Home > 3D printed casting patterns for metal parts production

3D printed casting patterns for metal parts production

Supplier News
article image 3D Systems offers both wax and resin materials for investment casting that dramatically reduces metal part production costs and time

Investment casting is one of the oldest-known metal forming techniques, and continues to be an effective manufacturing methodology even today. Recommended for a diverse range of metals, the investment casting process begins with a pattern, around which a ceramic shell is formed through a dipping and firing process. The firing process removes the initial pattern, leaving behind an empty vessel for metal pouring. Also known as a sacrificial pattern, the ceramic shell is broken away once the metal has cooled, leaving behind a precise metal part. The final outcome is geometrically precise to the mould that shapes the part.

However, traditional investment casting methods are not always time- or cost-effective. To begin with, the investment casting pattern is achieved using wax tooling, which can take several weeks or months and upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to produce. When time is not a constraint, or a high quantity of final parts justifies the expense of tooling, traditional methods can be considered.

But when time-to-market is critical or when the requirement is low volume, 3D printing technology offers an excellent solution. 3D printing is a smart option for low volume investment casting, bridge tooling and risk mitigation throughout design.

3D Systems offers both wax and resin materials for investment casting applications that dramatically reduce metal part production costs with overnight delivery speeds. Market-savvy industrial part manufacturers, jewellers and foundries have already acquired stereolithography (SLA) or MultiJet (MJP) wax printers to be able to reliably and precisely deliver high quality 3D printed investment casting patterns faster, more affordably and completely in-house.

When compared to traditional investment casting patterns, 3D printing saves customers anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000 per part along with considerable time savings through quicker turnaround. 3D printed investment casting offers additional benefits such as the ability to make more complex and functionally efficient patterns not possible with conventional tooling. The high surface quality of 3D Systems’ printing technologies also helps reduce post-processing requirements for increased efficiency downstream.

To learn more about our investment casting solutions, get in touch with one of our On Demand Manufacturing experts today on + 61 3 9819 4422 or email us here to discuss your project requirements.

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox