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For an audiocast with Robert Davis, design engineer for Acuity Brands, go to www.moderncasting.com.


“I went to our facility in Matamoros to see what casting is first hand and was trained pretty quickly.” When Davis first broached the idea of using the 3D printer to produce tooling at the Matamoros casting facility, it was met with apprehension. “Te biggest challenge was to


Using its rapid tooling method to produce a roof frame casting significantly reduced Acuity Brands’ lead time on a new product.


manufacturer, which produces prod- ucts under several different brands, purchases castings from around the world. It also owns and operates the sand and permanent mold casting facility in Mexico. It is there that


Davis learned the ins and outs of cast- ing and tested his rapid tooling idea. “When I came to Acuity, all the


welding and machining was second nature to me, but it was the first time I played with castings,” he said.


deliver a smooth surface to the ABS plastic part,” said Javiar Garza, a cast- ing engineer at the Matamoros facility. After a few attempts, it was clear the plastic pattern was not providing the desired results. Garza suggested using the printer to make a pattern for the tool, including matchplate, which the metalcasting facility then polishes to achieve the required surface finish.


32 | MODERN CASTING February 2013


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