand molds and cores can't compete with the lifespan and durability of a hard tool. While 3D printed sand is made for one-time use instances, hard tooling molds are made to withstand thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of uses.

Still wondering which process is right for you? Our engineers at Hoosier Pattern will help you make the best choice for your specific needs. We will be honest with you and let you know whether your project is best suited for 3D sand printing or traditional tooling.

Contact us today to learn more about our process and how we can use our expertise to benefit your business.

Students and Educators - You’re Invited to our Open House!

 

Mark your calendars because we are having another open house! Like the first open house, this one will be open to everyone but we are emphasizing an invitation to students and educators. Noble Barbeque will be here providing dinner and the first 100 students that finish the tour will receive their choice of coupon to ABCinema or a small pizza valid at Pizza King of Decatur.

It’s not a secret in the world of HR that finding and keeping quality employees is a challenge. Locally in our own town, manufacturers have had issues finding people that want to work and have the skills to do the work. Over the past few decades, the majority of manufacturing and skilled labor jobs have been filled by baby boomers and now all the baby boomers are starting to retire. According to an article published by the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled and due to the skills gap, an expected 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled.

Here at HPI, we want students and their parents to know that some children aren’t made to go to 4 year universities and that is okay because there are high quality jobs to be had and businesses like HPI are proof of that. HPI employs people that have a wide variety of education. Some of our employees went to college, some went to technical schools, others came to us straight out of high school and worked their way up, but the one thing they all have in common is they all possess quality skills that make them assets to the business. Students deserve to know the details of all of the options after high school and we want to open the door to giving them more insight on a career in manufacturing.

Hoosier has an apprentice program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. It consists of 10,000 working hours (5 years) and 12 classes taken at Ivy Tech Community College. To read more about the apprenticeship go here. Below are 3 Hoosier employees that have gone through or are currently in the apprentice program. One has been at HPI for over 10 years, one is a recent graduate of the apprentice program and the last one is in his first year of the apprenticeship.

 

Nate Chavarria
CAD Supervisor


Nate was hired in 2007, completed his apprenticeship in 2012 and recently celebrated 11 years with the company in June.

What attracted you to the trade?
Realization I could make good money and they would pay for my schooling

Did you take any classes in high school that prepared you for the apprenticeship?
No skilled trades classes during high school however I worked half days my senior year.

What are some of the reasons you would recommend this as a career path?
Right now it is what I like to call “an employee market for jobs”.  Everyone is hiring.  You have an opportunity to get into these decent paying jobs and move up in the companies fast If you show a desire to do so.  Most people I talk to go into major debt for a career they end up either not liking or not even doing.  Try it before you buy into it. 

Any other advice?
I didn’t take any skilled trades classes in high school however they are offering them more and more these days.  This is free knowledge and it will help you find out if you even like the career before you decide to go into it.  Look around when you’re driving down the road.  There are an incredible amount of businesses out there that you have no idea exist.  Ask questions and find out what these places are doing and check out the ones you think you will have a passion for.  Here at Hoosier Pattern every day we are making parts that have never been made before that is pretty cool to be a part of.

 

Phillip Bauman
Journeyman Patternmaker

Phillip graduated from Bellmont High School in 2012 and graduated from the apprentice program in 2017. Phillip initially started at HPI by just painting the outside of the building one summer before deciding to enter the apprenticeship and work his way up the pay scale.

What attracted you to the trade?
I’m mechanically wired which goes hand in hand with machining and what goes on here.

Did you take any classes in high school that prepared you for the apprenticeship?
I took all 4 years of engineering/CAD and also advanced math classes

What are some of the reasons you would recommend this as a career path?
It’s not boring and you gain skills that will help you excel in every day. It’s also cool to start with nothing and then end with a quality product.

 

Kyle Rittmeyer
Apprentice Patternmaker

Kyle graduated from Norwell High School in 2016 and is currently in his first year of the apprenticeship program. Kyle worked at HPI every summer throughout high school helping clean and do odd jobs around the shop. During his senior year of high school he got hired part time and went to school half day and worked the other half.

What attracted you to the trade?
My grandpa was a Journeyman Patternmaker and so is my dad. I looked into the trade and thought it was really cool how you can make parts that no one else can.

Did you take any classes in high school that prepared you for the apprenticeship?
I attended two years of South Adams Machine Trades and half of my senior year was spent working at HPI part time.

What are some of the reasons you would recommend this as a career path?
I would recommend any type of machining trade or working with CNC machines, not just patternmaking. There are jobs in high demand for this trade and it is a steady job that takes skill and you will never stop learning. I see different things happening almost every day.  
 

