Casting metal is a challenging task. When problems crop up during casting, the process gets even more complicated. The best casting simulation software allows for higher-quality castings, shorter times to production, and less waste.
With casting software, manufacturers are able to make minor tweaks to the mold, the design, or the casting process and simulate the results of those changes in a virtual environment. Being able to fine-tune the casting process before melting any metal makes the casting process more efficient while reducing costs.
The Benefits of Using Casting Simulation Software
Casting simulation improves both efficiency of the casting process and the quality of the finished casting. Many common defects that occur during the casting process can be avoided with simulation. An estimated 90% of casting defects are design related and could be predicted from simulation.
With almost all casting processes beginning with a digital model of the design, simulation software is poised to easily accept that model for analysis. Software can make recommendations on the actual design of the part and also suggest mold size and other casting parameters. With simulation, casting yields are increased while defects are minimized. Because of simulation’s ability to predict issues before they arise, the finished casting’s strength and fatigue performance is also increased.
What Is the Best Casting Simulation Software for Manufacturers?
As computer-aided technology has increased in popularity, more simulation software has become available to further support manufacturing. For foundries of any size, casting simulation software is now a possibility. Even for foundries that do only 10 new jobs per year, using casting simulation consultants can be an economical way to increase the throughput of the foundry and the quality of the cast product.
Different software packages bring various capabilities and features to the casting process. The software also requires varying levels of expertise, with some software platforms being better suited for foundries with more R&D requirements and higher levels of technical training. Other platforms are simple to use and provide good-quality, fast results. Understanding the goal of the foundry is key to choosing the best casting simulation software that will support that goal.
What to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Casting Simulation Software for Your Needs
Choosing the right casting simulation software can feel stressful given the options on the market. Trying to pick the right one for your situation is a lot easier when you know what to look for.
Some software is specialized for a particular type of casting. While most casting simulation can handle investment casting and sand casting, other types may or may not be supported.
Centrifugal, lost foam, tilt pouring, gravity die, and continuous casting are all common manufacturing methods that will not be supported by every type of simulation software. If using these manufacturing processes, make sure the software can support them.
At the end of the day, casting simulation software simulates the physics of real phenomena through the use of numerical equations and computing power. The method used to generate these simulations can give insight into the quality of the simulation. The finite difference method (FDM), the finite volume method (FVM), and the finite element method (FEM) are all three well-studied methods for building these simulations.
All of these solutions start with the same premise: breaking the model up into small, discrete chunks. The physical parameters of these discrete pieces are then solved for iteratively to arrive at a solution based on the physics. The simulation software continues calculating the new values until error is reduced and the simulation reaches a conclusion.
The different methods use different mathematical approaches to arrive at these solutions and certain versions take more time to run. FEM based solutions, like THERCAST®, typically take 10% less time to run when compared to FDM and FVM solutions with greater accuracy.
Arguably the most important aspect of casting simulation software is how well the simulation predicts defects.
Most casting simulation software can accurately predict defects when the inputs are added to the software correctly. Reliability and accuracy of the results are highly dependent on the accuracy of the material properties, the meshing, and any boundary conditions for the model.
Some simulation software interfaces are easier to use than others, which can greatly reduce input errors. Getting those parameters right is key for a highly effective simulation.
THERCAST®: The Premier Solution for Casting Simulation
While many casting simulation software options exist for manufacturers, going with a proven solution saves time and money down the road. THERCAST® has built a reputation of reliability and accuracy in the metal casting simulations it produces.
Highly accurate simulation, defect prediction, and an easy-to-use interface give THERCAST® the advantage when selecting the best casting simulation software. Trusted by foundries all over the world, THERCAST® makes the choice of software easy. Contact us to learn more.