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Project Report on

Development of Powder Dispensing System for Sand


3D Printing Machine

Submitted
in partial fulfillment, of
the requirements of the degree of

Bachelor of Technology
(Production Engineering)
By
Radhika Hingolikar
(131041022)

Under the guidance of


Dr. D.K. Shinde

Department of Production Engineering


Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute
Mumbai 400019
2016
Declaration

I declare that this written submission represents my ideas in my own words and where others' ideas
or words have been included, I have adequately cited and referenced the original sources.

I also declare that I have adhered to all principles of academic honesty and integrity and have not
misrepresented or fabricated or falsified any idea / data / fact / source in my submission.

I understand that any violation of the above will be cause for disciplinary action by the Institute
and can also evoke penal action from the sources which have thus not been properly cited or from
whom proper permission has not been taken when needed.

Radhika Hingolikar,

131041022

Date: 14th December, 2016


VEERMATA JIJABAI TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE

CENTRAL TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, MAHARASHTRA STATE

MATUNGA, MUMBAI-400019

CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL

The report, Development of Powder Dispensing System for Sand 3D


Printing Machine submitted by Radhika Hingolikar is found to be
satisfactory and is approved for the Degree of Bachelor in Technology in
Production Engineering.

Dr. D.K. Shinde Examiner

Date: Place:

iii
Abstract

Three Dimensional Sand Printing is one of the Additive


Manufacturing Techniques which uses a binder jetting approach to print the desired
part. The Three Dimensional Sand Printer uses this approach to print mold and
core in the foundry. This technique takes a CAD file of the Part as input and prints
it into 3D Part. In the traditional process of making molds and cores consumes lot
of time, facing difficulties to produce complex part and it requires pattern to make
casting, and core box to produce cores. Here three dimensional sand printers
eliminate the use of pattern and core box. It reduces the time in production of
castings and cores. It has been proven that more complex core and mold box can
easily be print by Three D Sand Printing.

The process is also known as pattern-less mold making method, as no


patterns are required for the construction of the molds. This report presents the
detailed system design and construction of such a 3D Sand Printing Machine, which
includes the sand dispensing and binder dispensing sub-systems. The report also
explains the motion control setup of the machine.

Keywords: Rapid Prototyping, Sand printing, Pattern-less mold, Binder jetting.


Contents
INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................................... 12
1.1 Additive Manufacturing ........................................................................................................... 12
1.1.1 Steps in Additive Manufacturing............................................................................................ 13
1.1.2 Additive Manufacturing Processes ......................................................................................... 13
1.1.3 Benefits of Additive Manufacturing ....................................................................................... 19
1.1.4 Applications of additive manufacturing................................................................................. 20
1.2 Metal Casting ............................................................................................................................ 21
1.2.1 Metal Casting Process .............................................................................................................. 21
1.2.2 Mold making methods ............................................................................................................. 22
1.3 Motivation and scope of the thesis ........................................................................................... 28
1.4 Objectives ................................................................................................................................. 28
1.5 Organization of Report............................................................................................................. 29
METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................................... 30
2.1 The No-Bake process ...................................................................................................................... 30
2.1.1 Furan based system.................................................................................................................. 31
2.2 The approach to Sand 3D Printing................................................................................................ 33
2.3 Binder Dispensing System .............................................................................................................. 36
2.3.1 Continuous Ink Jet Technology .............................................................................................. 36
2.3.2 Drop on Demand Technology ................................................................................................. 37
LITERATURE SURVEY ......................................................................................................................... 39
3.1 Additive Manufacturing ................................................................................................................. 39
3.1.1 Process flow of AM .................................................................................................................. 39
............................................................................................................................................................ 41
3.2 Three D Sand Printing concept developments ............................................................................. 42
3.3 Three D Sand Printer Machine Components ............................................................................... 42
3.3.1 Mechanical Components ......................................................................................................... 42
3.3.3 Electronics ................................................................................................................................ 57
3.3.4 Software and Programming .................................................................................................... 59
DESIGN OF THE SAND PRINTING MACHINE ................................................................................ 64
4.1 Base Frame ...................................................................................................................................... 65
4.2 Top Frame ....................................................................................................................................... 67
4.3.1 Y axis ......................................................................................................................................... 69
4.3.2 X axis ......................................................................................................................................... 69
4.3.3 Nozzle ........................................................................................................................................ 71
4.4 Table (Z axis) ................................................................................................................................... 72
4.5 Sand dispenser................................................................................................................................. 73
4.6 Stepper Motor Selection ................................................................................................................. 74
4.7 Lead Screw selection ....................................................................................................................... 75
4.8 Belt and Pulley selection ................................................................................................................. 76
4.9 Stepper Motor Driver selections .................................................................................................... 78
4.10 Mechanical End-stop: ................................................................................................................... 79
FABRICATION ........................................................................................................................................ 80
5.1 Manufacturing and procurement of Components ....................................................................... 80
5.2 Support Structure ........................................................................................................................... 81
5.2.1 Base frame ................................................................................................................................ 81
5.2.2 Top frame ................................................................................................................................. 82
5.2.3 Table .......................................................................................................................................... 82
5.3 Assembly of X and Y axes .............................................................................................................. 83
5.3.1 Nozzle ........................................................................................................................................ 83
5.4 The Powder Dispensing System ..................................................................................................... 85
5.5 End-stops ......................................................................................................................................... 86
5.6 Hardware interfacing and control: ............................................................................................... 87
5.6.1 Power supply: ........................................................................................................................... 87
5.6.2 Microcontroller and shield ...................................................................................................... 88
5.6.3 Firmware .................................................................................................................................. 91
5.6.4 Slicer .......................................................................................................................................... 92
5.6.5 Host Software ........................................................................................................................... 92
5.6.7 Final Prototype ......................................................................................................................... 93
CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................................... 95
FUTURE SCOPE ...................................................................................................................................... 96
ANNEXURE...98

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.99
List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Stereo lithography (SLA) ........................................................................................... 14
Figure 1.2: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) ................................................................................. 15
Figure 1.3: Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) ....................................................................... 16
Figure 1.4: Fused Deposition Modelling ...................................................................................... 17
Figure 1.5: Poly jet Modelling ...................................................................................................... 18
Figure 1.6: Binder Jetting ............................................................................................................. 19
Figure 1.7: Shell Molding Process ................................................................................................ 23
Figure 1.8: Expanded Polystyrene Process ................................................................................... 24
Figure 1.9: Investment Casting Process ........................................................................................ 25
Figure 1.10: Split Pattern .............................................................................................................. 26
Figure 1.11: Investment Casting with Ice Patterns ....................................................................... 27
Figure 2.1: The furan acid-catalyzed no-bake curing mechanism ................................................ 32
Figure 2.2: Decomposition of p-toluenesulfonic acid under the influence of temperature .......... 32
Figure 2.3: Approach to Sand 3D printing.................................................................................... 35
Figure 2.4: (a) Continuous Ink jet (b) Drop on demand [28]........................................................ 36
Figure 2.5: Continuous Inkjet[28]................................................................................................. 37
Figure 3.6: (a) Thermal Inkjet (Bubble Jet) (b) Piezo Inkjet[28] ................................................. 38
Figure 3.1: Process flow of Additive Manufacturing [8] .............................................................. 40
Figure 3.2: Powder bed type 1 [11] .............................................................................................. 43
Figure 3.3: Powder bed type 2 [11] .............................................................................................. 44
Figure 3.4: Powder bed type 3 [11] .............................................................................................. 44
Figure 3.5: ACME tooth profile [19] ............................................................................................ 46
Figure 3.6: ACME lead screw [19] ............................................................................................... 46
Figure 3.7: Trapezoidal lead screw specification [19] .................................................................. 46
Figure 3.8: Ball Screw [18] ........................................................................................................... 47
Figure 3.9: GT2 type belt tooth profile [20, 21] ........................................................................... 48
Figure 3.10: GT2 Pulley [20, 21] .................................................................................................. 48
Figure 3.11: Coater designs type 1 [11] ........................................................................................ 49
Figure 3.12: Coater design type 2 [11] ......................................................................................... 50
Figure 3.13: Powder Spreader used by EXONE (Front View) ..................................................... 51
Figure 3.14: Powder Spreader used by EXONE (Side View) ...................................................... 51
Figure 3.15 .................................................................................................................................... 52
Figure 3.16 .................................................................................................................................... 52
Figure 3.17 .................................................................................................................................... 53
Figure 3.18 .................................................................................................................................... 53
Figure 3.19: Powder Spreader used by VoxelJet .......................................................................... 54
Figure 3.20 .................................................................................................................................... 55
Figure 3.21: Torque vs. Speed Characteristics of stepper motor [24] .......................................... 58
Figure 3.22: Incremental Torque per Microstep/Full Step Graph [5] ........................................... 61
Figure 4.1: Sand Printing Machine ............................................................................................... 64
Figure 4.2: Iteration 2 Base Frame ............................................................................................ 65
Figure 4.3: Iteration 4 Base Frame ............................................................................................ 66
Figure 4.4: Iteration 1 Top Frame .............................................................................................. 67
Figure 4.5: Iteration 3 Top Frame .............................................................................................. 68
Figure 4.6: Y axis Movement ....................................................................................................... 68
Figure 4.7: X Axis Movement ...................................................................................................... 70
Figure 4.8: Nozzle ......................................................................................................................... 71
Figure 4.9: Iteration 2 Table ...................................................................................................... 72
Figure 4.10: Iteration 4 - Table ..................................................................................................... 73
Figure 4.11: Iteration 1 Sand Dispenser .................................................................................... 74
Figure 4.12: Stepper motor Nema23 [11] ..................................................................................... 75
Figure 4.13: (a) GT2 type belt[11] (b) GT2 type pulley[11] ....................................................... 77
Figure 4.14: Pololu DRV8825 Stepper Motor Driver [11] ........................................................... 78
Figure 4.15: Mechanical End-stop [11] ........................................................................................ 79
Figure 5.1: Components in the pre-assemble stage ...................................................................... 81
Figure 5.2: Support Structure ........................................................................................................ 83
Figure 5.3: The binder dispensing system .................................................................................... 84
Figure 5.4: Folding of motor ......................................................................................................... 84
Figure 5.5: Roller and Pulley arrangement system of the sand dispensing system ...................... 85
Figure 5.6: Front view of the sand dispensing system .................................................................. 85
Figure 5.7: Auger of the sand dispensing system ......................................................................... 86
Figure 5.8: End-stop for X-axis .................................................................................................... 86
Figure 5.9: End-stop for Z axis ..................................................................................................... 87
Figure 5.10 SMPS ......................................................................................................................... 87
Figure 5.11 Arduino mega 2560 [11] ........................................................................................... 88
Figure 5.12 Ramps 1.4 connection diagram [11]. ......................................................................... 90
Figure 5.13: Motion Control Connections .................................................................................... 91
Figure 5.14: Marlin Configuration.h window ............................................................................... 92
Figure 5.15: Repetier Host window .............................................................................................. 93
Figure 5.16: Final Prototype ......................................................................................................... 94
Figure 5.17: 3D Printed Sand Mold .............................................................................................. 94
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Additive Manufacturing

Leading industry authorities have declared Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D


printing, the first manufacturing revolution of the 21st century. The technology is now used by
a huge set, which varies from hobbyists to large manufacturing industries.

