Next Generation Manufacturing
With a commitment to quality through constant re-investment and upgrading of equipment and technologies, Badger Alloys offers the latest in additive and subtractive manufacturing. By taking advantage of our robot and 3D technologies – including 3D modeling, solidification analysis, 3D printed cores and robotically milled molds – our customers are able to work with our engineering team to manipulate castings in the digital space and make sure they are getting the best quality casting.
Prototype Casting and Robotic Patternless Molding
OEMs and other manufacturers require castings with tight tolerances and quick turnaround. Prototypes and robotic patternless molding can oftentimes provide the desired casting in the shortest amount of time -- in as little as two weeks from CAD to casting.
Short-run, complex castings and/or those that require a prototype are ideal candidates for Badger Alloys to mill using our KUKA Quantec six-axis robot. With our robot, we are able to create molds for small to large castings, up to 4,000 pounds and a mold size of 8’X8’. Investment in this equipment has allowed us to provide casting customers a lower cost, more efficient, highly precise alternative to traditional tooling methods.
The benefits of prototype casting and patternless molding include:
- Shorter design cycle
- Decreased up-front capital investment by up to 30 percent
- More design freedom (e.g. reduce or eliminate draft, improve castability, etc.)
- Ability to make design changes/enhancements quickly and cost effectively
- Ability to test during tooling production
- Reduction of overall time-to-market by up to 90 percent
- Elimination of equipment storage and/or maintenance cost
If your worn part needs to be replaced and is obsolete, and/or the pattern equipment is beyond its useful life or otherwise unavailable, you need to find a quick solution to maintain or resume production. New technologies have made reverse engineering an affordable option for refurbishing legacy parts in a relatively short amount of time, even when drawings or models are not available. Utilizing modern scanning technology coupled with advanced modeling software, Badger Alloys can re-create your castings in a digital space. This allows us to fine tune your design prior to casting, decreasing time-to-market and increasing casting quality and performance.
We start by using our FARO arm laser scanner to generate a point cloud – or dataset – from your existing tooling equipment or casting. Once we have a point cloud collected, we create a mesh model and adjust any surface defects that may have been revealed during scanning. The surface mesh then becomes the template to create the fully featured 3D model, which we use to run solidification simulations on your part and determine how to create the highest quality casting the first time through. This 3D model becomes the cornerstone for your casting project, allowing our sales and engineering staff to work with you to determine the best tooling fit and materials for your project.
3D Printed Sand Molds and Cores
For low-volume castings, 3D printed sand molds and cores can be your most efficient and affordable option. Using 3D printed sand molds can help you shorten your production lead time and bring your product to market quickly. 3D printed sand molds can be recreated easily from file, eliminating the need to store or physically move your patterns.
3D Plastic Patterns
3D plastic printing is an alternative method for producing traditional pattern equipment in a potentially lower cost material and in a shorter timeframe. This method can be ideal for low-volume, highly complex casted parts and prototypes. If you have a higher-volume need, traditional tooling can be more economical. Our engineers can consult with you on the best method for your project.
To determine what process is best for your casting needs, download our whitepaper on tooling methods or contact us today.