C3P

Cast-Designer is a software package specially designed for casting business, includes the casting part design and evaluation, mould design and validation and production optimization. Cast-Designer combined the KBE system, design system and last CAE technology together; it is a tailor-designer casting planning & simulation system for all casting process. Cast-Designer could be used for high pressure die casting, low pressure die casting, gravity casting for sand, gravity casting for permanent mould, investment casting, and many others.

DFM: Part Base Anylysis

DFM analysis is the first step for part manufacturing.  It is the bridge to link the part designer and manufacturing suppliers. Geo-Designer is a powerful upfront Design for Manufacturing (DFM) tools for designers and manufacturing engineers with innovative technology. It accelerates the design process for functions, manufacturability, enabling designs to move to production better and faster. Compared with other traditional tools, Geo-Designer is powerful, flexible, fast and easy to use and provides savings in downstream costs by quality improvement at the design stage.

Geo-Designer can bring a very clear benefit to casting part designer and mold supplier, such as the MDI/HDI analysis, slider checking, draft angle and undercut checking, ejection force evaluation,  riser and feeder design, cores extraction, cooling system designer, etc.

Geo-Designer could be used for both OEM and supplier companies. With Geo-Designer, the product designer, supplier marketing engineer and process designer could make synchronous design together.

CAST-DESIGNER for Die Casting

CAST-DESIGNER for Die Casting is an expert package specifically designed for high pressure die casting with advanced gating system design and fast validation capability.

30 minutes
to design one gating system
1 hour
to validate a design solution
1 day
to compare 4 to 5 solutions


Integration of expert system and CAE technology, a tailor-designed mould planning & simulation system for die casting industry

Cast-Designer is a quick casting design and analysis tool based on upfront design & analysis technology. The core of the “upfront design & analysis technology” is to allow engineers to conduct fluid flow, heat transfer and solidification analysis by the assistance of combination of expert system and CAE technology, it helps engineers to make a “Right” engineering decision in the early design stage of a project. Upfront design & analysis technology has already been becoming a very important role in main stream design process.

With Cast-Designer, users can optimize a casting design by detecting the part features with potential flow and solidification problems, evaluating gate system and overflow design alternatives in the early design stage. Even a novel with limited experience in simulation who can easier to undertake the design setup in very short period of time. In other word, Cast-Designer can help the industry to achieve the target of ‘Time to Market‘.

CAST-DESIGNER for Gravity Casting

CAST-DESIGNER for Gravity Casting can make the casting system design and fast simulation for sand casting, gravity die casting, low pressure die casting, investment casting , lost foam casting and centrifugal casting etc.

Integration of expert system and CAE technology, a tailor-designed mould planning & simulation system for gravity casting process.

30 minutes to design one casting system

Special focus on ‘Design’ and ‘Designer’

Fast and accurate validation based on FEM technology

Cast-Designer is a quick casting design and analysis tool based on upfront design & analysis technology. The core of the “upfront design & analysis technology” is to allow engineers to conduct fluid flow, heat transfer and solidification analysis by the assistance of combination of expert system and CAE technology, it helps engineers to make a “Right” engineering decision in the early design stage of a project. Upfront design & analysis technology has already been becoming a very important role in main stream design process.

With Cast-Designer, users can optimize a casting design by detecting the part features with potential metal flow and solidification problems, evaluating riser and chill, gate system and pouring system design alternatives in the early design stage. Even a novel with limited experience in simulation that can easier to undertake the design setup in very short period of time. In other word, Cast-Designer can help the industry to achieve the target of ‘Time to Market’.

The gravity casting software package includes the following modules:

Gravity Casting Designer

As a core component of Cast-Designer system, Gravity Casting Designer is an efficient and flexible design tool which assists designers to develop riser and feeder, gating system and pouring system for gravity casting in a short time. With the help of Cast-Designer, engineer can quickly convert design idea becoming a 3D model for design evaluation. Cast-Designer enable user easily to manage and alter parameter for different stage whatever for initial concept design stage, intermediate embodiment design stage, or final design stage. It is possible to create the full casting system within ten minute to one hour for a typical casting part.

CAST-DESIGNER CPI for Gravity

Based on its unique innovative technology, Cast-Designer CPI (Casting Process Insight) is the sole really practical tool on the marketing today to support designer and engineer to make fast decision for casting part and mould design. It is capable to reflect varieties of dynamics and physical behaviours of fluid flow, heat transfer and solidification in details. Comparing with traditional numerical simulation, CPI is solely based on CAD environment, and provides fast and accurate analysis results.