Additive manufacturing (AM) describes the technologies that build 3D objects by


adding layer-upon-layer of material to build products. Once a file is produced using a 3D
modeling software, the additive manufacturing machine (otherwise known as 3D printers) reads
the data from the file and lays down successive layers of material to create a 3D object. While the
technology was first introduced in the early 1980's, its first uses were focused on prototyping and
as a way to visualize models in preproduction. Since then, additive manufacturing has evolved
and is being used to create end-use products across almost all industries. Products created using
additive manufacturing techniques can be made in a variety of materials, from plastics to metals
to ceramic. The technology is fluid and still evolving, and new materials are introduced at a more
rapid pace than ever before.

1.1.1 Steps in Additive Manufacturing

Working of AM machines can be described in three basic steps: Step I is making a


virtual design of the object to be printed. This virtual design is for instance a CAD (Computer
Aided Design) file. This CAD file is created using a 3D modeling application or with a 3D scanner
(to copy an existing object).

Step II is slicing the virtual design. Slicing is dividing a 3D model into hundreds or
thousands of horizontal layers and is done with a software. The slicing software can be inbuilt in
the 3D modeling software application or may come as a slicing toll for a certain 3D printer. When
the 3D model is sliced, it is the uploaded in the 3D printer. This can be done via USB, SD or Wi-
Fi. It depends on what brand and type 3D Printer being used.

Step III is printing of the object. When a file is uploaded in a 3D printer, the object is
ready to be 3D printed layer by layer. The 3D printer reads every slice, which is basically a 2D
image, and creates a three-dimensional object.

1.1.2 Additive Manufacturing Processes

Additive manufacturing encompasses many processes, which are as follows:

a. Stereo lithography (SLA)


This additive manufacturing process employs liquid ultraviolet curable photopolymer
"resin" and an ultraviolet laser to build parts one layer at a time. For each layer, the laser beam
traces a cross-section of the pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the UV laser
light cures and solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and fuses it to the layer below. After
the pattern, has been traced, the platform drops slightly (the distance is generally equal to the
thickness of a single layer) and a resin-filled blade sweeps across the cross section of the part,
re-coating it with fresh material. On this new liquid surface, the subsequent layer pattern is
traced, again fusing it to the previous layer.

Figure 1.1: Stereo lithography (SLA) [35]

b. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

A technique that uses a laser sinter powdered material, aiming the laser
automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, binding the material together
to create a solid structure. Using a high-power laser to selectively fuse thin layers of
powdered materials, the laser scans cross-sections generated from the file on the
surface of a powder bed. After each section is scanned, the bed is lowered and a new
layer of material is applied. The process repeats until the object is completed. SLS is
used for rapid prototyping and for low-volume production of component parts.
Figure 1.2: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)[35]

c. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

While the process is similar to SLS, 3D objects created through DMLS are in
metal. Using the same laser sintering technology, metal powders are fused together to
build objects. This process is also referred to as Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLA)
sometimes. The files are sliced into layers and downloaded into the machine to begin
building. This process is used for detailed, geometric designs that would otherwise be
very difficult to do with metals.
Figure 1.3: Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) [35]

d. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

Objects created through FDM are produced by extruding small strings of


melted material, which harden immediately, to form layers. The machines have a
plastic filament or metal wire that is unwound from a coil to supply material to the
extrusion nozzle, and can turn the flow of material on and off. The nozzle is heated in
order to melt the material, and can move in both horizontal and vertical directions to
build from the bottom up.
Figure 1.4: Fused Deposition Modelling [35]

e. Poly-jet

A process that spray photopolymer materials onto a tray in very thin layers until
the 3D object is built. Each layer is cured with a UV light after being extruded allowing
models to be handled and used immediately. A support material that is built to support
complicated designs can be removed by hand and water jetting after the object is
complete.
Figure 1.5: Poly jet Modelling [35]

f. Binder Jetting

This term explains a process in which layers of material are bonded by


selectively depositing a liquid binding agent to join powdered material. This process
of additive manufacturing is capable of printing a variety of materials, such as metals,
sands and ceramics. While other additive techniques use a heat source to bind
materials together, Binder Jetting does not employ any heat during the build process.
This process provides the ability to print large parts and can be more cost effective
than other methods. Development of pattern less sand molds for casting is based on
this process.
Figure 1.6: Binder Jetting [35]

1.1.3 Benefits of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing offers consumers and professionals alike the ability to create,
customize and/or repair products, and in the process, redefine current production technology. It
is a means to create highly customized products, as well as produce large amounts of production
parts. Products are brought to market in days rather than months and designers save money by
using additive manufacturing instead of traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, the risk
factor is much lower and those involved can receive near-immediate feedback because prototypes
take less time to produce.

For those looking to do rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing is extremely


beneficial. The technology lends itself to efficiently create quick prototypes, allowing designers
and businesses to get their products more quickly. When done in a large printer, multiple parts
can be done at once in less time.
To summarize, the advantages of AM are:

1. Eliminates many manufacturing steps such as materials-machine planning, man-


machine interaction, intermittent quality checks, assembly and related human errors etc.
2. Reduced production time, better process control.
3. Incorporating the changes instantly.
4. No need of extra support to produce overhanging shapes.
5. Complex parts can easily produce.
6. Pattern less process offers design freedom, improved efficiency and eliminates storage.

The disadvantages of AM are:

1. Due to the powder, 3DP printing is messy.


2. Parts require post processing. The parts are weak and brittle, before post processing.
3. Powder printers need to be filled completely to work.
4. 3DP can only print in one material at a time.
5. Hollow parts need escape holes to evacuate excess powder.
6. Thin walls and rods are weak and might break during cleaning.

1.1.4 Applications of additive manufacturing

This technology used where complex geometry, high surface finish and precision required.
1. Aerospace industries.
2. Automotive industries.
3. Decorative/Art.
4. Foundries and pattern shop.
5. Heavy Equipment.
6. Research and development.
7. Medical Application
1.2 Metal Casting

Sand casting, the most widely used casting process, utilizes expendable sand molds
to form complex metal parts that can be made of nearly any alloy. Because the sand mold must be
destroyed in order to remove the part, called the casting, sand casting typically has a
low production rate. The sand casting process involves the use of a furnace, metal, pattern, and
sand mold. The metal is melted in the furnace and then ladled and poured into the cavity of the
sand mold, which is formed by the pattern. The sand mold separates along a parting line and the
solidified casting can be removed.

1.2.1 Metal Casting Process

The process cycle for sand casting consists of six main stages, which are explained below.

1. Mold-making - The first step in the sand casting process is to create the mold for
the casting. In an expendable mold process, this step must be performed for each
casting. A sand mold is formed by packing sand into each half of the mold. The
sand is packed around the pattern, which is a replica of the external shape of the
casting. When the pattern is removed, the cavity that will form the casting remains.
Any internal features of the casting that cannot be formed by the pattern are formed
by separate cores which are made of sand prior to the formation of the mold.

2. Clamping - Once the mold has been made, it must be prepared for the molten metal
to be poured. The surface of the mold cavity is first lubricated to facilitate the
removal of the casting. Then, the cores are positioned and the mold halves are
closed and securely clamped together

3. Pouring - The molten metal is maintained at a set temperature in a furnace. After


the mold has been clamped, the molten metal can be ladled from its holding
container in the furnace and poured into the mold. Enough molten metal must be
poured to fill the entire cavity and all channels in the mold. The filling time is very
short in order to prevent early solidification of any one part of the metal.

4. Cooling - The molten metal that is poured into the mold will begin to cool and
solidify once it enters the cavity. When the entire cavity is filled and the molten
metal solidifies, the final shape of the casting is formed. The mold cannot be opened
until the cooling time has elapsed. The desired cooling time can be estimated based
upon the wall thickness of the casting and the temperature of the metal. Most of the
possible defects that can occur are a result of the solidification process.

5. Removal - After the predetermined solidification time has passed, the sand mold
can simply be broken, and the casting removed. This step, sometimes called
shakeout, is typically performed by a vibrating machine that shakes the sand and
casting out of the flask. Once removed, the casting will likely have some sand and
oxide layers adhered to the surface. Shot blasting is sometimes used to remove any
remaining sand, especially from internal surfaces, and reduce the surface
roughness.

6. Trimming - During cooling, the material from the channels in the mold solidifies
attached to the part. This excess material must be trimmed from the casting either
manually via cutting or sawing, or using a trimming press.

1.2.2 Mold making methods

As discussed above, molds have to be prepared for casting. The mold making methods
can be classified into two types, mold making with patterns and pattern- less mold making.
a. Mold making with patterns

Patterns are the replica of the external shape of the casting. Mold is created by
consolidating the mold material around the pattern. Some of the traditional mold making methods
are as follows:

i. Shell Molding

It is casting process in which the mold is a thin shell of sand held together by
thermosetting resin binder. A metal pattern is heated and placed over a box containing sand
mixed with thermosetting resin. The box is inverted so that sand and resin fall onto the hot
pattern, causing a layer of the mixture to partially cure on the surface to form a hard shell.
It is then repositioned so loose uncured particles drop away. Sand shell is heated in oven
for several minutes to complete the curing. The shell mold is stripped from pattern. Two
halves of the shell mold are assembled, supported by sand or metal shot in a box, and
pouring is accomplished. The finished casting with sprue removed.

Figure 1.7: Shell Molding Process [35]


ii. Expanded Polystyrene Process

Uses a mold of sand packed around a polystyrene foam pattern which vaporizes
when molten metal is poured into mold. Polystyrene foam pattern is coated with refractory
compound. The foam pattern is placed in mold box, and sand is compacted around the
pattern. Molten metal is then poured into the portion of the pattern that forms the pouring
cup and sprue. As the metal enters the mold, the polystyrene foam is vaporized ahead of
the advancing liquid, thus filling the mold cavity.

