Creating a Core Component from Altair Inspire Cast
With the advent of additive and subtractive manufacturing, casting designers are now able to create casting cores quickly and easily. In this blog I will show you a great new feature of Altair Inspire Cast, where you can automatically create casting cores to streamline your casting design process.
In this blog we are looking at a hitching mount part that will be gravity cast. The entire casting process can be simulated in Altair Inspire Cast, but in this case, we are only concerned about obtaining the core. As you can see in the image below it has an internal cavity, which requires a core to ensure that the internal cavity is created successfully after the gravity casting process completes.
Full part shown on the left, and cross section of the interior cavity on the right.
As you can see in the cross-sectional view above, the internal cavity of the cast part has numerous features, and thus a core is essential for a good gravity cast part. Traditionally, a designer would have to go back to their CAD platform and either reverse engineer the core out of their CAD system, or create a lengthy parametric drawing which could then be sent to additive or subtractive manufacturing to create the core. As you can imagine, both techniques can be costly and time exhaustive. However, with Altair Inspire Cast you can streamline the process with just a few clicks!
Step 1: Specifying Part to Cast
Our first step is to open this part in Altair Inspire Cast. It should be noted that we are looking at a single cast part, but if you happened to have a runner system or risers this same technique could be utilized to create a core. Once the file is open, we select the part we wish to cast, by clicking on the central part of the cast icon. The center of the icon represents the casting part designation (if you hover on the icon it will show “Designate Casting Part”), whereas the top right and bottom right of the icon represent the filling and gravity directions, which we do not need to click on.
After we click on the casting icon, Altair will bring up the casting prompt, which allows the user to select which part will be cast. In our case we have a single body in our casting scenario, so Altair will automatically highlight that body. If we were working on a multi-body casting scenario, we would have to manually select which parts to cast. In our case we have a single body in our casting scenario, so Altair will automatically highlight that body. It should also be noted that Altair Inspire cast has a plethora of casting materials to utilize. In our case we will select a Grade 30 Cast Iron Material at roughly 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Creating the Core
Once we have designated the part to be cast, we can now create the core. We do this by clicking on the component menu, which will then bring up the sub-menu. Under the sub-menu we click on core and it will bring up the core interface.
The core interface in Altair Inspire Cast is automatic, and it will search the model for any internal cavities in your system. In our case it automatically highlights the internal cavity that would require a core, and we then need to left click to execute the command. The software also allows us to specify what core material we wish to utilize if we were running a full casting simulation. In our case we are only utilizing this tool to obtain the 3D model of the core, so the core material does not matter, thus we will use the default material of silica sand.
Step 3: Exporting the Core
At this point you have now successfully created the core and the part can be saved out as a 3D CAD file, via the file menu of Altair Inspire Cast. Altair Inspire Cast has multiple CAD formats that can be exported. In this case we will save the file as a PARASOLID file, and then once the file is exported, we can open the file in SOLIDWORKS. As you can see from the image below, we now have successfully created a 3D model of the core in just a few steps. If you have further questions about how Inspire Cast can streamline your manufacturing processes, reach out to your local CATI Account manager!
Application Engineer, Simulation Specialist
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.