Top 3 Design tips for investment casting
All of our customers want the same thing: quality components that provide superior performance and durability. This requires sound mechanical design of the final component, reliable process controls, consideration of marketplace economic requirements, and clear communication between all parties. Most of our customers are not familiar with designing specifically for investment casting. So while the below tips are important to remember, we strongly advise you to involve our engineering team from the start of the design phase to get the most from our knowledge and design efficiencies.
Contact our team today to get the conversation started.
SIZE & WEIGHT
Part size and weight are the most critical factors for determining part cost because both limit mould capacity. The more pieces that can run on a mould, the lower the part cost. While almost any configuration can be investment cast, our team of engineers can help to optimise your part for the investment casting process by reducing part weight and optimising design geometries. The key to the most cost-effective use of this process is to fully utilise its flexible capabilities and incorporate as many useful features into the cast piece as possible.
The number of gates you have directly influences the cost of your project. The impact of the gate location on the component must therefore be considered during the design phase, as it can be a careful balance between manufacturability, part function, dimensional control and aesthetics.
If possible, a part should be designed so that a single gate can feed the part. This will generally yield more pieces per mould and reduce the pour weight per frame. Single gate feeding also enhances the dimensional stability of a given part by providing a directional solidification pattern.
Castability is very important to the investment casting process. Ideally, an investment cast component would be shaped like an icicle for directional solidification so that pouring is from heavy to thin. If a design contains features that will raise scrap or rework rates (and piece price), a CIREX estimating engineer will recommend design modifications to help minimise costs.
QUALITY INVESTMENT CASTINGS
Early supplier involvement means CIREX’s in-house technical staff and CAD capabilities are available to ensure you receive the best quality component. The design tips above will help to improve how your component is investment cast, even if it was previously manufactured by another casting process. Unlike other casting processes, designing for investment casting has a unique set of efficiencies that can be used to create the best part for the best price possible.
Contact our team today so that you can benefit from our engineering experience and state-of-the-art innovations.