Figure 1.8: Expanded Polystyrene Process [35]

iii. Investment Casting

A pattern made of wax is coated with a refractory material to make the mold, after
which wax is melted away prior to pouring molten metal. Several patterns are attached to
a sprue to form a pattern tree. Pattern tree is coated with a thin layer of refractory material.
Mold is held in an inverted position and heated to melt the wax and permit it to drip out of
the cavity. It is then preheated to a high temperature, the molten metal is poured, and it
solidifies. Mold is broken away from the finished casting and the parts are separated from
the sprue.

Figure 1.9: Investment Casting Process [35]

iv. Split pattern

Many times, the design of casting offers difficulty in mould making and withdrawal
of pattern, if a solid pattern is used. For such castings, split or two piece pattern are
employed. They are made in two parts which are joined at the parting line by means of
dowels. While moulding one part of the pattern is contained by the drag and the other by
the cope. The patterns are made of wood, plastic or aluminium.
Figure 1.10: Split Pattern [35]

v. Rapid Investment Casting

In the case of rapid investment casting (RIC) the patterns are consumable. The consumable
patterns for investment casting can be made by 3D printing, SLA, SLS, etc. All investment casting
methods basically follow the same process steps even though they differ in the pattern burning out
cycle. Rapid investment casting can be further classified depending upon the pattern material.
Plastic patterns give better dimensional accuracy but it may expand enough to crack ceramic shell
mold while removing from the ceramic shell. Ice patterns give better dimensional accuracy and
there are less chances of cracking of shell, but the investigation of surface finish of ice pattern is
very difficult to measure directly. Frozen mercury can be used as a pattern material because it does
not expand in changing from the solid (frozen) to the liquid state. A major disadvantage of mercury
pattern is the requirement for making and keeping them at extremely low temperature and the other
disadvantage is its high cost. Wax (or wax blend) seems to be the better pattern material which is
available at a lower cost, yet can produce balanced properties [11].
vi. Investment Casting with Ice Patterns

In the ice investment casting as the name indicates ice is used as the pattern material.
The ice patterns for this purpose can be generated by freeze prototyping or can be made
simply by freezing water in silicon molds. Even though the ice prototyping technology can
be used for making any complicated patterns, no proper casting method exists to convert
the ice patterns into final metal parts. This field of investment casting is still being explored.

Figure 1.11: Investment Casting with Ice Patterns [36]

b. Mold making without pattern

This involves direct mold making without using any pattern. It includes the steps of
determining a mold shape, providing a generally uniform thickness layer of sand, curing at least a
portion of the layer of sand, machining the cured portions of the layer of sand based on the desired
mold shape, and repeating the layer-forming, curing and machining steps until the sand mold is
complete. Another aspect includes a machine for creating the sand mold having a build envelope
defined by side walls, a movable build platform and at least one movable tool assembly, the
movable tool assembly having a single or plurality of tools chosen from the group consisting of a
sand dispenser, a sand leveling device, a curing device, and a machining device. The process can
be categorized in the Additive Manufacturing division. SLS, Binder jetting are the methods for
making pattern less sand molds. EOS was the pioneer in laser sintering process of sand for making
sand molds. Today, Ex-One and Voxeljet are the two companies leading in the making of sand
molds using binder jetting.

1.3 Motivation and scope of the thesis

Additive manufacturing is regarded as the revolution in the manufacturing industry. This


project is an attempt to take this revolution in the Casting industry. The German companies have
stepped into the field of sand 3D printing, but this technology is not affordable and easily
accessible to the Indian industry. The proposed sand 3D printing machine will make sand 3D
printing a low cost, usable to all technology in the casting industry.
The project would make me accustomed to the AM techniques. From designing to fabricating
to controlling, it will give me an exposure to all the stages in involved machine building. It is with
this motivation that the project was undertaken.

1.4 Objectives

1. Design and fabricate the Sand 3D Printing machine.


2. Develop a control system for the working of the Sand 3D Printing machine.
3. To attempt to print the sand core.
1.5 Organization of Report

In this chapter, an introduction to the field of Additive Manufacturing and also Casting
was provided. The Proposed Sand 3d Printing Machine was introduced which is aimed at making
the molds used in casting, without any use of patterns. Finally, the motivation and objective of the
project were explained.

In chapter 2, properties and behavior of the binder and sand used in this project are
explained. An approach to sand 3D printing is also laid down.

In chapter 3, a literature review on AM and the technologies used in sand 3D printing is


presented. The review focuses on the historical development of AM. It also focuses on the
technologies used for powder spreading by leading sand 3D printing companies. The data and
working of the electronics and the hardware parts is also discussed.

In chapter 4, the detailed design of the sand 3D printing machine is explained. The
various iterations of the components involved in the machine and the function of each component
is discussed.

In chapter 5, the fabrication and controlling of the machine is given. The softwares used
for the monitoring of the machine is also explained.
CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGY

2.1 The No-Bake process

As the metal casting industrys second favorite method for producing cast components
(green sand molding is the first), no-bake molding has proven its worth as an efficient means to
produce medium and low volumes of complex castings in both ferrous and nonferrous metals.
In the no-bake process, sand is mixed with a chemical binder/catalyst system and then molded
around the cope and drag halves of the tooling [10]. After a specified period of time (from as little
as 10 sec to as long as the foundry requires depending upon mold size), the sand mixture hardens
(resembling a brick in strength) to form the mold halves and the tooling is drawn. Then, a refractory
coating may be applied to both mold halves before they are brought together to form one complete
mold for pouring. (No-bake molded cores also can be produced using a similar method and
assembled into the mold to form more complex shapes.)
No-bake molding, like green sand molding, is known for its versatility. Virtually all metals can be
cast via no-bake molding with component weights ranging from less than a pound to several
hundred thousand pounds. For casting designers, no-bake molding offers:
Good dimensional tolerances (0.005-0.015) because the rigidity of the mold withstands
the pressures exerted by the molten metal during casting;
Compatibility with most pattern materials, including wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass and
Styrofoam, allowing for inexpensive tooling options for casting runs as low as one. In
addition, no-bake molding imparts minimal tooling wear;
Design flexibility for intricate casting shapes. The rigidity and tensile strength of no-bake
molds allows for thin sections of 0.1-in. to be routinely produced. In addition, mold
strength allows for minimal draft and radii requirements in casting design.
Reduced opportunity for gas-related defects as the nitrogen content of most binder systems
used for no-bake molding minimize susceptibility to gas porosity;
Fine surface finishes that can be upgraded further with the mold and core coatings to
support special finishing on the cast components such as paint or dressing. In addition, no-
bake casters can alter their molding media make-up from basic silica sand to higher-end
media such as chromite or zircon sand for applications requiring X-ray quality and extreme
pressure tightness;
Ability to work well with unique metal-casting quality enhancement tools such as metal
filters, ceramic runner systems and exothermic risers to improve casting properties.
Low to medium volume production capability with runs from 1-5000 parts/yr.

Sand 3D-printing works on this similar principle of no-bake mold making process. The major
difference is the absence of pattern in printing. The proposed method of sand printing uses furan
as the binder and silica sand.

2.1.1 Furan based system

Sulfonic acid cured furan no-bake (FNB) binders are based upon furfuryl alcohol (FA).
Furan resins are made from furfuraldehyde or, more commonly, from furfuryl alcohol, both of
which are obtained from agricultural waste products. These binders are commonly used for the
molding and core-making of medium and large sized parts, for small and medium batch production
and for all alloy types. Only certain types are used for steel casting, as cracks, fins or pinholes may
occur. The process allows for good flexibility in application and properties. FNB binders provide
excellent mold and core strength, cure rapidly and allow the sand with which they are used to be
reclaimed at fairly high yields. [1]

It is a simple two-part binder system made up of an acid catalyst and a reactive furan-type
resin. The addition of an acid catalyst to a furan resin causes an exothermic poly-condensation,
which hardens the binder. The FNBs condensation reaction produces water, which tends to slow
the cure rate (dehydration). The bond producing reaction is the further polymerization of these
chains with cross-linking. The FNB curing mechanism is shown in Fig. 2.1. In the presence of
strong acids, prepolymers of furfural and furfuryl alcohol form polymer films that serve as binders.
The curing rate is directly proportional
Figure 2.1: The furan acid-catalyzed no-bake curing mechanism [1]

Figure 2.2: Decomposition of p-toluenesulfonic acid under the influence of temperature [1]
to Fig. 2.1 The furan acid-catalyzed no-bake curing mechanism. Molding and Core-Making with
Chemically-Bonded Sand the amount of acid and a two-part system can be formulated with a well-
controlled curing time. The conventional sulfonic acid hardener for no-bake furan resin contains
toluenesulfonic acid, which decompose under the thermal effect of the liquid metal during pouring,
according to the following equation [13] (Fig. 2.2): The resulting SO2 adsorbs on the surface of
the liquid metal, and decomposes to give a sulfur atom: SO2 g S 2O Sulfur atoms diffuse
in the liquid metal causing the sulfidation of the surface layer of the casting. Sulfur may enter into
a reaction with Mn, Fe, Mg to form sulfides of the S type (Fe, Mn, Mg) having low melting point.
Therefore, much attention is paid to how to reduce the impact of SO2 gas released from the sand
mold with furan resin on the quality of the castings.
The function of the FNB acid catalyst is to neutralize the alkaline contaminants (materials having
a pH value greater than 7) in the sand. Then it initiates and sustains the FNBs condensation-type
curing and cross linking reaction. The acid catalysts are in order of increasing reactivity, 75 %
phosphoric, 85 % phosphoric, toluene sulfonic, xylene sulfonic, and benzene sulfonic sometimes
with an addition of sulfuric or phosphoric or lactic acid, usually used in a diluted form [10]. All of
the acid catalysts are carried in water, and the sulfonic-types usually contain various percentages
of alcohol as well. The use of phosphoric acid may necessitate a lower reclaim rate. The amount
of FNB binders used ranges between 0.9 and 1.2 % based on sand weight. Acid catalyst levels
vary between 30 and 50 % based on the weight of the binder and depend on the temperature of the
sand and the necessary curing rate. The speed of the curing reaction can be adjusted by changing
the catalyst type or percentage, given that the sand type and temperature are constant (the optimum
temperature of the sand is 2030 C)

2.2 The approach to Sand 3D Printing

This technique takes a CAD file of the part as input and prints it into 3D Part. It works on
the principle of depositing a first layer of a mixture of silica sand, pre-mixed with activator on the
print bed and then depositing furan as a binder material to the selected regions as per cad data on
the layer of mixture to produce a layer of bonded sand material at the selected regions. Such steps
are repeated a selected number of times to produce successive layers of selected regions of bonded
sand material so as to form the sand cores. The un-bonded sand material is then removed.

