Lost-PLA Casting Process Development Using Material Extrusion with Low-Weight PLA

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University of Texas at Austin


The goal of this research is to develop a baseline procedure for lost-PLA casting process of aluminum. Traditional Manufacturing techniques and Smart Manufacturing techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. Integrating the traditional and modern aspects of manufacturing enhances the capabilities of manufacturing. In this study, low-weight PLA is used in a Material Extrusion (MEX) machine to fabricate sacrificial patterns for an aluminum lost-casting process. Different process parameters, after a calibration process, are tested for the MEX process The MEX process parameters tested are: infill pattern, and top/bottom solid layers. The MEX process parameter investigation allows to draw conclusions to establish a standard for which parameters are ideal for the casting process. For this research, casting process parameters are set constant. The preliminary studies show that the lost-PLA casting process is successful in producing dimensionally accurate aluminum parts by a direct-pour casting process using the suggested MEX process parameters.


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