Foundry Patternmaking With FDM Technology

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing technology that builds functional prototypes and production parts layer-by-layer in engineering-grade thermoplastics.

Danko Arlington is a sand casting pattern shop and foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. Danko bought a Fortus 900mc 3D Production System from Stratasys three years ago to assist in constructing new patterns for their foundry.Since then, Danko’s understanding of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology methods for pattern making has developed to the point where they no longer make patterns using traditional methods. That’s right: Danko Arlington now exclusively uses FDM parts for new foundry patterns.

FDM Sandcasting Mold
The initial challenge that made FDM patternmaking a business necessity was the scarcity of patternmakers skilled in traditional methods in the U.S. But the switch comes with other benefits:
  • unlimited design options
  • accuracy
  • the ability to incorporate variable fillets, locks, pins, and clearance
  • an efficient, semi-automated build process
  • less programming and setup
  • fast turnaround from CAD to physical pattern
  • and reliability

Plus, the parts make great sales tools.

FDM parts
Check out Danko’s own video below to see how FDM fits into the patternmaking workflow:


Like what you read? Share the love!