This chapter gives brief information on Three-dimensional sand printing processes.


The Fig.2.3 gives the brief idea on three d sand printing approach. Three d models are transferred
to slicer. Slicer divides it in to number of layers as per layer thickness defined by user. They are
then converted into g codes. Then g codes are passed to the machine via Arduino and ramps
board. Arduino mega 2560 is brain or controller of the machine. Here the marlin conFiguration is
stored, to control the whole machine. Arduino board is attached to the ramps and all stepper motor
connections are fixed to the ramps, so all the motions are controlled. As per instruction by marlin
configuration and g codes the whole machine works. Print bed platform lowers by the same
height that of the layer to be printed. Then the coater moves, it carries the powder from supplier
chamber to the print bed. Once layer deposition is done, binder nozzle activates and it moves as
per cad data. Furan then reacts with silica sand. It hardens and cures, and the 3D product gets
shape. In such way, sand mold is formed.
Figure 2.3: Approach to Sand 3D printing
2.3 Binder Dispensing System

The basis of dispensing binder is inspired from inkjet printer technology. The Binder
solution is dispensed from a container to sand in a pattern which will then take shape in the form
required by us. A series of such patterns will be then taking place layer by layer to make a 3D
Printer based solution to the dispensing problem.

Principles of Inkjet Technology


Two types of inkjet printers exist:
Continuous Ink Jet
Drop on Demand

Continuous inkjet technology ejects drops continuously from the print-head. These drops are then
either directed to the substrate as printing drops or to a collector for recirculation and re-use
whereas Drop on demand technology ejects drops from the print-head only when required.

2.3.1 Continuous Ink Jet Technology

In CIJ technology, a pump directs fluid from a reservoir to one or more small nozzles, eject
a continuous stream of drops at high frequency (in the range of roughly 50 kHz to 175 kHz) using
a vibrating piezoelectric crystal [2]. The drops pass through a set of electrodes which impart a
charge onto each drop. The charged drops then pass a deflection plate which uses an electrostatic
field to select drops that are to be printed and drops to be collected and returned for re-use.

Figure 2.4: (a) Continuous Ink jet (b) Drop on demand [28]
Figure 2.5: Continuous Inkjet [28]

2.3.2 Drop on Demand Technology

Any system which can dispense the liquid only when required into drops can be considered
as a part of this system. These drops are formed by pressure inside the system. This pressure is
created by pulses and there are two major systems that can do this work, namely the thermal and
piezo systems.

a. Thermal inkjet

Thermal inkjet is popular in desktop and some industrial inkjets. The drops formed are due to
the heating of a small resistive element in a small chamber containing ink. The temperature of the
resistive element rises to 350-400C, causing a thin film of ink above the heater to vaporize into a
rapidly expanding bubble, causing a pressure pulse that forces a drop of ink through the nozzle.
Ejection of the drop leaves a void in the chamber, which is then filled by replacement fluid in
preparation for creation of the next drop. The disadvantages of the technology are primarily related
to limitations of the fluids which can be used. [3]
b. Piezo-electric inkjet

The other technology used is piezoelectric based. The Drop on demand of piezo based
print-head is one of most popular in existing and emerging applications. Here, a piezoelectric
crystal (usually PZT- Lead Zirconium Titanate) shows mechanical deformation when
undergone agitation by the electric signal input. This deformation is then creating a pressure
which will then push out the drops from the nozzle. All those use different piezo crystal and
nozzle. The advantage of piezo over thermal is its ability to use different kinds of liquid. In
thermal we have to consider the boiling point but the piezo will just depend upon the
mechanical properties of the liquid. These properties would be affecting both the systems.
Particularly, Viscosity, Density, Cohesion are major factors in these effects. This gives more
reliability to the Piezo over thermal print-heads. Conversely, the price of piezo is more than
that of thermal which limits its applicability in low cost applications.

Figure 3.6: (a) Thermal Inkjet (Bubble Jet) [28] (b) Piezo Inkjet [28]

This chapter gave a brief idea about the basic principles involved in sand 3D printing.
The chemical composition of the binder, its properties and behavior were discussed. The process
flow of the sand 3D printing machine was also explained.
CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE SURVEY

3.1 Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing [4] word itself indicates its meaning; it is a process of adding
material layer by layer to form final object. Stephen Mellor, Liang Hao, David Zhang, Additive
manufacturing: A framework for implementation, International Journal Production Economics,
149 (2014) 194 201 [4] and www.livescience.com [12] gives the brief information on additive
manufacturing. Important info from this research paper and website are listed below:

3.1.1 Process flow of AM

There are several additive manufacturing techniques developed up till now viz. 3DP, SLA,
Selective Laser Sintering/Melting (SLS/SLM), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), etc. resembles
same steps summarized as follows. Fig.3.1 shows process flow [4, 12] of additive manufacturing.

i) Cad modeling:
This is the first step of additive manufacturing process, where a 3D Computer-Aided Design
(CAD) model is generated by using CAD/CAM systems. The 3D object to be built is modeled by
using any CAD software packages available. One must ensure that object to be built on software
must have closed curves to create solid objects.

ii) Data preparation (conversion):


This is the second step in every AM techniques & considered to be a most important step
where 3D CAD file is converted to formats that can be understood by machines. Standard
tessellation language is required format for CAD file. Given 3D model is saved in a standard
tessellation language (.stl) file format & then imported to host software. Different processes have
different methods & timings to slice the file. It includes setting up layer thickness, exposure time,
temperature, resolution, etc. The output will be number of slices (layers) & time required to print
the given object. Literature survey involves the contribution of various peoples to the Additive
manufacturing technologies, 3 Dimensional Printing and Powder Spreading Mechanism. This
research data helps to achieve project objective.

iii) Part building:


This is the third step which includes actual fabrication of the model using one
of the several AM techniques. First layer of the physical model is created. The model
is lowered or uplifted for next layer & the process is repeated until completion of the
model. This is the actual construction of the part. AM machines build one layer at a
time from various materials depending upon the technique employed. Most of the
machines are autonomous, but requires little human intervention.

Figure 3.1: Process flow of Additive Manufacturing [4]


iv) Post processing:
The final step in the AM process is the post-processing task. At this stage, the parts are
removed from the machine and post-processing operations take place, these may be to add extra
strength to the part by filling process voids, finish the curing of a part or to hand finish the parts to
the desired level. The level of post processing will depend greatly on the final usage of the parts
produced.

3.1.2 Classification of AM

Table 3.1: Comparison between various AM techniques [4, 12]


3.2 Three D Sand Printing concept developments

The concept of Three D sand printing is developed from the Selective laser sintering
printing process [13] and traditional method of molding [5].The core difference in 3D Sand
printing, which makes it different from other manufacturing processes, is its printing process. It
works on the same principle as SLS but the difference liquid binder (eg. Furan) instead of laser.

3D Sand Printing Cores & Molds for the Foundry Industry by Ex One [14] uses liquid binder to
make an industrial mold box and cores. The complexity in the design of printer head, which uses
liquid binder, is more. Depending upon the liquid binder properties such as its viscosity may
change with temperature; it leads to block the nozzle if it hardens before coming out from the
nozzle.

3.3 Three D Sand Printer Machine Components

There are so many components of Three D Sand Printer machine. These components can
be categorized into four different areas:
The forum.reprap.org [15] is the forum, where the people, are from an industrial background,
research students, the experts in Three d printer, discussed a lot of information on Three D Printing,
Three D Printer parts, materials used for Three D Printer, different designs of structures, alternate
mechanisms. The necessary information from this forum to make Three D Sand printer, is listed
below.

3.3.1 Mechanical Components

This area explores Three-Dimensional Sand Printing approach, powder bed, linear
actuation mechanism, printer head, and sand spreading mechanism.
i. Three-Dimensional Sand Printing Approach:

This is the very first point to be discussed while building any Three D Sand Printing
machine. Its design, depend upon the selection of the powder spreading mechanism, either the
spreading of sand by hopper mechanism or through powder supplier chamber and coater
mechanism. The selection of printer head depends upon the type of binder selected.

ii. Powder Bed:

There are different designs of a powder bed used depending on the powder spreader
mechanism. In case, if the coater is used to spread the powder, bed divided into chambers.
Chamber where actual product builds up is known as working chamber and neighboring
chambers supplies the powder in the main working chamber. In case if hopper mechanism is used
to spread the powder, the whole bed can be design or work as working chamber. To move the table
which carries powder uses a lead screw and a stepper motor mechanism.

Different designs of the powder bed are shown in Fig 3.2, Fig 3.3, and Fig 3.4[15].

Case 1: Two adjacent Powder feeder and centrally located main work table.

Figure 3.2: Powder bed type 1 [15]


Case 2: Left side powder supplier, centrally work table and right side container to collect extra
sand.

Figure 3.3: Powder bed type 2 [15]

Case 3: Hopper mechanism is used to spread powder over the bed.

Figure 3.4: Powder bed type 3 [15]

iii. Linear Actuation Mechanism:

This area encloses brief information on different types of linear mechanisms, the
components such as lead screws, anti-backlash nut, belts and pulley. There are two kinds of
mechanism are mentioned here, which converts rotary motion into linear motion.
Lead screw.
Belt and pulley.

Ball and Acme lead screw information by SDP/SI [16] is note and machine design by V. V.
Bhandari [17] gives the brief information on basic parameters and specifications of acme lead
screw and ball lead screw, helps in designing or proper selection of lead screws for linear actuation
mechanism, are listed below.

