Congratulations guys!

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Metal Chasing and Patination

Link to a pdf that give some tips on finishing your castings.

401 ME Surface finishing and metal patination

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Friday pours Meet at 9am (car repairs)

Meet at 9:00am! Tomorrow morning is our last official set of pours.  If I have not seen you pouring metal,  I need to see your furnaces run.  We have all the ceramic shell plus at least four 3dp mold.  That will be a a fair burner of molds.

We need to take CMA back their equipment.  I need some volunteers with a vehicle and without.  Please email/text me.

If you can’t be here tomorrow let me:-: know ahead of.  It is important.

You need to take home your shell molds and wash them.  Soak in water, rinse with strong flowing water, use wire in crevases.  Make sure every bit of powder is outbefore you back.  The molds are in one of those metal cylindrical tups soaking.  Take care of them.

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Meet this morning

Meet this morning in Machine Shop/Annex computer lab at 9:45am.    Bring your solidworks files with so we can look at and edit them.

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Information on the determination of your final grade

A=90% or higher

Mid-term Test 100 points

Final Exam 100 points

Research Paper 100 points

Research Paper Peer Reviews 50 points

Research Project 150 points:
100 points for completion of research and documentation – although I do not need a written report, I want clear and thorough copies of your notes (these should include notes on both process and results and  be clear enough that someone reading them should be able to repeat your results) as well as photo documentation of your process.

25 points for presentation – 5 minutes per person in each group

Five Practical casting assignments 100 points each

 Clay wax molds

Completion of Wax (25 points)
Completion of Clay Mold (25 points)
Burn-out of clay mold (25 points)
Pouring of clay mold in copper (25 points- you will get the points if you reached this stage regardless of sucess)
Chasing and clean up of copper (10 extra credit)

Green or Oil Sand Molds

Completion of Pattern (20 points)
Completion of Mold (20 points)
Completion of Pouring (20 points)
Success of Casting (did your gating system work well) (20 points)
Success of two parts fitting (20 points)
Chasing and clean up of final castings (10 points extra credit)

 3D Printed Molds

Completion of successful modeled pattern (50 points)
Pouring of Molds (25 points) – if we do not get to this point for every one this will become XC
Success of casting (did your gating system work)(25 points) – if we do not get to this point for
every one this will become XC
Chasing and clean up of pattern (10 points extra credit divided among those involved)
Up to 25 points of extra credit for modeling your own pattern vs. using the same pattern as a group, the exact amount of points will be dependent on the complexity of the pattern and whether or not you modeled it yourself or got it from a pre-existing file (Thingaverse)

3D printed patterns for lost powder ceramic shell

Turning in individual  pattern with variation on a theme that is appropriate for iron casting
(keeping in mind the requirements for form that iron requires such as thickness) (40 points)
Gating pattern (if you gated your own pattern +10 points EC – if someone else did +0)
Dipping Shells (if you participated in dipping +10 points EC)
Burn-out, cleaning and patching shell (10 points)
Pouring of shell (25 points)
Success of pattern and gating design as well as clean out of mold (25 points)
Clean up of final pattern (up 10 points EC)

Team Built Furnaces

Were you and your team successful in building a functioning furnace? (100 points)


Evaluation of your work as a team mate (50 points) – this will be done through filling out an evaluation form of both your own and partners work – you will assign yourself a grade as well as a grade to others.  I will take these forms + what I have seen from each of you in deciding this grade.

Mandatory Foundry Task  50 points – with potential for extra credit for those who do extra work

Physical Participation in at least one pour (as charger, skimmer, live/dead end or assisting with mold placement) 25 points, with up to 25 more points (5 points each class period) for participation in extra pours.



Missing Assignments – if you are missing assignments or steps for what ever reason, talk with me about extra credit chances.

Especially noting the postings time – this is still subject to change.

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Group furnace pours

At this point I have not finished printing molds for the group furnaces. As many of you are still trying your furnaces, this may be helpful. I have had one of the kinds of days, we anything mechanical or :-:computer based has had something go wrong with it. Even my car. I have a radiator leak now (if anyone knows of an honest reliable repair place. . .).

The plan at this point is Tuesday. I may need some help to make this deadline. Monday is now an open lab day – make sure that at least one member from your team comes in to dip.


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A majority of your patterns are printed or printed.  We did have a failure in printing a couple of layers of a few files that I will have to reprint (a couple of the cube shaped things mostly).  Please check on Dropbox and make sure I have your file listed. Some of the files were excessively large and so I reduced them (if I did you will see at 50% or at 75% after its name). Also check the files for the molds and make sure I have those as well.  I will begin printing them tomorrow.

Make sure that I have photos of you with each of your final castings.  This is one of the ways I keep records – I need these images for your grades.  If you missed one of the steps in a casting (such as you were in the middle copper pour) get me any images of your mold (look in the dropbox file) and a rough sketch of your pattern.  If you missed a step completely, you still may be able to make it up by doing an extra pattern in wax for shell.

As you remember each of you will have a task.  I will start listing them below.  If you see something you want to help with please let me know.  Also I will most likely be doing the evening dips on your shells for you – I will want you to team up and do the morning ones (two people per day dips all the shells).

