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Let us assume you have a large forging press or drophammer, and drawings for a set of smaller parts that all need to be forged from the same material. Would it be feasible to construct a forging die so that all the parts could be forged from a single billet and then separated as a machining step? Or is this more expensive than making a forging die for each part and forging them separately from individual, smaller billets?

For the purposes of this question, you can assume that the parts all have a linear geometry -- say, if you wanted to forge a crankshaft and camshaft set for an engine in a single operation.

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    $\begingroup$ Voting to close as to broad, the question is not answerable without details of the parts in question. Specifically, cost is difficult to determine without an in-depth understanding of the part geometries. Feasibility of forging in general also depends on desired output geometry. $\endgroup$ – wwarriner Sep 13 '15 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ @starrise -- I gave an example set of output geometries that should do the trick; let me know if you need more information. $\endgroup$ – ThreePhaseEel Sep 14 '15 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ That is a much easier to answer question that I am unfortunately unequipped to answer. $\endgroup$ – wwarriner Sep 14 '15 at 3:33
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I've previously worked in the forging industry and you can certainly forge multiple parts in a single stroke of a large press but there are problems. The obvious ones are the size of the available press and the economics of the operation. However, even from a metallurgical point of view, forging a complex part like a crankshaft in one stroke would induce more plastic deformation than the material could take, at least at room temperature. The shaft would then have to be hot-forged to maintain the ductility of the material during deformation and the temperature required is critical. I can't imagine that you could do a crankshaft and a camshaft at the same time. And apart from that, complex parts are usually forged in stages, each stage taking the component closer to its final shape. Again, I can't see this being done for a crankshaft and a camshaft in a single die.

But I could be out-of-date...

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the crankshaft/camshaft example was simply a set of geometries that'd be familiar to folks here. (I was envisioning a hot-forging process anyway, too) $\endgroup$ – ThreePhaseEel Sep 15 '15 at 1:01

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