A. Lead screw:

A leadscrew (or lead screw), also known as a power screw or translation screw, is a screw used
as a linkage in a machine, to translate turning motion into linear motion [17].
Lead (l) - The distance that screw (or nut) advances in one revolution.
Pitch - distance between corresponding points on adjacent thread forms (pitch =leads / #
of starts)
Number of threads - number of teeth found along a unit length of the screw (1 / pitch)
Number of starts - number of helical grooves cut into the length of the shaft
Major Diameter- The maximum diameter of a thread which is diameter of the crest of a
male thread or the root of a female thread.
Minor Diameter- The minimum diameter of a thread which is the diameter of the root of a
male thread or the crest of a female thread.
Multi Acme Thread Start- Provides fast relative traversing motion with lower mechanical
advantage.
Thread class- A classification system to classify the threads for interchangeability and
manufacturability.
Threads per inch- Number of full threads per an inch length [16, 17]
a. Acme Lead Screw

Figure 3.5: ACME tooth profile [19]

Figure 3.6: ACME lead screw [19]

b. Trapezoidal Lead Screw

Figure 3.7: Trapezoidal lead screw specification [19]

The Torque required to raise the load (TR) =


The Torque required to lower the load (TL) =

.[17]

c. Ball Screw:

Ball Screws are very similar to lead screws with the exception of a ball bearing train riding
between the screw and nut in a recirculating raceway. This raceway is generally lubricated, which
allows for predictable service life. Due to the increased number of matings and moving parts,
matching tolerances becomes more critical. The screw threads have rounded shapes to conform to
the shape of the balls. The function, terminology, and formulas are the same as found with lead
screws; however the performance of ball screws is far superior. The rolling action of the balls
versus the sliding action of the ACME nut provides significant advantages.

Advantages of ball screw drives are increased efficiency (typically up to 90 95%) which
allows required motor torque to be lower, predictable service life, low wear rate and maintenance
costs. Disadvantages include limited material choice, higher initial cost, and an auxiliary brake is
required to prevent back driving with vertical application. The Fig 3.8 shows the schematic
diagram of ball screw [16].

Figure 3.8: Ball Screw [18]

Torque Calculations (T):


F = Total Force (lbs)
L = Lead (inches)
Efficiency (no units, use 0.9 for Ball screw assemblies) [16]

B. Belt and Pulley:

Belt and pulley is another alternative used to convert rotary motion to linear motion. When
the movement along x, y or z axis is large, belt and pulley are preferred. The cost compare to lead
screws are cheaper as distance of movement along any axis increases. The Fig 3.9 and Fig 3.10
show the tooth profile of belt and pulleys respectively. Belt =Timing belts are a fantastic way to
transfer rotational motion (from a stepper motor) into linear motion (along a rail) and these GT2
belts are excellent for the task. They have a special profile with rounded teeth, which reduces
backlash [20, 21].
Tooth Profile:

Figure 3.9: GT2 type belt tooth profile [20, 21]


Pulley: GT 2 pulley.

Figure 3.10: GT2 Pulley [20, 21]


For precise motion control, pulleys offer excellent precision at a great price. This pulley is meant
for use with GT2 6mm wide belts only [20, 21]. Full aluminum construction means these are very
light and very durable.

C. Coater:

Coater is the part assembly which moves the powder layer from the supplier chamber to the
work bed. There are different coater designs used depending upon its efficiency to spread the layer
within the required accuracy on work bed. Different designs of coater for the different coating
mechanism are shown in Fig 3.11 and Fig 3.12.
Here are some requirements while designing the coater:
The Powder spreader needs to move in a linear sideways motion at an even speed.
The powder spreader must keep a fixed distance above the build platform over the
whole distance it travels.
The powder spreader needs tight tolerances [22]

Different coater designs:

Figure 3.11: Coater designs type 1 [11]


Figure 3.12: Coater design type 2 [11]

Brunermer et.al Powder spreader gives information about the powder spreading mechanism used
in the EXONE sand 3D printing machine [6].
The powder spreader comprising:
a) a flexible strip (4);
b) a motor-driven first roll (8);
c) a transportable nose guide (12);
Wherein as the nose guide is adapted to be transported longitudinally across a support
surface behind a pile of deposited powder, the first roll causes the strip to move over the
nose guide to provide lift to the powder of the pile and to distribute the pile of powder in
the form of a powder layer upon the support surface; and
d) stiffening element (14);
includes a plurality of adjustable supports, at least one of the supports of the plurality of
supports being independently adjustable to control the contour of the nose guide.
Figure 3.13: Powder Spreader used by EXONE (Front View)

Figure 3.14: Powder Spreader used by EXONE (Side View)

FIG. 3.15-Tension device 52 has been moved forward (with respect to the direction of
travel indicated by arrow 24) thus decreasing the lead angle 54 (to decrease the amount of
lift of the leading powder) and increasing the trailing angle 56 (to increase the amount of
compaction of powder bed).
Figure 3.15

FIG. 3.16- The leading arm 72 of its tension device 74 has been shortened, while leaving
its trailing arm 76 unchanged from that of the first powder spreader. This increases lead
angle 78 (to increase the lift) while maintaining the trailing angle 80 the same as it was for
first powder spreader.

Figure 3.16

FIG. 3.17- the nose guide 92 is longer, narrower, and has a smaller radius of curvature at
its working end 94. Also, the adjustable support 96 has been lengthened. This results in
increase in the lead and trailing angles 98, 100. They also result in the bed contact area 102
being smaller.
Figure 3.17
FIG. 3.18- This has no tension device and corners of the stiffening element 112 have been
trimmed back to avoid contact with the sleeve 114. The tension of the sleeve 114 may be
selectively controlled by adjusting the distance between the drive roll 116 and the nose
guide 118, e.g., by adjusting the length of the support 120. Note that the lead and trailing
angles 122, 124 of are larger (therefore, increased lift and increased compaction).

Figure 3.18

Ederer et al. Method and device for conveying particulate material during the layer-wise
production of patterns, describes the powder dispensing system used by VoxelJet[7].
An apparatus for dispensing particulate matter in a layer, on to a surface to be coated,
comprising:
1. a coater carrier (10) that stretches over the full width of the surface to be coated and adapted
to move across the length of the surface;
2. a blade assembly rotatably attached to the coater carrier at an axis point, the blade assembly
including:
a holder portion (7) and a removable shaped blade portion (8) with an outside blade
edge,
a metering device with an outside wall (17) for carrying and dispensing, via an opening,
the particulate fluids, the metering device connectively disposed in front of the blade
assembly such that the outside wall maintains a gap (Bs) as small as possible over a
preceding layer,
a cam mechanism (12) connectively disposed to the coater carrier and rotatably
connected to the holder portion, the cam mechanism adapted to impart a vertical and a
horizontal oscillatory vibration with an amplitude of at least 0.85 mm at the outside
blade edge or an oscillatory angular rotational of 0.1 to 5 degrees about the axis point
(9) of the blade assembly along the direction in which particulate matter is built up.
The blade 7 is driven by at least one high speed electric motor, which vibrates said
blade via one cam 12.
In this embodiment, if for example the motor that drives cam 12 rotates at 3,000 rpm
at 12V and the stroke of the cam is 0.54 mm, the amplitude of the blade edge is 0.85
mm.

Figure 3.19: Powder Spreader used by VoxelJet


Blade 7 has rounded edges 13 such that particulate matter 5 enters by flowing around
a radius (2-4mm) on one edge of said blade. The angle of the hopper should lie between
15 and 30 degrees, depending on the particulate matter used.
Blade 7 is made up of two parts comprising a shaped blade part 14 and a holder 15,
part 14 can be unscrewed and replaced if, for example, it is damaged through Wear.

FIG 3.20:
The vibration of blade 7 and hopper 3 occurs in a vertical direction that is basically
perpendicular to working surface 4.

Figure 3.20

3.3.2 Material

This area encloses the material used for Three D Sand Printer. This category comes under
the powder material used printers. Name of the printer itself shows that the sand is the powder
material. There are different metallic powders also available. It requires the different binders which
can cure the metallic powder. Laser also used to cure such metallic powders. This project uses the
silica sand, activator and furan as a binder.
Chapter 14: Sodium silicate bonded sand by by Foseco Ferrous Foundryman's
Handbook [23] gives the details of different types of sand and their properties used in foundry to
make molds and cores. These details are listed below.
i. Silica Sand:

The term sand also is included in a continuum of particle sizes that includes other terms
denoting size classification from finest to coarsest (in diameter): clay (256.0 um). Silt (0.0039 to
0.0625 or 1/16 mm), sand (0.0625 to 2.0 mm), granule (2.0 to 4.0 mm), pebble (4.0 to 64.0 mm),
cobble (64.0 to 256.0 mm), and boulder (>256.0 mm) [24] Silica sand has the advantages of
common occurrence and abundance, ease of bonding with organic or inorganic binders, low cost,
and the ability to be reclaimed for reuse by wet, dry, or thermal methods. The major disadvantage
of silica sand is its characteristic high thermal expansion. This expansion causes casting quality
problems and contributes to other expansion-related defects. High thermal expansion requires
carefully controlled additions of cushioning materials (e.g., cellulose additives) to minimize the
deformation and rupture of mold surfaces in contact with molten metal. Another disadvantage is
that silica sand is unable to resist metal penetration and reactions that occur in quartz when in
contact with casting surfaces. These problems arise where there are reentrant angles in hotspot
areas of a large iron and steel castings. Fine bank sand is used as a base for molding sand in
medium- to small-sized, gray iron castings typical of those used in casting hardware and hand tools
and for casting aluminum and copper-based alloys. Lake sands in large quantities are used in the
production of automotive and farm machinery castings [24].
The table 3.2 shows the different kind of sand used in foundry to prepare mold and core and their
properties.
Table 3.2: Sand types and properties [24]

3.3.3 Electronics

It includes electronic components used in Three D Sand Printer machine play a vital role in
controlling machine very effectively & they are as follows:

i. Microcontroller & shield:


This is an important electronic component of any 3D Sand Printer machine which
connects the PC or laptop with the machine. It interfaces hardware with software. The
microcontroller Arduino mega 2560 &ReprapArduino Mega Pololu Shield (RAMPS)
1.4 as a shield is mostly used in Three D printer.
ii. Stepper Motor: Stepper motor is used to drive the axis of Three D Sand Printer
machine based on the inputs given by the user. Selecting a stepper motor and using it
to its full advantage depends on three important criteria [25]:
Desired mechanical motion
Speed required
Load
Stepper Motors: Fundamentals, Applications and Design by V. V. Athan [25] is a book explain
the detail characteristic of stepper motor and its selection. The torque vs speed characteristics are
listed below and graph shown in Fig 3.21.