Cleaning out the upstairs so that we can put foundry equipment in storage for next year.
Lining cupola top
Doing repair work on cupola bottom
Lining ladle
Helping with the bronze furnace
Finishing the mold kiln (Will, I think you may have been volunteered)
Replacing the bottom of the CMA kiln (Adam)
Returning the equipment to CMA
Helping with 3d prints – if you had ME 480
Helping to mix and maintain shell
Cleaning up and packing up my cupola when the pour is over to send it back to me

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Research Paper

Below are the links to the research papers.  Email me summaries of at least four of them as well as posting a summary of your favorite in the comments (directions have changed).  I want to make sure every paper is reviewed at least once.  This will be for 50 points.  If you have not sent me your paper, you may still turn it in for partial credit.  If you do not see yours below, make sure you email me to check on it.

Each of your summaries should include the following:
1.  2+ sentences about the paper.
2.  1+ sentence emphasizing the most important point.
3.  1+ sentence emphasizing the thing you found most interesting.

Corwin Whitefield_Microwave Induced Heating for Metal Casting Furnaces

Chad Porter_Properties and Applications of Non-ferrous Metals

Brian Medema_Induction Furnace research paper

Brandon Pomeroy_DIE CASTING

Bethany Weeks-JapaneseAlloysReport

Andrew Countryman_Iron Production and Use in Ancient Rome

Alexi Ehrlich_Aluminum

Adam Stone_The Bessemer Process

Adam Commons_Reverbratory Furnaces and the Industrial Revolution

William Scheurich_Metal Casting Defects

Thomas Larson_ Pre-Columbus Metalworking in the Americas

Matthew Fant_Permanent Mold Casting

Matt Rogge_Microwave Heating of Metals

Mark Hanson_Metal Casting in the Viking Age

Kris Conrad_Viking-Age Metallurgy

Khinotskiy Yuriy_Blast Furnace

Devin Ford_Lost-Wax Casting and its History

Early Indian Metalwork _ Andrew Lewiswind-powered smelting in sri lanka

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ME 401 Summer Schedule UPDATED

Tentative Schedule: NOTE THIS MAY CHANGE!!!


18 Mon. Lecture: Introduction to Metal Casting – Furnaces, Molds, Metal + Safety!
20 Wed. Lecture: Wax Working Techniques and Welding Process
21 Thurs. Annex: Cutting Torch

25 Mon. Annex: Cutting Torch
27 Wed. Lecture: History of Casting
28 Thur. Gating Process Wax Patterns for Clay Molds Due


2 Mon. Annex: Mold Making
4 Wed. Holiday
5 Thur. Lecture: Introduction to Crucible Casting – Safety and Techniques

9 Mon. Annex: Burn-out Clay Molds
10 Tues.  Charcoal Pour of some of the Clay Molds  (not mandatory)
11 Wed. Lecture: Sand Molds, Aluminum and/or Crucible Furnace Types
12 Thurs. No official class, meet with teams to plan projects

16 Mon.  Lecture Continuing Sand and Shell lecture.
17 Tues. Annex:  MIG Welding (1/2 of class)
18 Wed.  Gas Crucible Pour Clay Molds Patterns for Sand Molds Due
19 Thurs. Mid-Term Exam, Lecture: Shell Mold and Crucible Furnaces
20 Fri. Annex:  MIG Welding (1/2 of class)

23 Mon. Lecture:  Crucible Furnace and Shell Mold   Cont., Digital Patterns for Shell Due (+10 extra credit for Thurs. turn-in)
24 Tues. Pour Clay Molds in Copper with Gas Crucible Furnace (note those of you who cannot attend may schedule a time to pour your mold)
25 Wed. Lecture: 3DP Tech, 3DP Molds – Start cupola lecture.
26 Thurs. Ram Sand Molds, Individual Research Papers Due
27 Fri.Start pouring sand molds.

30 Mon. Lecture:  Finish pouring sand molds, 3DP Mold Files Due (+10 extra credit for Thurs. turn-in)
31 Tues. Finish pouring sand molds
2 Thurs.  Lecture TBA
3 Fri.   Annex: Burn-out Shells and take home to clean

4 Sat.  Iron Pour – plan on an all day affair!


6 Mon. Pour 3DP Molds with Team Built Furnaces in choice of metal (Team Designed/Built Furnaces Due
7 Tues. Mandatory clean up of foundry
8 Wed. Group Research Project Presentations
9 Thurs. Group Research Project Presentations

13 Mon. Final Exam

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I have moved around some of the deadlines and due dates.  Most importantly I am giving you a few more days to build your furnaces.

1.  The research paper is due tomorrow by midnight via email.  It should be 3 full pages + coversheet+reference list.  Email/text me if you want feedback as to the topic.

2.  The research project is still due the last week in class.  You may work alone or with a group of up to 4 people.  You can work with your group or with others instead.  A four person research project will be graded much more harshly than a solo one.  In a nut shell, I want you to conduct some kind of experiment involving a metal casting process – this can be regarding a furnace technique, molding process or alloy of metal.  I am open to suggestions.  You will either do a demonstration with the class or a presentation of 5 minutes per person in front of the class.

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