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A Radical Approach to Lightweight Metal Castings with solidThinking Click2Cast and Inspire

Free form design, focusing on the importance of lightweighting is pushing manufacturing companies like casting foundries to rethink their process, methods and tools. solidThinking Inspire and Click2Cast connect the world of radical design to early process development and manufacturing methods for increased productivity and quality castings. This presentation will feature case studies on these solutions that alter the conventional design and manufacturing process.

Date: August 29, 2017
Time: 2 PM EDT (11 AM PDT)
Duration: 1 hour
Presented by:


Manufacturability of a given part generally has two viewpoints: one of the product designer and the other of the manufacturing engineer. The communication gap between the engineers has widened over the years, especially for metal castings due to the 'long-tailed' supply chain. As the demands of lightweighting is increasing, the bionic designs being generated to meet the performance criteria require a radically different set of design tools to capture some of these organic shapes. Special feasibility tools to more accurately evaluate downstream manufacturing are also a necessity. Under this paradigm, the conventional method of developing a process to manufacture and then evaluate its feasibility is inefficient, expensive and slow. Manufacturing feasibility should begin early in the design phase, in order to influence the entire manufacturing process.

Under these circumstances, age old casting methods such as investment casting are seeing increased interest in combination with 3D printing of molds, patterns and cores. These designs involve thick and thin walled structures that require tools like Click2Cast to develop the casting process and provide validation of manufacturability. This presentation will cover case studies and examples of the entire virtual design cycle to improve productivity, quality and profitability across the entire supply chain. Unlike the traditional method of looking at design and manufacturing separately, this presentation will explore product design and manufacturing in tandem.

Key Take-Aways

  • Understand that radical new lightweight designs require new tools for manufacturing feasibility and process development
  • Learn how to bridge the communication disconnect between the product and manufacturing engineers by utilizing solidThinking Inspire and Click2Cast
  • Discover why early manufacturing feasibility is essential to eliminate downstream process complexity
  • Learn how the Click2 brand is radically changing the concept of "design to manufacture" with a product centric approach


Ravi Kunju, Vice President, Manufacturing Solutions, solidThinking

Ravi Kunju brings over 20+ years of experience in applying advanced numerical methods and analytics, specifically in HPC and cloud computing, to solve complex problems in the areas of computer-aided engineering (CAE) and manufacturing process, and business intelligence (BI). Ravi's career includes roles at Ford and Chrysler in the areas of crash-safety and advanced manufacturing (sheet metal forming), and at Altair in product design, software product management, and executive roles in global sales, regional management and strategic marketing. Kunju is currently responsible for strategizing and promoting the entire line of manufacturing solutions within the solidThinking framework. He holds an MBA from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, Michigan.

Tom Mueller, Founder and President, Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions

Tom Mueller is the founder and president of Mueller Additive Manufacturing Solutions, a consulting company focusing on metal casting applications of additive manufacturing. He has been involved in 3D printing applications for more than 25 years. He led the first beta site for stereo lithography at Baxter Healthcare in the late 80s. He then went on to found two 3D printing service companies. One of those companies, Express Pattern, was sold to 3D Systems. He worked for 3D Systems as Director of Business Development focusing on metal casting applications and later for Voxeljet as Director of Metal Casting applications. He currently is a consultant on metal casting applications of additive manufacturing.

Tom has published more than 50 technical papers and journal articles related to 3D printing applications. He holds BSME and MSME degrees from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.