Figure 3.21: Torque vs. Speed Characteristics of stepper motor [8]

Pull-in Torque Curve: The pull-in torque curve shows the maximum friction torque with which,
the motor can start, at different stepping rates, without losing any step.
Pull Out Torque Curve: The pullout curve is of more interest, because it shows the total
available torque when the motor runs at constant speed at a given frequency. In an
application, this torque is used for overcoming the load friction torque and for accelerating
the load and motor inertia.
The output power of the motor can be increased by a factor of six, through the use of a
bipolar constant current driver, compared to the basic unipolar L/R-driver. The increased
output power is a function of both the increased over-all pullout torque and the increased
stepping frequency range.
Slew Range: The area between the pull-in and the pullout curves, where to maintain
synchronism the motor speed must be ramped (adjusted gradually).
Stop / Start Region: area on and underneath the pull-in curve. For any load value in this
region, the motor can start, stop, or reverse instantly (no ramping required) at the
corresponding speed value.
Holding Torque: Amount of torque that the motor produces when it has rated current
flowing through the windings but the motor is at rest.
Detent Torque: Amount of torque that the motor produces when it is not energized. No
current is flowing through the windings.
Stepper Motor: Nema 08, Nema 11, Nema 17, Nema 23, Nema 34.
Step Angle 0.45, 0.9, 1.8 degrees [8].

iii. Stepper motor driver:


Stepper motor driver is used to supply the required amount of current to the stepper
motor. The stepper motor driver is going to select in given machine is Polulu A4988.
It has trimpot to adjust the current flowing through it to the motor.

iv. Power supply:


It is used to provide power to shield & motor. Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS)
from dead PC is used for the same which is 12V & 180 watt.

3.3.4 Software and Programming

i. Modeling Software-
CATIA, SOLIDWORKS

ii. Slicing Software


SLICER [11]
This software allows communication to the printer electronics before and during the
printing jobs. It allows the user to upload a .stl file and convert it to Gcode to control
the printer. This host software will accept 3D drawings (.stl file) from user & will break
down into a number of layers.

iii. Firmware
MARLIN, SPRINTER, Grbl, Teacup, sjfw, sailfish, Repetier, A printer, RepRap,
Smoothie, redeem [11] Arduino IDE software [11] is used only when Arduino board is
used as a microcontroller. This software is used to upload firmware (3D printer
program) to the Arduino board. Thus, Arduino IDE acts as an interface between user
& machine. The Three D Sand Printer machine is going to use Arduino IDE software
along with marlin firmware [8].

iv. Micro-stepping:
Stepper Motor Technical Note: Micro-stepping Myths and Realities by MICROMO
member of the faulhaber group, White Paper give the details information about micro-
stepping and its effect on torque carrying capacity of stepper motor. These details are
listed below. Micro-stepping is used to get high resolution. It divides the full degree
angle of the stepper motor. Thus the number of steps per mm is increased in multiple
of micro-stepping. If micro-stepping for 1.8 degree full step angle is done at 1/8th, then
amount of step increase by 8 times myself. I.e. 200 *8 = 1600 steps per lead. So, the
higher resolution can get with this method . Here are still compelling reasons other than
high resolution for micro-stepping.
They are: reduced Mechanical Noise, gentler actuation mechanically and reduces
resonances problems. Although Micro-stepping gives the designer more resolution,
improved accuracy is not realized. Reduction in mechanical and electromagnetically
induced noise is, however, a real benefit. The mechanical transmission of torque will
also be much gentler as will a reduction in resonance problems. This gives better
confidence in maintaining synchronization of the open loop system and less wear and
tear on the mechanical transmission system [8].
Table 3.3 Holding torque per micro-step of stepper motor [8]

Figure 3.22: Incremental Torque per Microstep/Full Step Graph [8]

The aim of the literature survey was to use past research and current knowledge and activity to
provide direction for the research that gained through a lot of resources such as reference book,
papers, journal, articles, conferences articles and documentations regarding applications and
research work. This shows how the theory and the concept have been implemented in order to
achieve the project objective. Stephenmellor, lianghao, davidzhang [4], has given brief information
on additive manufacturing in the paper name Additive manufacturing: A framework for the
implementationin International Journal Production
Economics. They explain the different additive manufacturing technologies currently using in the
world and their advantages and disadvantages. Dean Snelling, Heather Blount, Charles Forman,
Kelly Ramsburg, Andrew Wentzel, Christopher Williams1, Alandruschitz [9], they studied the
sand core produced by three d sand printer of Ex-one corporation, and mentioned their results in
the paper name with The effects of three d printed molds on castings they are from the design,
research, and education for additive manufacturing systems laboratory; department of mechanical
engineering, department of material science Virginia tech, Blacksburg, VA. They mentioned the
parameters such as collapsibility, strength, permeability, surface roughness of the casting produced
by three d printed core. The foseco ferrous foundryman's handbook [23] gives the details on
different types of silica sand available in to make core and their properties.

The forum forum.reprap.org [15] where the people from academic backgrounds, industry
background, shares their experiences, their ideas on how to build three d printer, various
difficulties they faced and how to overcome the problems. The forum has different sections
according to the different additive manufacturing technologies; different components require
building three d printer such as design, fabrication, hardware, software, and interfacing. Here the
students come with new ideas in three d printing and the people from an industrial background
helps to solve the problem. That forum brings the whole world on one common platform.

Mrs. R. Dayana, Gunaseelan P. Assistant Professor, dept of ECE, SRM University,


Kattankulathur, Tamilnadu, India, gives the details on microcontroller based X and Y plotter
in his research paper name with Microcontroller Based X-Y Plotter in Embedded System
Technology, at SRM University Kattankulathur, Tamilnadu, India. He has given briefings to
control the X and Y mechanism by the microcontroller. It explains arduino programming to
control the stepper motor so that it controls the X Y mechanism. Ball and Acme lead screw
information from SDP/SI is noted and machine design by V.V. Bhandari gives the brief
information on basic parameters and specifications of Acme lead screw and ball lead screw, helps
in designing or proper selection of lead screws for linear actuation mechanism

Mateusz Kuklaa,*, Pawe Tarkowskia, Ireneusz Malujdaa, Krzysztof Talakaa, Jan


GreckiaaPozna has mentioned the brief idea on torque characteristic of stepper motor in their
research paper title with Determination of the torque characteristics of a stepper motor at The
20th International Conference: Machine Modeling and Simulations, MMS 2015, Poland. It helps
to find out the torque characteristic of stepper motor to select the stepper motor. MICROMO the
member of the faulhaber group in their white paper title with Stepper Motor Technical Note:
Microstepping Myths and Realities explains the micro stepping of the stepper motor [8]. Micro-
stepping brings the resolution of the printer down depending on the micro-step value.

Determining When to Use 3D Sand Printing: Quantifying the Role of Complexity research paper
published at Youngstown state university may 2015, by eyad S. almaghariz, gives the idea about
at what point in 3D printing technology is affordable. As complexity increases and require
customize product the 3D printing is affordable, but the mass production need to pay more money.

So, the literature survey gives brief idea about 3D sand printing, FNB Process, different
mechanisms to build a machine, selection of stepper motors, the microcontroller based XY axis
mechanism. It helps to build three d sand printer machine.
CHAPTER 4

DESIGN OF THE SAND PRINTING MACHINE

The system is a three-axis machine. The basic structure is of aluminum whereas the guide
rods and ball screws are of stainless steel. It stands on a base frame with the help of guide rods.
Ball-screws have been used to provide linear motion along the axes to the parts. It consists of three
main parts:
1. Binder dispenser
2. Sand dispenser
3. Table.

Figure 4.1: Sand Printing Machine


The detailed construction is as follows:

4.1 Base Frame


It is the bottom frame on which the entire structure stands.

1st Iteration:

Four Aluminum plates are welded together.

Disadvantage: Low strength, Aesthetics, More chances of Misalignment.

2nd Iteration:

Four plates are bolted together from the top and steps are provided at the ends for proper alignment
and better fitting, as shown in the Figure

Disadvantage: Difficulty in assembly and disassembly of Ball Screws.

Figure 4.2: Iteration 2 Base Frame


3rd Iteration:

The Ball Screws were placed at the ends, closer to one set of the Guide Rods to avoid collision.

Disadvantage: Symmetry of the support structure of the system is disturbed.

Final Iteration:

It consists of four aluminum plates which are bolted to each other to form a closed square structure.
Steps are provided at the end of two plates for proper alignment and better fitting. Guide rods of
Diameter 20 mm and M16 metric Ball-screw are affixed on it. The guide rods are bolted from
below with the help of M8 Allen bolts. M16 Ball-screw bearing is held in a block of aluminum of
(60 x 32 x 15 mm) which is bolted in the step provided on the base with two bolts located
diagonally opposite to each other. The step is machined in the center of the plates to maintain the
symmetry of the structure. To avoid collision the motors are folded, which is described later in this
chapter. This additional block is provided for ease of assembly, disassembly and adjustment of
ball screw. The ball bearing of the ball screw is also fitted in this block.

Figure 4.3: Iteration 4 Base Frame


4.2 Top Frame
1st Iteration:

Four Aluminum plates are welded together.

Disadvantage: Low strength, Aesthetics.

Figure 4.4: Iteration 1 Top Frame

2nd Iteration:

Four plates are bolted together from sides and Guide Rods are fitted in the top frame with the help
of bolts from top. The two Ball Screws responsible for the movement of print head and sand
dispenser in the Y direction are fitted one below the other on separate plates which are in turn
attached to the main frame.

Disadvantage: More chances of Misalignment.

Final Iteration:

The top frame consists of four plates that are bolted together with M8 Allen bolts, two on each
corner. The Guide rods of diameter 20 mm are bolted in position with four M8 Allen bolts on the
top. Steps are provided at the end of the plates for proper alignment and better fitting of the plates
in position together. It also holds the two guide rods of diameter 10 mm and two M16 Ball-screws,
one for the sand dispenser movement and one for the Y-axis movement of print head. Motor
bracket are attached to the top frame for Z axis, binder dispenser and sand dispenser stepper
motors. These stepper motors in turn are bolted to these brackets, which are connected to the love
joy couplings and these couplings are connected to the Ball-screw shaft of diameter 8 mm. Top
frame houses the ball bearing for the Z axis, binder dispenser and sand dispenser Ball-screw as
well. These Ball-screw are fixed with help of M10 lock nut.

Figure 4.5: Iteration 3 Top Frame

Figure 4.6: Y axis Movement


4.3 Binder dispenser

4.3.1 Y axis

The Y axis provides the movement of the binder dispenser in the y direction.

1st Iteration:

Timer Belt and Pulley arrangement and 10mm Guide Rods for linear motion along Y axis.

Disadvantage: Low accuracy, chances of slip.

2nd Iteration:

Use of linear rails for motion along Y axis.

Disadvantage: High cost and low accuracy.

Final Iteration:

The movement is enabled by attaching the assembly of the binder dispenser with the M16 Ball
screw and Guide rod diameter 10mm on the top frame with the help of a plate.

