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Design, Rapid Prototype, Cast, And Test An Aluminum Link

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

NEW Lab Experiments in Materials Science

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.414.1 - 10.414.7



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Paper Authors

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Richard Griffin Texas A&M University at Qatar

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design, Rapid Prototype, Cast, and Test an Aluminum Link Richard B. Griffin and Terry Creasy Mechanical Engineering- 3123 Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-3123

Abstract Integrated design, rapid prototyping, manufacturing processes, and testing has been accomplished in a junior materials and manufacturing class. Students are given a design space- 4 in x 4 in x ¼ in. Within that volume, they must design a link that may be rapid prototyped, cast, and then tested. The challenge of the project was to develop a link that held the highest load for the least weight. Students designed a link, made a rapid prototyped pattern, cast the component, prepared it for testing, and tested the link in a universal testing machine. The cast material was Al 356. The group that developed a link with the highest load to weight ratio took advantage of the fact the Al 356 alloy may be precipitation hardened.

Keywords Design, rapid prototyping, casting, testing

Objective The objective of this experiment is to allow students to design a component using solid modeling methods, develop a rapid prototype model, prepare a sand casting, and test the part in competition with other students.

Equipment and Materials 1. Solid modeling software (Solid Works® is what MEEN at TAMU has available.) 2. Rapid Prototyping Facility (A Z-Corporation unit is what MEEN at TAMU has available.) 3. Casting Facility (We have a green sand casting laboratory.) 4. Milling Machine available to prepare part for mechanical testing. 5. Mechanical testing machine.

Introduction With the impetus from ABET, the faculty, and former students to include more design within the curriculum, the Materials Division within Mechanical Engineering was looking for ways to do this in a creative manner. Students many times see activities within separate classes as disconnected from other classes or even from a later activity within the same class. Over the past several years Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University has collected a variety of equipment that we have placed in an area that is called the Product Realization Laboratory.1, 2 In an effort to satisfy all of the above customers, the Casting Design Challenge was developed and will be discussed in this paper.

Griffin, R. (2005, June), Design, Rapid Prototype, Cast, And Test An Aluminum Link Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14357

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