Design, rapid prototype, cast, and test an aluminum link

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings


Integrated design, rapid prototyping, manufacturing processes, and testing has been accomplished in a junior materials and manufacturing class. Students are given a design space- 4 in × 4 in × 1/4 in. Within that volume, they must design a link that may be rapid prototyped, cast, and then tested. The challenge of the project was to develop a link that held the highest load for the least weight. Students designed a link, made a rapid prototyped pattern, cast the component, prepared it for testing, and tested the link in a universal testing machine. The cast material was Al 356. The group that developed a link with the highest load to weight ratio took advantage of the fact the Al 356 alloy may be precipitation hardened.

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