In conjunction with Youngstown State University (YSU) and other local and regional partners, the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) has successfully competed for funding through the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, now known as America Makes, for an award to promote the adoption of additive manufacturing into the casting industry.
“This award marks the next step in YBI’s efforts to transform the region’s economy. We’ve long been known for our work with start-ups; now we’ll be able to assist our existing manufacturing base understand how to optimize new technology to make them more competitive,” said Barbara Ewing, COO, Youngstown Business Incubator.
According to Dr. Martin Abraham, dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, “YSU is pleased to be able to collaborate with YBI on this exciting opportunity to develop new technologies that we believe will be important for our students and the businesses throughout the manufacturing community that hire them.”
Sand casting is a relatively inexpensive manufacturing process that is used for a wide range of products. Casting has been limited in its usage by the cost and time it takes to develop the molds. Extremely complex molds or those that would be produced in low volumes are generally not cost effective to produce using traditional casting methods.
However, by using additive manufacturing to create the sand cores that are central to the casting process, much more intricate designs can be created cost efficiently, and in lower volumes. Consequently, sand cores can now be made that simply couldn’t have made before because of equipment limitations and low volume runs that were previously too expensive can be made cost effectively. This technology will also dramatically shorten the lead-time to production, and will also allow for more optimization of design and improved prototyping processes.
In addition to YBI and YSU, other partners include: Humtown Products in Columbiana, the American Foundry Society, the University of Northern Iowa, ExOne Corp., and Janney Capital Markets.
“YSU has once again been a critical part to YBI’s success; we’re extremely grateful for the time and resources that they committed to make this project happen. We’d also like to thank all the partners who are providing expertise and support for this effort. Finally, we’d like to acknowledge America Makes recognizing the value that this proposal brings to US manufacturing,” Ewing added.