With Cast-Designer CPI, user can detect potential locations where filling and solidification problems could occur for the given gating system and overflow design. The user does not need to be an expert in simulation to use CPI. CPI is remarkable fast and the time required for evaluating a die casting design is very less and practice. Thus CPI can be used by any die caster, tool maker, or part designer to reduce product development time and rework on die.

Cooling System Design

Traditionally, mold cooling design is still mainly based on practical knowledge and designers’ experience. This method is simple and may be efficient in practice; however, this approach becomes less feasible when the molded part becomes more complex and a high cooling efficiency is required.

The cooling system designer in Cast-Designer is a CAD base module to help cooling channel generation. It provides a very flexible way to generate any complex cooling system.

Cooling channel Calculator

Cast-Designer introduced a cooling channel calculator, it can help the user calculate the total length of the cooling channel with a given production rate. The utility considers many factors such as the part mass and casting alloy, mould size, production rate, cooling channel diameter, media flow speed and heat affection rate. The final result will be a cooling channel diameter and total length.

Online cooling system analyze

To optimize the cooling system design, the numerical methods for casting simulation are relatively mature with the great contribution of academic works, commercial CAE companies, and the continuous development of computer hardware.

However, before numerical simulation, the user must had all 3D CAD data, like the cooling channel, mould geometry, gating system etc, this usually difficult at the early stage since so many design plan were there need test, also the longer modeling and simulation time is very difficult to afford for ‘time to market’ business.

Instead of this, Cast-Designer introduces an online cooling system analysis method to help designer check the cooling system design at the very early stage, it is fully integrated to the cooling system design interface and the user can get result within 3 to 5 minutes.

The online cooling system analyze can consider the part geometry feature, the cooling channel numbers and location, also the heat affection, the final result can show the heat affection between the casting part  and cooling channel. As the analysis result,  the user can adjust or redesign the cooling channel immediately.

Cooling system online analysis step-1, EMDI result

With EMDI result, the user will have clear idea of the mass distribution of the part, the bigger number means high thickness in there.

Cooling system online analysis step-2,  Fast cooling analysis

The ‘fast cooling’ function in Cast-Designer considers the thermal affection of the cooling channel to a hot metal in the inverse method, the affection of the different channel could be summarized as a  function of the heat affection distance.

The result means a higher value will have good cooling and lower value will have poor cooling.

Cooling system online analysis step-3, cooling affection result

Now, we can combine the above EMDI and fast cooling factor together, to have a new cooling affection analysis result.

The advantage of such method is clear, it consider both part geometry and the affection of cooling channels, and the final cooling affection result is very useful to guide the cooling system design.

Full Mould Analysis

Mesh assembly

High quality mesh model is the premise and key condition to get accuracy numerical simulation results in casting process, special for FEM simulation method. However, it is usually difficult to build effective mesh model by professional casting simulation software if solid model is too complex. The meshing process is the major bottle neck problem for FEM technology in casting process simulation.

It is well known that the hexahedron element had better flow analysis result than the tetrahedron element for casting part, but thermal analysis result was almost similar. Also, the tetrahedron element still has many advantages if applied to the mould meshing. For example,

  1. Save model size. The tetrahedron element is easy to have a big element ratio than the hexahedron elements.
  2. Good geometry description for cooling channel and other components.
  3. Good thermal analysis capability.
  4. Save CPU time. Since the mould size is economic, so the CPU time of simulation is also saved.

Cast-Designer supports the mixed meshes technology. The user can set the hexahedron element for casting part and tetrahedron element for mould.  More ever, in Cast-Designer, we have special technology to keep the contact nodes at the same location of the casting part and mould interface, such feature was very useful to keep the system had a good heat transference.

The mixed mesh technology in Cast-Designer. Tetrahedron mesh is used for mould to save elements numbers and hexahedron mesh used for casting to keep a good flow result. Even if in different mesh type, the contact nodes location of interface was same.

The full mould meshing and assembly could be carried out easily and it has been done in Cast-Designer in one button. There are lots of innovation technologies behind the surface interface. One of them is the re-mesh technology of different contact interface.

For mesh assembly, the user need define all the components of the die sets, such as casting, gating system and overflow system, insert and slider, fix mould and moveable mould, then start the ‘Fastmesh’ program to define the general mesh parameters, then the computer will take over all other jobs.

The mesh assembly result with very good affective ratio for the casting to full mould. The casting part with 117,336 nodes, the fix mould with 44,993 nodes and the movable mould with 55,997 nodes, plus other sliders, the global affective ratio was up to 38.2%, it was really very good .

