We all know the famous saying: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. When it comes to creating a metal prototype, you might say the same about casting. Foundries have excelled at working metal for hundreds of years, and the techniques they use are as effective as ever. While the industry embraces new technology and ways of working, the core idea remains the same: Molten metal is poured into a mold, cooled down, cleaned up, and moved on.
And that's for good reason.
Put simply, it worked then, and it works now. The men and women who cast your prototype will have gathered years of first-hand experience on top of everything they learned from those who came before them. As unique as your project is likely to be, you can rest assured that it's in the very capable hands of those who know their craft like the back of those very capable hands.
• Size and weight are no object – If your project is particularly large or heavy, it is unlikely to be possible through 3D printing. However, casting can be used to create everything from entire sections of a car to a helicopter frame.
• It's affordable – This is particularly true if the part you create moves into mass production. You'll often find that the more you cast, the less each part costs.
• It's proven – The longevity of the industry is its own seal of approval. Casting is as much a science as it is an art, meaning you know what you'll get from the parts you create: Something solid, functional, and worth what you pay for it.
• More than a lump of steel – It's unfair to say casting is only for bulky pieces. It's a popular technique among jewelers and artists, and even foundries can create lightweight, delicate parts.