Materials United Internal Casting Competition, Materials United at Michigan Technological University

Sponsored by MTU Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Materials United Internal Casting Competition

For the second year in a row, Materials United is holding an on-campus casting competition, open to all Michigan Tech students. This is a great chance to try out metal casting and produce a useful part of your own design!

Entry Requirements:

Entry Form


1st Place: $200

2nd Place: $125

3rd Place: $75


  1. All parts will be cast from aluminum in the Michigan Tech foundry, using green sand molds.
  2. Parts may not be purely decorative. Each part must have a clear practical function.
  3. Teams may use any of the following standard flask sizes: 12"x12"x8", 12"x18"x8", or 16"x16"x8". You must leave a 1" (minimum) layer of sand between the mold cavity and each of the walls and baseplate of the flask.
  4. Parts must weigh no more than 10 pounds, and the total weight including gating system and risering may not exceed 25 pounds per mold.
  5. Chemically bonded cores may be used, but must be produced prior to the scheduled pour date, by arrangement.
  6. All parts must comply with University rules and be appropriate for public display. (No weapons, no vulgar designs/slogans, etc.)
  7. Any team submitting a part with a trademarked logo/design must obtain and provide written authorization to use the trademark. THIS INCLUDES UNIVERSITY LOGOS. Without written authorization, parts using a trademark will not be cast.
  8. Pattern production may use traditional woodworking methods, rapid prototyping, or any other means of production available to a given team. The foundry pattern shop will be made available at scheduled times during January, with supplies for traditional patternmaking.
  9. Patterns must be COMPLETELY finished (assembled, sealed, painted, etc.) and approved by 5PM on the day before the pour. Any patterns not approved by this time will be disqualified from the competition. Teams are encouraged to have their pattern examined several days prior to the deadline, to allow time to correct issues like missing draft angles, excess surface roughness, undercuts, etc.
  10. All patterns produced using the foundry pattern shop will become property of the foundry at the close of the competition, and will be available for students to use in the future.
  11. PATTERNS USED TO PRODUCE CASTINGS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED COMPETITION POUR WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. The purpose of this competition is to encourage planning and careful mold design, not trial-and-error development.
  12. All parts will be poured on the same day (tentatively February 14, 2015).
  13. The best casting from the first mold poured from each pattern will count as the contest entry. (Additional castings may be produced, if there is additional metal available.)
  14. Post-processing of submitted casting is limited to gating and riser removal, wire brushing, and sandblasting to remove residual sand.

Submissions for judging must include:

  • Single casting from the first mold poured (gating and risers removed, but no finish machining permitted)
  • Pattern used to produce the mold (Including core boxes, if used)
  • Half page description of the part, its function/purpose/use, and why you chose to cast that part.

 Judging Criteria:

10 points each:
  • Functionality - Does the part serve a useful function, or is it mostly decorative? For example: A bracket designed as a camera mount should score better than a pencil cup, and a paper weight should get almost no points or none at all.
  • Casting Quality - No defects evident, such as shrinkage, flashing, cold shuts/freeze off, etc.
  • Complexity - Credit for attempting a challenging part. This could include complex parting lines, cores, clever patterning, etc.
5 points each:
  • Uniqueness - Is something about this casting different from the other entries? Is it a part that wouldn't usually be cast?
  • Written Summary - Effective description of the part's function/purpose/use, and why you chose it.

Judging will take place at the start of MU's spring Career Week Meet and Greet, with results to be announced later in the night. Scores for each category will be averaged across all judges, and then summed to determine the final score.