WinMod: An Expert Advisor for Investment Casting

Hugh P. Bivens, George A. Williamson Jr., George F. Luger, Rob G. Erdmann, Michael C. Maguire, Michael D. Baldwin, Dennis J. Anderson

Investment casting is an important method for fabricating a variety of high quality components in mechanical systems. Cast components, unfortunately, have a large design and gate/runner build time associated with their fabrication. In addition, casting engineers often require many years of actual experience in order to consistently pour high-quality castings. Since 1989, Sandia National Laboratories has been investigating casting technology and software that will reduce the time overhead involved in producing quality casts. Several companies in the casting industry have teamed up with Sandia to form the FASTCAST Consortium. One result of this research and the formation of FASTCAST is creation of the WinMod software. WinMod is an expert advisor for casting that supports the decision making process of the engineer through geometric visualization and rule-based advice that helps eliminate possible casting defects.

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