Steve Prentice Design are specialists in design of castings for automotive engine cylinder blocks, cylinder heads and transmission gearcases. We understand the manufacturing processes and we design accordingly.
Tooling for castings is taken directly from our CAD data as we design models with every real world feature necessary for manufacture, e.g. fillet radii, draft (tapered) surfaces and core split lines. Tooling engineers often have to modify designs from inexperienced designers who have left features off.
See our page ‘Design for Casting’.
We are helping companies maximize the benefits of 3D CAD by designing castings ready for rapid tooling manufacture techniques, saving costs in design, in tooling and accelerating product lead times.
Casting designs can be supported with finite element analysis (FEA) showing stress and deflections of parts and assemblies when subjected to known loads.
This racecar bell housing is cast in aluminium. It mounts engine to gearbox, houses starter and clutch, it is the oil tank for the engine and it transfers all the structural loads from the rear suspension to the main chassis. FEA output shows stress distribution at peak load.
Automotive engine blocks, heads and gearcases are now usually cast in aluminium by sand cast or low pressure (gravity) die-cast methods. High pressure die-casting is applicable to high volume manufacture of smaller, simpler casings. Some motorsport and motorcycle gearcases and covers are cast in magnesium by similar processes. The largest cylinder block we have designed (35 litre 16 cyl diesel engine) was cast in iron and weighed almost 1000kg.
Re-manufacture of replacement castings for historic vehicles can now be done cost effectively by creating a CAD model of the part and making the casting using rapid tooling techniques.