Machine components easily tailored with full-mould casting
When machine manufacturers think of metalcasting, they usually think of wooden patterns and the associated limitations, especially for small series and one-offs:
- long lead and delivery times,
- high pattern costs,
- limited design freedoms,
- high costs of any changes,
- pattern storage, logistics and maintenance costs
The alternative: full-mould casting
However, patterns can also be milled from polystyrene foam blocks using digital 3D data. The resulting patterns don’t have to be removed from the sand mould (they evaporate cleanly during pouring), which means that many design restrictions are simply eliminated – draft angles are not necessary, undercuts are suddenly possible without extra cost or effort; even complex models can be created in one piece.
For machine components in particular, the full-mould casting process enables the production of cast parts in the fast lane, as an alternative to hollow-mould casting with wooden patterns. Pattern costs are comparatively low, lead times are short, and complexity is not a cost factor. That means that both one-offs and small series pay off.
Customise standard machines
The flexibility of the full-mould process speeds up product development and the production of prototypes. Design changes are possible at any time in the product life cycle of machines; series machines can be customised easily, without additional cost.
That’s why full-mould casting is used by machine OEMs who want to enjoy the mechanical properties and benefits of castings, but combined with a high degree of agility and new freedoms. An example is the easy adaptation of series machines to special customer requests.
If, for example, a work table of a machine needs to be a little wider than in the series, that’s no problem with full-mould casting.
From zero to one-off in 2 weeks
Both the polystyrene pattern and the mould design can be optimized using solidification simulation and castability assessments and the part can be cast within a few days. At Römheld & Moelle, polystyrene patterns can be made in our own pattern shop, for extra short distances.
The polystyrene is manufactured in Germany and Europe, virtually ruling out delivery bottlenecks. Thanks to highly standardized processes in the foundry, the cast part can usually be cast within two weeks after the start of pattern production – completely unthinkable with the hollow-mould process.
More about full-mould casting here
Need it even more direct? Discover Printed Casting – completely patternless: castfast.de
Caption/ image credits: A machine bed with custom dimensions, cast by Römheld & Moelle for DECKEL Maho Seebach, using full-mould casting.