The full mould analysis could be used for:

  • A more accurate temperature analysis. It is usually necessary for the permanent mould gravity casting since the filling time was longer and the mould thickness was an important role of the heat transfer process.
  • The mould cycling analysis for a stable temperature distribution during the production cycles.
  • The mould thermal analysis to check the life time.
  • The stress analysis to consider the full mould.
  • The detail cooling system analysis.
Stress & Distortion Analysis

With the Cast-Designer mechanical stress module, the user can make the stress and distortion analysis.  The following result could be obtained after the simulation:

  • Casting and mould stress distribution
  • Part deformation and distortion
  • Displacements
  • Gap formation between the casting and mould
  • Predict elastic springback
  • Hot tearing
  • Die life fatigue

Several material models were available in Cast-Designer for stress calculation, such as the rigid material, the elastic-plastic material model and the most complex elastic-visco-plastic material model. For plastic model, the working hardening has been considered carefully.

Both the thermal and mechanical stress has been calculated. Thanks to the FEM technology, only one mesh is used for the thermal, flow and stress simulation.

Part distortion after the casting process. The simulation result could match well to the experience result.

Production Optimization

Casting Production is a special module in Cast-Designer to optimize the casting process to achieve the best productivity and cost rate, as well as the product quality.

Cycle time of a casting part in mass production process is very important as the rate of production and the quality of the parts produced depend on it, whereas the cycle time of a part can be reduced by reducing the cooling time which can only be achieved by the uniform temperature distribution in the molded part which helps in quick dissipation of heat. At the same time, the mould temperature should be maintained a uniform distribution to minimum the part warping and extend the die life time.

With Cast-Designer cycling simulation, the temperature distributions resulted from the combined effects of die heating (during filling and solidification), spraying and air blow-off, and the cooling channels and inserts can be accurately and efficiently predicted.

Combine KBE and numerical simulation: To solve the casting process optimization problem, C3P Software has developed a new method for optimizing. Combining the KBE method and numerical simulation method together, it can achieve a full automatic optimization and much fast converge than tradition optimization method, since it do not need the sample data.

Casting process layout design: One full thermal cycle includes all the steps for producing one cast part. This cycle can be divided into homogeneous sub-steps that are performed sequentially; the more sub-steps identified, the more accurate the corresponding simulation results.
In Cast-Designer, the following four stages must be designed in the process layout:
Stage-I, Starting the cycle and filling the casting part;
Stage-II, Open moulds and ejects part;
Stage-III, Die spraying and cooling down;
Stage-IV: Die closing for next cycle.
The system can optimize the following parameters of the process: part solidification & cooling time (T15), wait time when the mould was opened (T33) and wait time when the mould was closed (T44). For T33 and T44, the user can select one only.

Sensors define and sensor to cooling channel: To run the optimization, the user must define some sensors on the model. During the calculation, the solver will check the data of the sensor, and then make the action plan for the next step. So, Sensor is the nose of the optimization.

More ever, the sensor can attach to the cooling channel then optimize the HTC automatically. This function is very useful for the complex cooling system since the user do not know how to set the exactly value for the channels.

Optimization result: The optimization solver will call the model generation and Cast-Designer CPI solver automatically. The user can define the boundary conditions and simulation cycles same as normal cycling simulation. For each iteration, the system will report the optimized result, such as the new mould opening time, mould closing time and total cycling time.

Cost calculator: More ever, there is a build in cost calculator in casting production when get the optimized production cycle. So, the user can make a quick calculation of the production cost based on the optimized cycling time and the user database. It could be used whatever the quotation stage for price estimation or the production phase for detail cost control.

CAST-DESIGNER Automatic Optimization

Cast-Designer Automatic Optimizer is a unique software package opening up new opportunities for the market of “complex” practical problems. It is used to improve the performance of complex systems, technical facilities and technological processes and to develop new materials based on a search for their optimal parameters.

Cast-Designer optimizer can execute multi-criteria non-linear optimization based on Genetic Algorithm as known in Artificial Intelligence.

Multiple Criteria Targets: All physical problems could be optimized, including the flow, thermal, stress, warpage, microstructure, material properties etc. For Example: Single or multiple targets of the simulation, what the foundry engineer is trying to achieve like to maximize the yield, minimize shrinkage or the minimize gas entrapment and balance the flow during the filling process.

 Multiple Design or Process Variable: Design elements that are allowed to vary, could be the Parametric CAD Geometries like runner dimensions, inner gate locations or riser diameter, even original casting part, or process parameters, like pouring temperature, velocity, or the HTC.

 CAD driven optimization: All geometry dimensions could be optimized whatever it was parametric geometry or not or STL dataset. This is unique.

 Genetic Algorithm in Cast-Designer Optimizer, checks the results of each optimization iteration like shrinkage porosity volume and intelligently sets the new value for the design variables like size and location for the riser. Such iterations are continued until the targets are achieved.

