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OPTICast Example

This is an example of OPTICast usage where a steel casting demonstrates an automatically optimized riser design giving a metal yield improvement of 13%.

Image 1: the result of conventional methoding where the safety margin means the risers are larger than necessary.OptiCast example1

Image 2: OPTICast result showing riser sizes reduced to levels that achieve the desired result. The software automatically sought the best possible solution once the objective and constraints were set.OptiCast Example2

OPTICast - Casting Optimisation Module

OPTICast is a newly developed optimizing package that works in conjunction with SOLIDCast solidification software.

Most solidification modelling requires the engineer to create a design, run a simulation, review the results, and then decide how to modify the design to achieve a good casting. This can often take several design iterations to reach the end result. Optimization allows the engineer to start with an initial casting design including gating and risering, held within a SOLIDCast 3D model. He can then guide the analysis process by choosing:

  • Design Variables - (i.e. those elements of the design that are allowed to vary) for example height and diameter of a riser, alloy pouring temperature or investment shell preheat temperature.
  • Constraints - The specifications for results that determine whether a particular design is suitable. For example we might specify a certain ‘yield percentage’ as the minimum process yield acceptable.
  • The Objective Function - Describes what we are trying to achieve – for example the objective might be: maximize the yield, minimize the shrinkage or minimize total solidification time.

Once these elements are identified, an Optimization Run can be launched. This comprises a series of simulations in which the design conditions are varied under the control of OPTICast. Changes are made and simulation results automatically evaluated, until the desired result is achieved.

In this way, using OPTICast, the foundry engineer can start with an initial design and allow the computer to do the work of modifying the design and running simulations to achieve an optimum result.