Wax patterns used in traditional investment casting methods are produced using an injection molding process, with costs ranging from $5,000 – $25,000 and lead times estimating at around two months. A major hindrance for companies is that investment casting foundries are unable to produce prototype castings until the injection mold is completed. 3D printing with FDM technology provides an alternate method for producing investment casting patterns that are a lot more efficient and cost-effective.
3D printing with FDM technology provides an alternate method for producing investment casting patterns that are a lot more efficient and cost-effective. A foundry can produce a pattern that also services as a prototype for form and fit evaluation in a single day, providing a perfect match to the casting that would be produced if that exact pattern were to be used. An FDM part’s durability allows it to be put into an assembly for testing while preventing damage that often occurs in transportation and handling. Due to FDM being an additive process, patterns can be as complex or as simple as needed, without any impact on cost.