Design Rules for Success in High-Value Markets

The Investment Casting Institute honored the past year’s best product designs for aerospace, automotive, industrial, and defense applications.

Metalcasters walk a fine line between form and function — creating designs that fulfill a practical purpose, but do so in a way that addresses various practical objectives: lightness, dimensional accuracy, affordability and efficiency for production, and so forth. A finished design that accomplish its objectives can be a thing of beauty, to the designer, to the customer, to the foundry that produces it, and to their colleagues who recognize award-winning work.

The Investment Casting Institute announced the winning castings for its 14th Casting Design Contest in October, at the 62nd Annual ICI Technical Conference & Expo, in Schaumburg, IL.

The contest functions as a catalogue of the state-of-the-art for investment casting — the sector of the metalcasting industry that perhaps more than any other prioritizes part design, and frequently advances the design potential for cast parts, even as it deals directly with the commercial markets that are so critical to all foundries, such as the automotive and aerospace industries and defense programs.

The winning designs — apart from their functional value — display a kind of beauty, simplicity, and authenticity that may belie the depth of engineering skill involved in linking the performance requirements to the material qualities available via the various alloys, and the design flexibility of the investment casting process.

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