Today was the day I gave physical existence to a purely digital entity.
My Casting Design and Simulation class has been dealing with the gating (channels for metal delivery) design for this part for a few weeks now:
The students collectively created a design:
And we turned it into a mold:
I created a simulation of the fluid flow and metal solidification behavior of this digital design:
Using these simulations, we also predicted where porosity defects were likely to occur:
Alongside these models, we got the mold design 3D printed, allowing us to exactly replicate our digital design. Up to this point, everything existed solely on a computer. Here was the first physical manifestation of our process.
After we poured iron into the mold and gave it a little bit of time to solidify, we opened the mold to see our results:
The sand and metal were still so hot that we could actively see the binder burning out and the sand dropping off as it lost all strength:
Here’s the money shot–a large porosity hole exactly where the simulation predicted:
So not only have we now confirmed the accuracy and validity of the simulation, we have given exact physical form to an object that had only before existed in a digital space. This is the future.