4.3.2 X axis

X Axis provides the movement of the binder dispenser in the x direction.

1st Iteration:

Motion in X direction is by Ball Screw and a Guide rod for support.

Disadvantage: Tilting takes place because of no proper support.


2nd Iteration:

Movement along the X axis is given by the Ball Screw situated between two guide rods.

Disadvantage: More cost and material.

Final Iteration:

A back plate is attached to the Y axis plate and two side plates are attached to the back plate with
M8 Allen bolts. Linear rail is attached to the back plate with M4 Allen bolts. Linear guide slides
along this rail. M16 Ball-screw is fitted with its flange bearing within the side plates. Side plates
contain the ball bearings attached to the shaft of Ball-screw. Both the LM guide and flange housing
are attached to move together with the joint plate and a spacer is used to adjust the difference
between these two which is attached to LM guide. A motor plate to which the stepper motor is
bolted on one side is attached to the side plate on other side with M6 allen bolts for adjustment as
the Ball-screw shaft is connected to the motor shaft using pulley and belt arrangement. This folding
of motor is done to avoid collision of motor with the Z axis ball screw and also to avoid decrease
in the area of bed available for printing.

Figure 4.7: X Axis Movement


4.3.3 Nozzle

1st Iteration:

The single jet nozzle (Fig. III. e) is 3D printed with low density polymer as the material and
doctors syringe is glued to it.

Disadvantage: Leakage of the binder.

2nd Iteration:

The nozzle was coated with araldite.

Disadvantage: Leakage of the binder.

3rd Iteration:

The nozzle was coated with plaster of paris as used in cases of fracture.

Disadvantage: Leakage of the binder.

Final Iteration:

The nozzle was again 3D printed but with high density polymer and thickness was also increased.
It was then also coated with araldite. There are two openings at the top, one for the binder and
other for CO2 gas, to apply pressure. This nozzle is bolted to the joint plate of the print head on the
X axis.

Figure 4.8: Nozzle


4.4 Table (Z axis)

1st Iteration:

Scissor lift could be used for the Z axis movement of Table.

Disadvantage: Less accuracy.

2nd Iteration:

Machined I section table.

Disadvantage: High cost of machining and wastage of material.

Figure 4.9: Iteration 2 Table

3rd Iteration:

Table plate is fitted between the two side plates which have slots forming the same I section.

Disadvantage: High cost of machining and problem in cleaning the sand, as it may get stuck in the
slots.
Final Iteration:

The table is a rectangular plate of thickness 3mm and dimensions of 528 x 502 mm. It is bolted on
two plates which are attached to four LM bearing on the guide rods and flange housing of M16
Ball-screw. It moves along these and gives the Z-axis movement. Synchronous movement of the
two Ball-screws for Z-axis is given with the help of pulley and the belt arrangement on the top.

Figure 4.10: Iteration 4 - Table

4.5 Sand dispenser

Sand dispenser is used to drop and spread the sand on the table on which the mold is to be
printed [9]. It is attached to a plate, which is bolted to the flange housing of M16 ball screw on top
frame and LM bearing of guide rod diameter 10 mm. It moves in the Y direction. Angle between
the two surfaces of sand dispenser is 15-30 degrees [10].

Auger is attached inside the sand dispenser for even distribution of sand.

Roller plates are bolted to the side of sand dispenser. The roller is then attached to these two plates.
It is used for spreading and ramming the sand.
Figure 4.11: Iteration 1 Sand Dispenser

4.6 Stepper Motor Selection

1. The nominal torque of a stepper motor is very similar to a servo for a comparable frame
size.
2. If a stepper solution is correctly sized, it offers are allow cost alternative to a servo.
3. If an application requires very good standstill stability, for instance positioning, a stepper
will always be better than a servo. Servomotors resonate backwards and forwards at standstill,
giving them their positioning characteristics; stepper motors stay very stable at standstill.
4. The torque curve of a stepper is very short with high rpms leading to a drop off in torque
quite quickly. Very low speeds on steppers also offer low torque; therefore, vertical applications
where the motor holds a load stationary are often not suitable for steppers. Applications that require
very smooth steady speed are also difficult with steppers due to the resonance created by the
discrete steps; this however can often be improved with micro stepping or closing the loop[33].
5. The stepper Motor selected is Nema23.
Figure 4.12: Stepper motor Nema23 [11]

Characteristics of Nema23 Stepper Motor:

1.8 Degree Full step angle


2-Phase Bipolar
Holding Torque = 0.9 Nm to 2.2 Nm
High Precision
Smooth Movement
Low Motor Heating
Low Movement Noise

4.7 Lead Screw selection

Purpose: To lift sand along Z axis, for movement of Sand Dispenser and Binder Dispenser along
the Y axis and for movement of Binder Dispenser along the X axis.
A leadscrew (or lead screw), also known as a power screw or translation screw, is a screw used as
a linkage in a machine, to translate turning motion into linear motion [31].

Trapezoidal lead Screw Efficiency= 30%.


Ball Screw Efficiency =90%.

In order to get an accurate powder layer thickness that is consistent, we need to move the
powder bed down in very precise increments.
One way to do this is by using a ball screw driven by a stepper motor.

Ball screws are great for CNC stuff, with very low backlash and high precisions. The usually have
a much coarser pitch than simple threaded rods, so are better matched to the stepper for faster
motion. Speed is not an issue.

M16 Ball screw was selected:


Diameter = 16 mm
Pitch = 5 mm
Shaft Diameter = 10 mm
No of starts = single started.

4.8 Belt and Pulley selection

Purpose: To transmit motion to the Ball Screws by folding the motors responsible X axis
movement and rotary motion of Auger and Roller and for synchronous movement of the two Ball
Screws responsible for the Z axis movement of the Table.

Belt and pulley are another alternative used to convert rotary motion to linear motion. When the
movement along X, Y or Z axis is large, belt and pulley are preferred. The cost comparisons to
lead screws are cheaper as distance of movement along any axis increases.
Timing belts are a fantastic way to transfer rotational motion (from a stepper motor) into linear
motion (along a rail) and these GT2 belts are excellent for the task. They have a special profile
with rounded teeth, which reduces backlash [20, 21].

Figure 4.13: (a) GT2 type belt[11] (b) GT2 type pulley[11]

1. Belt
Pitch = 2 mm
Width= 9 mm
2. Pulley
Pitch = 2mm
For Z axis:
Teeth = 22
Inner Bore = 8 mm
Diameter = 35 mm
For X axis:
Teeth = 24
Inner Bore = 8 mm
Diameter = 40
For sand dispenser:
Teeth = 13
Inner Bore = 8 mm
Diameter = 25 mm
4.9 Stepper Motor Driver selections

Stepper motor driver


Stepper motor controls the flow of current to the stepper motor. Pololu DRV8825 is a stepper
driver used to control the stepper motor.

Figure 4.14: Pololu DRV8825 Stepper Motor Driver [11]

Drivers key features:


1. Simple step and direction control interface
2. Six different step resolutions: full-step, half-step, 1/4-step, 1/8-step, 1/16-step, and
1/32-step
3. Adjustable current control lets you set the maximum current output with a
potentiometer, which lets you use voltages above your stepper motors rated voltage to
achieve higher step rate
4. 45 V maximum supply voltage
5. Built-in regulator (no external logic voltage supply needed)
6. Can interface directly with 3.3 V and 5 V systems
7. Over-temperature thermal shutdown, over-current shutdown, and under-voltage
lockout
4.10 Mechanical End-stop:

Mechanical end-stop are used to fix the start and end point of X, Y, Z axis.
1. Switches are the cheapest end-stops in most cases.
2. No need for opto PCB.
3. Simple switches can be used on x and y axis.
4. You could even make your own contact switch from a few pieces of metal.
5. You get to solder stuff.

Figure 4.15: Mechanical End-stop [11]


This chapter presented the design of all the components of Three Dimensional sand
printer machine. It dealt with the selection of electronic components, and drive mechanisms.
CHAPTER 5
FABRICATION

5.1 Manufacturing and procurement of Components


The various parts of the sand 3D printing were manufactured using CNC lathes. The
majority parts of the support structure were made from Aluminum. The major operations involved
in manufacturing were cutting, turning, milling, drilling, boring, tapping and grinding.

The guide rods, ball screws and linear bearings were imported from South Korea and
China. These components are majorly made up of mild steel.

The timer belts and pulleys were fabricated according to the ratio of velocity
transmission. The system has three pulley systems:
1. For the movement of table
2. For the movement of the nozzle
3. For the movement of roller and auger in the sand dispensing system

Allen bolts and Counter Sunk screws were used for bolting all the parts together.
The pulleys and couplings were fitted on the shafts using grub screws.
Lock nuts were used to fix the ball screws in position.
Love joy couplings were used for motion transmission from motor to shaft.
Deep groove ball bearings were used to enable the rotation of lead screws.
Figure 5.1: Components in the pre-assemble stage

5.2 Support Structure

5.2.1 Base frame

Material: Aluminum

Dimensions: 540 X 540 mm

Was made by bolting together four plates of thickness 15mm with the help M8 Allen bolts.

Ball screw block of dimension 60 X 32 X 10 mm were fitted in the step provided on two opposite
plates using M8 Allen bolts.

Bearings of inner diameter 10 mm and outer diameter 26 mm and thickness 8 mm were inserted
in lead screw, making it an interference fit.
Guide rods were bolted from below on the base plates. Ball screws were fitted in the bearing

5.2.2 Top frame

Material: Aluminum

Dimensions: 540 X 540 mm

Was made by bolting together four plates of thickness 30 mm with the help M8 Allen bolts.

Guide rods protruding from base structure were fit into holes provided on top frame and bolted by
using M8 Allen bolts. Ball screws, using bearings, were fixed into the top frame.

The lead screws and guide rods for Y axis were fitted horizontally in the top frame, with the help
of bearings and M8 Allen bolts respectively.

5.2.3 Table

Material: Aluminum

Dimensions: 524 X 540 X 3 mm

To hold the table, two plates, each on opposite sides, were bolted to the bearings of Guide Rods
and flange blocks of Ball Screw.

The table was then bolted on the top of it.


Figure 5.2: Support Structure

5.3 Assembly of X and Y axes

Material: Aluminum

Dimensions: 450 X 100 mm

On the guide rods and ball screw, fitted horizontally on the top frame, a plate was attached on
bearings and flange block to hold the assembly of binder dispenser. Another plate was attached
normally to this plate. Linear rail and a ball screw were attached using two plates attached on the
opposite sides and normally to the upper plate. The joint plate was bolted to linear rail guide and
flange block with the help of M6 and M4 Allen bolts. The distance between them is adjusted by
using a spacer of thickness 9 mm. The nozzle was bolted on the joint plate using M6 Allen bolts.

