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T


hree weeks. It’s all Tooling Equipment International (TEI), had


to design, cast, clean, heat treat, machine and inspect a motorcycle swing arm so uniquely complex it looks more like a spiderweb sculp- ture than vehicle part. As a prototype casting shop, AFS


Corporate Member TEI (Livonia, Michigan) is accustomed to quick turn-arounds and using technol- ogy to achieve castings that push the


boundaries of traditional design. It was fastidious in its approach to the project yet confident the delivery would be made on time. Others were more pessimistic. Tat


first week, a customer walking through the facility saw a TEI engineer working on the mold design and declared, “you will never be able to cast that.” TEI proved him wrong. “We were given an extremely tough


time scale to meet, and given the geometry, that was a bit of a chal-


lenge,” said Oliver Johnson, president of TEI. “We had at best two shots to get this thing right, and we got a good part the first time.” Te swingarm is for the Light- ning LS-218 motorcycle produced by Lightning Motorcycle. 3-D software design company Autodesk commissioned TEI to produce the prototype to prove the capabilities of its generative design methodology, which automates the design based on process-specific parameters.


May 2018 MODERN CASTING | 29 29


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