3D-printed whistlers are getting into the holiday spirit

Jolly whistlers* are spreading festive cheer at [iron foundry] Römheld & Moelle [in Mainz].

These “elves” are 3D-printed in sand and are leaner and lighter than conventionally made whistlers, following a redesign by the in-house team to optimise their shape and features in line with the possibilities offered by the sand printing process.

Their fun form follows function: bigger notches offer a better grip when handling the whistlers, as well as creating cheerful smiles; the elf-like truncated cone shape ensures a secure fit on the mould.

The whistlers like it cosy too. Printed alongside moulds for customer castings and tightly packed into the available workspace inside the 3D printer, they emerge in merry groups and help maximise the printer’s utilisation to save time and resources.

Rudi Riedel, Managing Directors at Römheld & Moelle: “Our 3D printer allows us to offer customers castings made in a patternless process – complete with digital ordering, fast turnaround and excellent dimensional accuracy. But it’s in high demand internally too. These whistlers are just one example of our team’s curiosity and ingenuity. They’ve quickly found lots of things to print alongside moulds. That’s great in terms of machine utilisation and makes the whole foundry more efficient. Merry Christmas!”

*) Why whistlers?

Whistlers allow air and other gases to escape from the mould during casting and ensure even thick-walled castings are filled completely and the molten metal reaches all parts of the mould cavity flawlessly.

Air escaping through the whistlers during pouring makes a whistling sound, hence the name.

More about patternless casting here.