Despite its ancient roots, metal casting is still one of the most popular processes for companies looking to produce metal parts.
Metal casting software developed a representation of the desired pattern. This pattern is essential in designing the mold used for the cast. Since the advent of metal casting, the methods have evolved and varied. Its core techniques, however, have remained constant.
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Here is a general step-by-step process for metal casting:
Step 1: Patternmaking
In order to begin the metal casting process, a manufacturer first must develop a representation of the desired pattern. This pattern is essential in designing the mold used for the cast.
It is traditionally made from wood, foam, plastic, or wax and ensures that the mold accurately produces the finished metal part.
Step 2: Moldmaking
The next step is creating a casting mold, which can be either reusable (non-expendable) or non-reusable (expendable). Non-reusable molds are usually made out of sand, plaster, wax, or by 3D printing, and just as the name suggests, they get destroyed in the casting process.
Depending on the mold type, this can be done by vibrations in a shakeout process, washing away the investment material, or by ejector pins. Then, excess material, such as vents, gates, and feeders, are removed from the parts.
Finally, the parts get filed, grated, machined, or sandblasted to smooth the surface and reach the final shape requirements.