Re: Motor Vehicle Rapid Toolmaker

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Fri Oct 10 1997 - 08:58:15 EEST

Yakov Horenstein wrote:

> Sanders Prototype has been granted an award from the US Department of
> Commerce to develop the technology for a Motor Vehicle Rapid ToolMaker.
> I reproduce the information here from the following web site:

Dear Yakov,

     Thanks for posting that interesting news, which apparently just came out
yesterday. How do you keep such a watchful eye on events?!

    Here is another award, reproduced below, relevant to this forum from the
same program, for 3D Printing to one of MIT's newer licensees, Extrude Hone.

Best Regards,
Marshall Burns

***** Fabricating the Future(TM)
***** 10911 Weyburn Avenue, Suite 332, Los Angeles, U.S.A. 90024
***** Phone: +1 (310) 824-8700. Fax: +1 (310) 824-5185
***** E-mail:
***** World Wide Web:

---------------------------------- attachment (from

Project Brief

Motor-Vehicle Manufacturing Technology (October 1997)

Development of the 3D Printing Process for Direct Fabrication of
Automotive Tooling for Lost Foam Castings

     Develop computer systems and three-dimensional printing process
technologies to automatically generate tasking to
     manufacture Styrofoam patterns of complex engine components from a
parts-design database, enabling lower cost production
     of aluminum engine components with complex shapes.The resulting
technologies also could be adapted for the manufacture of
     turbine components and in the creation of new materials such as metal

Sponsor: Extrude Hone Corporation

8075 Pennsylvania Avenue
Irwin, PA 15642

Joint Venture Partners:

     General Motors Powertrain Group

     Project duration: 3 years
     Total project (est.): $6,362 K
     Requested ATP funds: $3,171 K

The automobile industry increasingly uses aluminum engine components to reduce
weight and energy consumption in its vehicles while
controlling manufacturing costs. But the mechanics of making and assembling
cores and molds for conventional casting has limited the designs
that could be cast. The process of lost foam casting, in which a Styrofoam
pattern immersed in dry sand becomes a metal casting as hot metal
vaporizes the plastic foam, allows automotive companies to cast cylinder heads
with the complex geometries required for modern internal
combustion engines. Although this technique produces cost reductions of 20 to 60
percent, the cost of producing the tools to create the foam
patterns is high and changes in tooling take substantial amounts of time.
Extrude Hone and the General Motors Powertrain Group plan to
develop three-dimensional printing process (3DP) techniques to produce the
tooling that is used to make the Styrofoam patterns. The 3DP
process will allow prototypes to be built up automatically, layer by layer, from
a mathematical model. In addition to process development, the
companies will develop the computer systems required to go directly from a parts
design database to production of the tooling. Finally, a
prototype machine for tooling production will be installed at a General Motors
site to simulate its actual use. The partner companies expect
savings from the earlier introduction of new products, the reuse of sand in the
casting process, and increased accuracy of casting. The
techniques developed for powertrain components also could be adapted for the
manufacture of turbine components and in the creation of new
materials such as metal "foams."

For project information:
     Ralph L. Resnick, (412) 863-5900

ATP Project Manager:
     Jack Boudreaux, (301) 975-3560

This file last updated on October 8, 1997.

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