Head Porting Art Meets CAM Science

The goal of porting is to maximize engine combustion efficiency by creating internal shapes that optimize the flow of a multiphase liquid, air and fuel, into the cylinder. The shape of the port must create a certain amount of turbulence to keep the fuel in suspension but not so much that it becomes detrimental to the rate of flow. That is the goal, but how exactly does the head porter go about achieving it?

Alvin Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Custom Porting says, “This work requires the hands of an artist and the mind of an engineer. These two characteristics don’t usually exist in the same body. I am a little bit different. I studied engineering many years ago when I was in college. I have actually gotten my hands on a lot of stuff, taking it apart to see what works and what doesn’t. I am also an artist. I paint, draw and sculpt. I have been into that since I was a little kid. Whenever I approach a head, it feels like I am doing a sculpture from the inside.”

Recently Calhoun has been using Mastercam’s Port Expert Software to digitize his port designs and then transform them into CNC programs that create identical cylinder heads every time using his 5-axis Haas mill. The same artistry is required to create the original port design, but then science takes over and the remaining heads are manufactured automatically. What used to take a week has now been condensed into a day!

For more information on Mastercam Port Expert, please contact your local Mastercam Reseller.

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