Casting, a manufacturing process dating back 7,000 years, is often used to create heavy equipment such as machine tool beds, ship propellers, and the like. Parts can be cast at the required size and as one piece, rather than by joining smaller pieces together—as you might with other types of processes. With casting, the creation of complex shapes — difficult or uneconomical with other rapid-manufacturing methods — are possible.
What is Casting?
Casting manufacturing is a process in which liquefied material, such as molten metal, is poured into the cavity of a specially designed mold and allowed to harden. After solidification, the workpiece is removed from the mold to undergo various finishing treatments or for use as a final product. Casting methods are typically used to create intricate solid and hollow shapes, and cast products are found in a wide range of applications, including automotive components, aerospace parts, etc.
Investment casting defines the process of pouring molten metal into plastered or ceramic molds of high-heat resistance, letting it fill a custom-designed void in that mold, allowing it to cool, and then removing the solidified part from the mold. Relative to sand casting, this process is especially capable of achieving more delicate features. Typically, the pattern used to create the investment casting mold is created by 3D Printing a master pattern and then put the part into a furnace where it can drip out, leaving a perfectly shaped void in which to pour metal.
Casting is a well established manufacturing process that not only dates back thousands of years, but also finds tremendous use in the age of digital manufacturing and automation. Consider submitting an RFQ through manufacturing services such as ProdEX to get started today.