Title: Rapid Cloning (RC): a new reproduction method for complex castings

Authors: Heinz Steinbeiss, Timo Hanss

Addresses: Institute for Metal Forming and Casting, Technische Universitat Munchen, Walther-Meissner-Str., 85747 Garching, Germany. ' Institute for Metal Forming and Casting, Technische Universitat Munchen, Walther-Meissner-Str., 85747 Garching, Germany

Abstract: Modern production systems produce serial parts on the basis of 3D CAD data. With the reproduction of spare parts often come different requirements: missing 3D CAD models and low quantities make it difficult to produce economically and with flexible production units. The possibility of generating 3D CAD data of an existing original part with the help of conventional measuring systems is practically possible only with simple geometries. Complex geometries such as cast parts with undercut and inner contours cannot be collected non-destructively. In order to present a reproduction process that can also handle complex cast parts, the process of Rapid Cloning was developed and successfully tested with a historical aluminium cylinder head. The inner and outer contours of the complex casting were first obtained using industrial computer tomography (CT), a non-destructive measurement. The 3D data obtained was then utilised in subsequent steps, such as the process simulation and the design of the core package. Each designed core was then produced using a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Rapid Prototyping (RP) system. This process allows to receive a fully functional clone of the cylinder head within a few weeks. This development in rapid reproduction is applicable to most existing castings.

Keywords: computer tomography; rapid cloning; rapid prototyping; reverse engineering; selective laser sintering; spare parts on demand; complex casting; aluminium cylinder head; rapid reproduction; rapid product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2004.005930

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2004 Vol.6 No.6, pp.584 - 593

Available online: 29 Dec 2004 *

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