Manufacturing - Tooling Solutions 
Investment Casting

Save time and reduce the cost of creating investment casting tools by utilizing FDM and Polyjet 3D printing technologies.  







3D Printing - Manufacturing Tooling Solutions - Investment Casting 

Investment casting (lost wax casting) is a manufacturing process in which a master pattern (prior to 3D printing manufacturing used to be made of wax) is covered with a ceramic slurry. The wax molding used to be manufactured with injection molding. The preheated wax is melted out of its ceramic shell before molten metal is poured into it. After the metal cools off the ceramic is vibrated and blasted from its casting. Investment casting generally provides higher accuracy (+/- 0.005 inch (0.127 mm) tolerance is normal) and surface finish (typically 125 micron RMS (3.125 micron Ra) than other casting processes. It is generally used in applications that have relatively low production quantities and changing product designs.

How it works 

The wax patterns used in investment casting are produced with an injection molding process. The cost of injection molding tools range from $5,000 to $25,000 and the lead time on the process and delivery is approximately two months. The injection molding process  slows down the manufacturing of investment casting parts, which forces firms to invest extra time and money into creating manufacturing components. 
Problems with the parts may be discovered only after the injection molding tools are created and the original tool has to be reconstructed from scratch. Another problem with wax patterns is that their complexity is limited by what is feasible from an injection mold in the allotted time.

The Proto3000 Advantage  
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) provides an alternative advantage for producing investment casting patterns, which will provide you with cost and time savings. FDM makes it possible for the foundry to produce a pattern that can also serve as a prototype for form and fit evaluation. In one day, the foundry can provide the customer with a prototype that provides a perfect match to the casting that would be produced if it becomes the pattern. FDM is a strong material which provides durable prototypes to be tested. FDM prototypes can always be redesigned in a cost affective manner and build in a new pattern in a matter of hours. Contact the Proto3000 Services Team for further information on how we can help you with this solution. If you want to speak to a LIVE PERSON - CALL 1-888-88-PROTO (77686). 

The Technology Used for Creating 3D Printed Concept Models 

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology 

Using FDM technology allows affordability and durability by printing concept models with production-grade thermoplastics. 
FDM 3D Printers are office friendly and they produce small models in hours and large models in days. The FDM printed models can be drilled, sanded and painted according to your preference to create a perfect finishing of your prototype. 


PolyJet 3D Printing Technology

As a 3D printing process, this technology produces amazingly realistic models. The printing technology builds accurate models by incorporating multiple materials into one automated part to create prototypes that look and feel like finished products. With fine details, smooth surfaces, rigid housings, soft-touch buttons, lettering, rubberlike seals and even clear components, your models can look the part at a trade show, a presentation or even during a sales pitch. 



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