Investment Casting

Investment Casting Services

3Diligent provides both materials and technologies for investment casting suitable for projects for which you need net shape or near-net shape castings. You can benefit from significant cost savings in material, labor, and machining while making use of common metals such as aluminum, bronze, magnesium, carbon steel, and stainless steel.

Parts manufactured with investment casting include turbine blades, medical equipment, firearm components, gears, jewelry, golf club heads, and many other machine components with complex geometry.

Investment Casting Process Overview

Investment casting is the process of pouring molten metal into plaster or ceramic mold with 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.

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3Diligent has supported hundreds of companies in providing digital-manufacturing solutions for their most challenging project needs.

If you're interested in experiencing the power of our digital-manufacturing solutions firsthand, submit an RFQ through our secure portal or send an email detailing a few of the specifics of your project and we'll be in touch.

Material Jetting Process at a Glance

Process Also Known As
Lost Wax Casting
Plaster Casting
Solidscape Process
  • Standard Tolerance
    +/-.03" to +/- 3% depending on part size
  • Stock Surface Finish
    ~600 µin Ra
  • Lead Time
    15 – 25 Business Days
  • Maximum Size
    6" × 6" × 6" (150mm × 150mm × 150mm)
  • Minimum Layer Thickness
    N/A
  • 0.01" (0.250mm) – Plaster Casting
    0.001" (0.025mm)
  • Minimum Wall Thickness
    0.04" (1mm) dependent upon material
Advantages
Material Selection. There is a wide range of metal options available not readily printed or machined, particularly precious metals.
Affordable For One-Off Small Parts. Due to the cost of precious powdered metal, generally speaking, investment casting is the most cost-effective means of producing at small volumes.
Limitations
Size Limitations. While investment casting can deliver a greater degree of detail and precision than sand casting, it comes with a size tradeoff. Generally speaking, investment casting is best suited to parts under six inches in each dimension.
Lead Times Are A Bit Longer. While investment casting molds can be fabricated quickly using our 3D printing capabilities, it nevertheless is a multi-step process to print the master, build the mold, cast the parts, and finish. Other options can sometimes be quicker, especially at small volumes.
Example Machines
Custom Plaster Molds
Example Materials
Gold
Brass
Copper

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