 Complex user formulas are supported.

Benefits:

Cast-Designer Optimizer enables lower research expenditures and shorter implementation time. The main purpose of the system is to relieve a designer or researcher of the sufficiently complex and very labour-intensive process of searching for optimal system design parameters which simultaneously meet a great number of sometimes controversial requirements.


Cast-Designer Optimization supports parallel automatic optimization, this is a breakthrough technology to reduce the lead time of optimization.

Design Of Experiments (DOE)

 Design of Experiment, to study a process window and its robustness so as to obtain a set of ideal parameters which provide good result inside an user defined goal.

 For Example:

Yield:  To find best location and size of risers to minimize shrinkage porosity.

Sensitivity: To identify the sensitivity of the influential process parameters like increasing the mould temperature vs. adding insulation sleeve.

Cost:  Compare costs for maintaining higher melt temperatures vs. rejection/production losses.

Feasibility: Determine the optimization goals, manufacturable aspects during production, in-line with the known production constraints of a foundry


The Taguchi DOE method provides best possible combination of variations. For Example: out of 512 combinations, it is possible to get desired results by trying 16 combinations

Process Robustness

 Using stochastic approach to check that the given process is robust or not.

For Example:

Vary the furnace temperature within the known range to check that the process is robust, find out the maximum and minimum variations allowed in the process while still obtaining the desired good quality parts.

HPDC: Runner optimization


HPDC: Runner optimization


Full Chain Simulation

The simulation result of Cast-Designer also could be exported to other CAE system for a full chain simulation. For example, the porosity and residual stress result of casting process could be exported to other structure analysis software for part performance analysis or life time simulation.

Cast-Designer can export the following results:

  • Temperature distribution in any time
  • Porosity result after the solidification
  • Stress and strain result after the solidification and cooling
  • Filling factor during the filling process

Both MSC Nastran and NEI Nastran file format could be exported from Cast-Designer directly, the porosity result has assigned to different material type and properties during the data export. For other system, the user can make a very simple user route to read it from the ASCII CDF format, which has been documented on the Cast-Designer manual.

CAST-DESIGNER in MCAD

CAST-DESIGNER Basic for MCAD

Cast-Designer for MCAD is a plug-in, fully integrate with the existing MCAD system for rapid data sharing. User can use CAD system to create a part model and then input the model to Cast-Designer through the MCAD module. While for the gating design, one can create it in Cast –Designer and export it to the CAD software for fine-tuning the design using MCAD module. Generally there will be no data loss thanks to MCAD module, if user has created CAD model is created correctly, if require one can use advance features like Boolean operations, surface cleaning and filleting, etc. for the geometry cleanup/patching.

CAST-DESIGNER CPI for MCAD

Cast-Designer CPI can be fully integrated with MCAD to get the advanced analysis result like fluid flow analysis, heat transfer and solidification in existing MCAD user environment. CPI for MCAD can be very useful for mould engineer to make decision promptly.

Simulation driven by CAD data

With the CPI in MCAD, your CAD geometry can drive the simulation process. When you make a design change in CAD system (such as CATIA, Siemens NX (UG), Creo (Pro/E), UG NX or SolidWorks), you see the change in CPI in just a few seconds. It’s as simple as that.

CAST-DESIGNER MCAD supports CAD Version

  • Catia V5 R20 and below
  • Creo 2.0 and below.
  • Siemens NX 8.5 and below.
  • SolidWorks version 2014 and below.
  • Addition license fee will be charged for the MCAD translator.
System Requirement

SYSTEM REQIRMENTS

  • O.S.: Windows XP, Vista, Win7, Win8, Win10
  • Both 32 bits and 64 bits version provided, suggest to use 64 bits code for big model
  • Processors: 2.0GHz and above, Core 2 Duo or better. Faster processor will bring faster simulation.
  • Memory: 2GB and above,  4GB could be consider as default, for big assembly model, 8GB or 16 GB memory is recommended
  • Display Card: 2GB display memory and above
  • Monitor: 1280*1024 solution and above
  • Hard disk: 200GB and above
  • DVD ROM: With write capability for data backup is recommended.

Data Exchange

  • CAD General: STEP/IGES/BREP/STL/DXF
  • CAD Advance: CATIA/UG/Pro-E/Solid Works/Para Solid
  • CAE Mesh: STL/Ansys/Nastran/Patran/Ideas/OFF
  • CAM: STL

Information for Windows XP

Microsoft has been announced that the maintenance for Windows 2000/XP was terminated. Therefore, Cast-Designer will also terminate the support for Windows 200/XP since year 2015.

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