Castings are a very powerful form of engineered metal component, and examples abound around us. From rivets and buttons in blue jeans to flight-critical turbine blades and airframe nodes, castings serve us well, worldwide. Castings can be formed from any alloy family in a myriad of mold types. How those mold types are formed now embodies the most cost-effective applications of additive and subtractive manufacturing.
Design engineering of excellent castings is difficult, and excellence in manufacturing engineering of the design to assure specified quality is critical. Software tools that encompass design engineering, durability analysis and manufacturing engineering are powerful, but disjointed, expensive and require specialized expertise. The SOLIDWORKS software suite can be used in a new and innovative way to make casting design and manufacturing engineering coherent, integrated and easier to accomplish exemplary results. This article will focus on how to develop the foundational castability geometry so that structural geometry can be overlaid in a castable result.