Turning plastic into metal

Recently we have got more involved with producing plastic parts that will be used for investment casting in various metal from Aluminium to Titanium.  You may ask why do this when metal parts can be 3D printed directly?  The answer is somewhat layered,  Metal 3D printing is just the best thing for some applications but not others and investment casting or sand casting from patterns offers another useful option.  Namely cost advantages for larger parts but also material choice.

Below is an example of an automotive inlet manifold we printed that was investment cast in aluminium, the cost is around half that of 3D printing in metal a part of this size:

PLA 3D print for investment castingInvestment cast from 3D print

To help better understand the process and work with our casting partners better, we cast parts in-house to refine our printing technique for cast parts, below is a print and investment cast we made in-house:

3D print for investment castingInvestment coated 3D printburnout investment castingMetal part made via 3D print and investment casting

If you are interested to have parts cast or you have a casting business we would like to hear from you.

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