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Te intricate yet robust part


replaces a three-part billet machined into a box section. Te design reduced the mass of the swingarm by 10% while increasing torsional and bend- ing stiffness. Te organic shape hints at the future of metalcasting and the growing opportunities for the industry from additive manufacturing methods, earning the casting the title of 2018. Casting of the Year from AFS and Metal Casting Design & Purchasing magazine. Autodesk had worked on some ini- tial designs for Lightning Motorcycle six years ago, and now the company felt it could put those ideas into reality with TEI as the metalcasting partner.


“We had done some previous work


with TEI and knew that making more complex shapes was totally pos- sible,” said Andreas Bastian, principle research scientist at Autodesk. “We were just looking for the right project to take it for a spin.” Te biggest challenge after the design


phase was figuring out how to clean the 3-D printed sand mold. Te two con- straints to casting via 3-D printed molds, Johnson said, are first must be able to clean the sand, and then you have to assemble the sand package. For the swing arm, the loose, unbonded sand would need to be cleared away from the all the tiny passages between the thin aluminum branches. But TEI has been working


with this medium for many years and has experience in taking on and then meet- ing increasingly difficult challenges. “We approach it maybe differently than the industry—we have journey- man patternmakers cleaning our 3-D printed sand,” said Ted Kahaian, TEI process manager. “It is common for us to push the design boundaries to see what we can or can’t do, and we haven’t stumped them yet. We are making it tougher on them but because they are able to keep meeting the challenges, we are innovating.” To ensure the sand mold was totally


clean, TEI used a small endoscope to travel down every passage of the mold, referring frequently to the 3-D design


30 | MODERN CASTING May 2018 30


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