ICI’s 15th Annual Casting Design contest

The award-winning designs for the Investment Casting Institute’s 15th Casting Design Contest were recently announced at the 63rd Annual ICI Technical Conference & Expo, in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

The annual contest seeks to identify the best work of the preceding year, works that succeed not only by the aesthetic achievement but equally or, more importantly, by the function they serve. The contest also expresses the necessity of investment casting in industry and society. After all, investment casters are the segment of the metalcasting industry that gives the highest emphasis to product design. Often, it is the possibility for complexity and virtuosity in investment casting that gives metalcasting an edge over welding, extrusion, or precision machining. In an age when design is gaining new relevance, with the prevalence of CAE and CAD, and the emergence of additive manufacturing, the investment casters are carrying a message for the rest of their metalcasting cohort: We can accomplish as much, now.

With this annual contest, ICI helps project a message of versatility by recognising designs for products developed for different industrial and commercial applications in aerospace, defence, fine art and others. Thus, the scope of investment casting’s applications are highlighted and celebrated.

In addition, the winning castings project the unity and precision of design that merely hints at the depth of engineering skill involved in linking the performance requirements to the material qualities available via the various alloys, and the design flexibility of the investment casting process.

And, of course, there is the beauty, some of which is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re an engine designer, you’ll see the value of thin walls and heat-dissipating materials. If you’re a vehicle or machine designer, you’ll appreciate the unity of forms and the simplicity of functions. And, of course, if you’re a metalcaster, you’ll see the timelessness of human ingenuity, earthly materials, and physical energy joined forever in a unique, and award-winning, investment cast part.


This stator housing was designed and produced by Carley Foundry Inc. in A357 to replace a two-piece structure. Carley Foundry Inc. was awarded the Aerospace award for this casting


Shellcast Inc. was awarded the Top Commercial Casting prize. The foundry was contacted by a customer that indicated a need for a high-integrity component – a diving helmet – that they had concluded could not be made by fabrication and/or sand casting


Barron Industries was awarded the Defense award. This casting represents a successful conversion of a part formerly as two, separate welded fabrications, 12 pieces in total. It functions as both an engine mount and an alternator mount for a power pack used on a new-generation armored personal carrier


Aristo-Cast Inc. casts award to recognise “Fine Art Excellence”. ICI chose Aristo-Cast to produce an award – Fine Art Excellence – to acknowledge outstanding contributors to the investment casting industry and the Institute, because of the company’s record for producing high-quality castings with intricate detail. Aristo-Cast brought the concept to life by 3D-scanning a foundryman outfitted in full safety gear, standing as a representation of the prestigious award. The aluminium casting measures 70 x 210mm. ICI presents its Hall of Honor Award each fall at its Annual Technical Conference and Exposition