5.3.1 Nozzle
Material: High density polymer used for 3D printing

Dimensions: 64 X 50 X 50 mm
Two openings are given on the top surface of the nozzle: one for filling it with Furan and the other
for applying pressure. Syringe is attached at the bottom to fulfill its function as a nozzle. The X
axis motor is folded to provide more working area. Pulleys are used here. T arrangement is shown
in fig. 5.4

Figure 5.3: The binder dispensing system

Figure 5.4: Folding of motor


5.4 The Powder Dispensing System
On the second ball screw and the two guide rods on the top frame, a plate is attached to
facilitate the holding of the powder spreading system. It consists of a recoater, having an included
angle of 30o and a slit of width 2 mm. It is made of aluminum sheet of thickness 3 mm. To be able
to spread the sand evenly, an auger screw is fitted inside the recoater, inserted with bearings on
either sides, which is given motion by the help of the motor and pulley arrangement. The auger is
made of mild steel. The roller is attached at the bottom for compression and even spreading of
sand. The roller is made of Teflon and an aluminum shaft of 6 mm is inserted through it to enable
its motion.

Figure 5.5: Roller and Pulley arrangement system of the sand dispensing system

Figure 5.6: Front view of the sand dispensing system


Figure 5.7: Auger of the sand dispensing system

5.5 End-stops

End-stops are mounted to set the home position for the X, Y, Z axis. For the X and y axis,
the end-stops were mounted on an L shaped plate of thickness 3mm and the attached to the homing
position on the machine, as shown in fig. 5.8.

Figure 5.8: End-stop for X-axis


For the Z axis, the end-stop is mounted on the guide rod with the help of an aluminum
block, as shown in fig. 5.9.

Figure 5.9: End-stop for Z axis

5.6 Hardware interfacing and control:

5.6.1 Power supply:

Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) from the desktop computers CPU was used as a
power supply for the Arduino, Ramps, Opto sensors and motor.

Figure 5.10 SMPS


5.6.2 Microcontroller and shield

This is an important electronic component of any Tree D Sand Printer machine which
connects the PC or laptop with the machine. It interfaces hardware with software. The
microcontroller Arduino mega 2560 &Reprap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield (RAMPS) 1.4 as a
shield is mostly used in Three D printer.

a) Arduino mega 2560

Figure 5.11 Arduino mega 2560 [11]


Table No. 5.1 Detail specifications of the Arduino board[11]:

The Mega 2560 is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega2560. It has 54 digital
input/output pins (of which 15 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs
(hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an
ICSP header, and a reset button.
It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a
computer with a USB cable or power it with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
The Mega 2560 board is compatible with most shields designed for the UNO and the former
boards Duemilanove or Diecimila.

b) Motherboard: Ramp 1.4:

On the top of the ramp arrangement is made to connect stepper motors, endstop, heater,
extruder heater and fan. There are pins on ramps gives normally 5V output but at D8, D9, D10
location it gives 12v output voltage so here fan, heater, nozzle are connected [11].
Figure 5.12 Ramps 1.4 connection diagram [11].

Ramps 1.4 Features:

1. It has provisions for the Cartesian robot and extruder.Expandable to control other
accessories.
2. 3 mosfets for heater / fan outputs and 3 thermistor circuits.
3. Fused at 5A for additional safety and component protection.
4. Heated bed control with additional 11A fuse.
5. Fits 5 Pololu Stepper driver board.
6. Pololu boards are on pin header sockets so they can be replaced easily or removed for use
in future designs.
7. I2C and SPI pins left available for future expansion.
8. Servo style connectors are used to connect to the endstops, motors, and leds.
9. These connectors are gold plated, rated for 3A, very compact, and globally available.
10. SD Card adds on available. LEDs indicate when heater outputs on.
11. Option to connect 2 motors to Z axis.
Figure 5.13: Motion Control Connections

5.6.3 Firmware

a) Marlin Firmware
1. It helps to interface stepper motors, heaters, sensors, Nozzles, laser, Cutter,
endstop with the corresponding hardware parts of the printer [11].
2. Marlin Configuration.
Figure 5.14: Marlin Configuration.h window

5.6.4 Slicer

1. Is slicing software to slice the CAD object in to number of layers as per required layer
height [11].
2. Information of slicing is in the form of G and M code.
3. Slicer Configuration.

5.6.5 Host Software

The host software allows communication to the printer electronics before and during the
print jobs. It allows the user to upload a .STL file and convert it to Gcode to control the printer.
Repetier-host is simple GUI (Graphical User Interface) software that permits the user to input G-
code instructions to the controller. Slic3r are more intelligent host softwares that will take input
3D drawings (.stl files) and will geometrically breakdown the file into layers which are then
converted into a series of paths in which the tool-head should move. Repetier host:
1. Is interfacing software between CAD data (Slicer Software) with the machine hardware.
2. Configuration of repetier host.
3. It shows the Three D sand printing simulations.

Figure 5.15: Repetier Host window

5.6.7 Final Prototype


Figure 5.16: Final Prototype

Figure 5.17: 3D Printed Sand Mold

So, design, fabrication and programming is done up to here. This chapter dealt with different
fabrication processes, techniques which helped in fabricating the parts as per design at machine
workshop. It involved interfacing of software with fabricated and selected hardware parts. It gives
brief idea about control mechanism to run the three d printer machine prototype.
CHAPTER 6

CONCLUSION

The Sand 3D printing machine was designed and fabricated. A sample was printed, which was
square in shape and had a height of two layers. It gave enough hardness to be accepted in the
casting industry.

The technology was thoroughly studied and reviewed. The machine was constructed using durable
materials and keeping in mind the principles of machine design. The sand and binder used for
experimentation were of industry grade.

To summarize,

Objectives achieved in the project:

Study of the various additive manufacturing techniques, with focus on binder jetting
Study of the mold making process in casting
Successful designing and fabricating of the sand 3D printing machine
Integrating electronics and enabling motion in the machine
Spreading of sand and flow binder to print the mold
Obtaining the mold according to the cad model

It is a good starting ground for gaining experience in integrating mechanical, electronics, control
and software engineering. Upon the completion of the project many problems were encountered,
and it is through this and the practical aspect of the project as a whole that ample knowledge was
gained.
CHAPTER 7
FUTURE SCOPE

1. For the controlled flow of binder, installation of proper valves should be completed.
2. Design of auger needs to be improved for better flow of sand.
3. Although a foundation for the control system has been developed, the code to allow the
system to be fully automated must be written in order to provide better customization of
the machine as per the customer requirement.
4. It is of interest to conduct a comparison of bond strength of printed molds to traditionally
made molds. Perhaps there could be a huge scope in changing the chemical composition
of the sand mixture so as to affect the print quality. Further experimentation will pave the
way for more optimization.

I considered leaving the future project iterations with a solid foundation to build from
rather than a fully functional system that lacked in quality and required excessive redesign. This
would allow for future teams to move forward with progress on the Three d sand printing system,
rather than devoting a majority of their time to redesign of the system. It was imperative to allow
the opportunity for future teams to satisfy all customer needs.
This focus was consistent throughout the project, ensuring that the design did not compromise any
system requirements
CHAPTER 8

REFERENCES

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[23] Chapter 14: Sodium silicate bonded sand by by Foseco Ferrous Foundryman's Handbook.

[24] Foundry sand by Stanley T Krukowaski.

[25] Stepper Motors: Fundamentals, Applications and Design by V. V. Athan.

[26] Snelling, D. et al., 2013. The effects of 3D pritned molds on metal castings. Solid Freeform
Fabrication Symposium, pp.827845.

[27] Leach, N., Dini, E. and Partners, F. (2014) 3D Printing in Space, Architectural Design. doi:
9780-309-31008-6.

[28]Gibson, I., Rosen, D. and Stucker, B. (2013) Additive Manufacturing Technologies, Rapid
Manufacturing Association. doi: 10.1520/F2792-12A.2.

[29] Thole, J.A., 2008. Measurement of elastic modulus as a function of temperature.

[30] Turkeli, A., 2009. Sand, Sand Additives, Sand Properties, and Sand Reclamation. , p.25.
[31]http://www.daycounter.com/Calculators/Lead-Screw-Force-Torque-Calculator.phtmlthat
calculates needed torque depending on diameter of the screw and thread density.

[32]http://www.thomsonlinear.com/website/com/eng/design_tools/linear_motioneering_scre
ws.php to see if this diameter screw would be ok for the load.

[33]Prusaprinters.org/calculators.

[34] Chapter 2 lead screw http://www.springer.com/978-1-4419-1751-5Friction induced vibration


in lead screw drives by vahidaraghi.

[35] www.custompartnet.com

[36] www.cnczone.com
CHAPTER 9

ANNEXURE

BILL OF MATERIAL

NO. NAME OF THE PART QTY. COST

01. Aluminum plates and parts for the - 12500/-


basic structure.
02. Sand dispenser and table made of 1 1200/-
aluminum sheet
03. Ball screws 4 27500/-
Guide rods 6
LM bearings 10
04. Bolts, bearings and couplings - 1000/-

05. Stepper motors 5 6500/-

06. Pulleys and Timer belts 3 systems 3500/-

07. Stepper motor drivers 5 1750/-

08. Arduino Mega 2560 1 1000/-

09. RAMPS 1.4 1 700/-

10. Power Supply 1 600/-

Total 56250
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I express my deepest gratitude to my guide, Dr. B. E. Narkhede, for his constant support and
guidance throughout my project. I thank him for encouraging me to pursue research internship at
IIT Bombay. His support for my endeavors have inspired me to put in my best, for which I will
be deeply indebted to him.

I express my sincere thanks to my co-guide, Prof. K. P. Karunakaran, for allowing me to work on


such an exciting project. It has been a great learning experience for me and for his enthusiasm
and valuable insights into the project, I am very grateful.

I thank Mr. Glen Dsouza, the project manager, for teaching and guiding me through all the
aspects of machine design, without which the project wouldnt have been possible.

I would like to thank my team, Mr. Ranjeet Bhagchandani, Mr. Arun Sharma and Ms. Rutuja
Karampure for all their hard work and support. Their contributions have been critical in the
success of this project.

Finally, I would like to thank all the members of the RM Lab for their help and inputs throughout
the duration of my internship and for helping make this a great learning experience for me.

Radhika Hingolikar

December, 2016