CS Delphi.qxd

Delphi Harrison
Thermal Systems
Te c h n o l o g y : S L A ® s y s t e m
Stereolithography (SL) and vacuum sand casting improve Delphi's customer responsiveness – and their bottom line
The Challenge
Responding rapidly to customers' ever-changing needs is more than a motto to
Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems of Lockport, New York. Since early 1994, Delphi has
earned a reputation for providing a quick, low-cost method of producing medium scale runs of
prototype parts in a fraction of the time required by their competitors.
Utilizing SL masters as the basis for producing vacuum sand casting tooling has become a vital
and valuable selling tool that directly benefits Delphi's bottom line. Tooling is produced in one
week, and castings in two weeks - when their competitors take six to eight weeks to produce
similar prototypes.
Using a CAD file eliminates possible misinterpretation of paper drawings, and easily allows
material to be added to the design to make it ready for tooling. Inside features with the
appropriate modifications become the drag half of the mold and the outside features become the
cope half of the mold.
Flanges, alignment holes, and shrink factor compensations are added to the solid CAD file. The
SLA 500 system was used to output the design model, and after normal post-processing, the SL
masters are painted with three coats of primer to further enhance the surface finish.
Taylor Pohlman, a casting house based in Orchard Park, New York, completed the casting
process by mounting the SL masters to individual base-plate boards using the flange and alignment holes built into the SL master. A wooden gating system is attached to the SL cope masters
to make them ready for casting.
The casting process begins by shrink wrapping a thin plastic film over the SL drag master. A thick
steel box is fitted over the base plate board and very fine grain sand is poured over the master.
A very high vacuum is pulled to mold the sand to the SL master. At this point, the SL drag
master is removed. The steps are repeated for the cope master. The two halves are then fitted
together, and 356 aluminum is poured into the mold. Once the aluminum hardens, the vacuum
is released and the sand recycled, leaving a finished part.
Because the stereolithography masters can be repeatedly reused, virtually thousands of parts
can be produced from each pair of drag and cope masters. The SL technology is also used to
produce tooling for any cores that may be needed for each part.
Advantages of being first to market and being more responsive to market demands are not lost
on Delphi. Their customers love their fast turnaround, quality castings, and responsiveness to
customer needs, giving Delphi - and their customers - a clear competitive advantage.
26081 Avenue Hall • Valencia, CA 91355 USA
telephone 661.295.5600 • fax 661.294.8406
toll-free 888.337.9786 • email moreinfo@3dsystems.com
© Copyright 2003 by 3D Systems. The 3D logo and SLA are registered trademarks of 3D Systems. All other organizations,
product names or services are registered trademarks of their respective companies.
P/N 70509 03/03
Sand Casting
Stereolithography Excellence Award Finalist, 1995