In sand casting, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing by using Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) filament is one of the innovative foundry technologies being adopted to substitute traditional pattern making. Several literatures have reported the influence of process parameters such as raster angle and print speed on some mechanical properties of FDM-printed, PLA-prototypes used in other applications. This study investigated the effects of interior fill, top solid layer, and layer height on the compressive strength of rapid patterns for sand casting application. Different values of the process parameters were used to print the pre-defined samples of the PLA-specimens and a compression test was performed on them. The coupled effects of the process parameters on compressive strength were investigated and the optimum values were determined. Interior fill of 36%, layer height of 0.21 mm and top solid layer of 4 were found to produce a FDM-printed, PLApattern that sustained a compaction pressure of 0.61 MPa. A simulation analysis with ANSYS® to compare failure modes of both experiment and model shows a similarity of buckling failure that occurred close to the base of each specimen.
The research focused on the production of prototype castings, which is mapped out starting from the drawing documentation up to theproduction of the casting itself. The FDM method was applied for the production of the 3D pattern. Its main objective was to find out whatdimensional changes happened during individual production stages, starting from the 3D pattern printing through a silicon mouldproduction, wax patterns casting, making shells, melting out wax from shells and drying, up to the production of the final casting itself. Five measurements of determined dimensions were made during the production, which were processed and evaluated mathematically. A determination of shrinkage and a proposal of measures to maintain the dimensional stability of the final casting so as to meet requirements specified by a customer were the results.