- Do you need support in component development?
- Do you need a fully functional prototype fast?
- Do you need large & complex parts with high quality?
From the idea to series production, we supply everything out of one hand - GF Casting Solutions Leipzig operates the foundry with Europe's largest molding box for machine-molded iron casting. We offer all processes under one roof - from prototyping & sand 3D-printing, to series production in iron casting, coating and machining of components.
No matter what challenges you face, GF Casting Solutions supports you throughout the supply chain and strive to become your development partner. We offer comprehensive know-how and competencies for several market segments like construction equipment, forest and agricultural machines, hydraulics or robotics. Learn more about our process chain for prototyping and series production.
We are your partner throughout the entire value chain
Our team of experts uses CAD to optimise the design of the components. In this context, topology optimisation is an important tool for learning from nature and for designing components bionically. In this way, we strive to meet customer requirements as detailed as possible and ensure optimal manufacturing results. In cooperation with our customers, costs and function can be optimised. Especially by using 3D printing, functional integration can be combined with maximum design freedom. Together we shape the future.
A detailed understanding of the part geometry and process parameters ensures that we meet our customers’ requirements in the best possible way. With the help of simulation, time- and cost-intensive tests can be significantly minimised in advance, which gives our customers a tremendous opportunity to reduce time-to-market.
Critical areas in the part are identified at an early stage and can be optimised specifically. In addition, this ensures the high quality standard that GF offers its customers and, by reducing scrap and rework, increases sustainability throughout the entire process.
To produce prototypes, spare parts or smaller quantities, we use our innovation center for 3D printed sand cores. To print sand cores, the digital CAD model is divided into layers, and later, the laser in the printer will print these layers into the job box - one by one. The preliminary modeling work is necessary to maximise the utilisation of the job box: we fit as many parts and structures as possible into the available space to increase process efficiency and sustainability.
Based on the corresponding part slices, sand is distributed in the job box, followed by a binder. Print layers are applied one by one. After each application, the job box moves downward by the thickness of one slice. The steps repeat until the entire job box is filled and the desired sand model is completely built up. The printed cores and moulds are unpacked and the excess sand gets removed and reused, which ultimately contributes to a circular economy.
Our moulding box, the largest in use across Europe and North America, increases process speed, accuracy and efficiency. By printing both cores and moulds, we can provide parts with short lead times for early stage testing, assembly testing and more. Various materials are available for producing prototypes and for serial production: grey cast iron, steel, and aluminium (also in cooperation with other foundries). State-of-the-art automation is used to clean the parts via shot blasting/grinding.
In order to ensure a reproducible high quality for each component, we carry out a variety of tests. For example, ultrasonic tests and magnetic crack testing, also dye penetration testing or X-ray testing. Based on these procedures as well as our know-how, our customers can be sure that their component meets the desired requirements and withstands the calculated loads.
We offer various services for finishing and refining components following quality testing. For example, to reduce unnecessary costs, we provide support for design optimisation before starting series production. After the parts are produced, we apply various coatings, such as a primer or top-coat, based on customer specifications. This provides corrosion protection during transport and warehouse storage. The parts are immediately ready for further processing or use upon delivery with no additional time or expense for removing rust film.
Components can also be machined following production to meet customer requirements. These processes can be performed by external partners or in-house, which is preferred for 3D-printed parts. Our equipment includes a 5-axis CNC milling center and measuring machines. We also assemble components and sub-components and provide various logistics services. Our customers can expect quick delivery times and 3D-printed parts that are immediately ready for installation. Moreover, because GF is a full-package supplier, customers get everything from a single source. Our hands shape your success.
Through the combination of 3D-printed sand cores and iron casting, it is possible to substitute many individual parts with one part and to integrate different functionalities (e.g. cooling functions). This not only increases the functional reliability and reduces the weight, but also reduces the overall cost, since less reworking or further assembly steps are necessary.
After the 3D printing process is completed, the excess sand will be exhausted and used for the next print job. We also use the sand in our regular production process in a circular way. In addition, over 80% of the metal we use in iron casting is recycled.
By using additive manufactured prototypes, you get geometries from early development phases that are already manufactured under near-series conditions. This way, components can be tested and improved before actual series production ramp-up. All 3D printed prototypes are fully functional samples that can be tested directly on a test rig - long before actual series production is planned.
Need to speed up your manufacturing processes? Benefit from faster cycle times: within 4 weeks from concept to the finished prototype. Using printed prototypes in the development phase not only reduces costs enormously, but also speeds up the time to mass production launch.
On our big molding line with a box size of 2500x1600x500/500mm box we can print large, high-quality parts. After production we offer several post-processes like coating and machining to meet customer requirements. Our equipment includes a 5-axis CNC milling center and measuring machines. Benefit from quick delivery times.
Our processes are independent of third parties; all processes from development to completion are under one roof. If you need support in development our dedicated team of experts will be happy to assist in all matters and will be a partner through the entire process.