Inspiring youth for model-making and technology.

All fired up for casting molds at IdeenExpo


Visitors to IdeenExpo thronged to the cooperative booth for the "Get-in-Form" (get into molds) project: School pupils had the opportunity to make their own casting molds and cast parts such as fidget spinners or model cars. This was based on model plates designed and milled using Tebis.

The motto of IdeenExpo, which is held every other year in Hanover, Germany, is hands-on instead of hands in pockets. Roughly 230 exhibitors were represented with exhibits, hands-on activities, workshops and information at this major technology fair for children and youth from June 10 to 18, 2017. They relied on curiosity and the fun factor to interest the roughly 360,000 young visitors in technology, trades and professional training.

Simulation with virtual machines

The Federal Technical College of Model and Mold Manufacturing was also represented as a part of the Bad Wildungen College of Wood Technology at a cooperative booth of the "Get-in-Form" project. At this booth, the youths were able to follow the entire process chain in a students' foundry to make their own molds and castings, such as a model car. The Bad Wildungen College of Wood Technology is a Tebis cooperation partner. It has used the CAD/CAM software for over 25 years and now has 40 full licenses. Carsten Fritzsching, master model maker at the Federal Technical College, designed and milled the model plates using Tebis before IdeenExpo. At the booth, the pupils followed manufacturing of the original design in a simulation on the virtual machine. "This already met with great interest, and there were many questions about the design and creation of the milling paths," says Fritzsching.

From self-compressed natural sand to casting

But the true hit was the prized fidget spinner: The pupils waited patiently in line for up to two hours to produce their molds. Fritzsching had also created and milled the model plates for this hand toy in advance using Tebis. At the actual booth, the young people first made the two halves of the casting mold from natural sand they compressed themselves. Assistants took care of filling the mold with hot aluminum and unmolding and quenching. The pupils themselves took charge again for final polishing, while assistants pressed in the bearings. Roughly 2,500 fidget spinners were created in this way at the hands-on fair. Overall, the assistants and youths produced roughly 1,400 molds that could be used for casting, and the majority of the castings were also reworked.


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