Nate, Phillip, and Kyle are just three of our employees that all have different reasons of why they picked this career and how they prepared for it. We are focusing this open house on students and educators because we want them to meet employees like this, see them work on real jobs and have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have if they are considering a career in the industry. 

See you on September 26th!

Summer Intern: Lucas Juengel

With the school year back in full swing, we wanted to give some recognition to our summer intern, Lucas! Lucas spent the summer at HPI shadowing different departments and even desiging his own part. Lucas is 18 and now a Senior at Bellmont High School. Get to know a little more about Lucas and his experience at HPI below.

 

  

How did you get connected with HPI? Did you pick it or were you placed here?
I applied to Connexus online and HPI chose me to interview and then picked me to be their summer intern

Did you have an interest in what HPI does before you  interned here? Do you have more of an interest now?
Yes, I was interested in CNC machining and 3D printing and now that I have learned as much as I could in 6 weeks about them, I am more interested in HPI. 

What type of things did you do at HPI?
I shadowed someone from each area and I learned a little bit about everything. I got to design and make 2 different projects as well. 

What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed making a plate with a tractor on it and then designing a scaled down break rotor that I got to pour and cast. 

Did you learn some new skills during this internship?
I learned how to work a new software and also how to melt down and pour molten metal. 

How would you describe the atmosphere?
Everyone was friendly and more than willing to answer all of my questions.

Did it change/inspire any future career plans?
It inspired me to keep continuing on the path of engineering.

Would you recommend an internship or job shadowing to other students?
Yes, because I learned a ton of things this summer through the program and it gave me a taste of what the real world is like. 

 

HPI enjoyed having you this summer and we are confident with your willingness to learn and grow that you are going to do great things! Have a great school year!

Hoosier Pattern Teams Up With The United Way

Hoosier Pattern takes great pride in giving back whether it is to a specific family in need or a whole community like Adams County.  For the 20th year, Hoosier Pattern has teamed up with the United Way of Adams County's yearly efforts and some Hoosier faces are a part of the 2018-2019 campaign! 

 
Our marketing/social media coordinator, Alyssa Corral and purchaser, Tina Fourman explained why they give to the United Way.

Near the end of the campaign you will see a group shot of (almost) everyone here at HPI. Hoosier Pattern has nearly 100% employee participation in giving back to the United Way. We strive to be leaders not just within our community, but within the industry to advocate how important it is to give back. 100% of money donated goes back into the community to support a number of organizations. Employees that live outside of Adams County have the option of their donations going organizations within their home counties. In Adams County, those organizations include:

- Adams County Council on Aging, Inc
- Adams County Healthy Families
- Adams County Senior Citizens Club - Decatur
- Adams Public Library
- Adams Wells Crisis Center
- Agape Respite Care
- Alive & Well Teens, Inc
- Anthony Wayne Area Council Boy Scouts of America
- Berne Public Library
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Boys and Girls Club of Adams County
- C & C Bible Fellowship
- Cancer Services of NE Indiana
- Decatur Operation Help, Inc
- Grace Bible Church - Tiny Treasures of Grace
- Joe & Jane Project
- Junior Achievement of Decatur/Monroe
- North Adams Community Schools
- Safety Park of Adams County, Inc.
- South Adams Summer Swim Club
- The Lords Food Pantry
- The Salvation Army of Adams County

Hoosier Pattern encourages everyone to donate if they have the means. Even something as small as a dollar a week DOES make a difference. With the size of Decatur and the number of programs the United Way is involved in, chances are you know someone that has benefitted from one of these organizations. Together, we can! 

 

Learn more about the United Way of Adams County here

Watch the full 2018-2019 campaign below
 

HPI’s Newest Journeyman Patternmaker!

Jim Geimer has technically been a Journeyman Patternmaker since May of 2018 but after a couple delays, HPI finally got to present him with his official state certificate that certifies him as an official Journeyman Patternmaker! Jim started at Hoosier Pattern in February of 2012 and officially entered the apprenticeship program in January of 2013. Over the next 5 years, he logged 10,000 working hours along with taking the required 12 classes at Ivy Tech Community College. He wrapped up his apprenticeship in early 2018 and as of this morning, his certificate is officially hanging on our wall! 

All Hoosier Pattern employees as well as Jim's wife, Stephanie, were there for the presentation. 

  

Congratulations Jim! We are so proud of you and can't wait to see the great work you do in the future.