Casting is the process of pouring liquidized material into a mold and allowing it to solidify. It’s used to create products of a variety of shapes and sizes. Metal is commonly used in the casting process due to its durability, however other materials such as epoxy, concrete, and plaster are sometimes used as well.
Different types of casting techniques include sand casting, permanent mold casting, investment casting, and die casting, all of which have different advantages.
Sand casting involves use of a sand-based mold (usually mixed with clay to help hold it together). It is low cost and reduces risk of cracking or tearing, however, this technique produces results with lesser accuracy than the other methods.
Permanent mold casting is a metal casting process using “permanent molds”. This technique allows you to open and close the molds so they can be reused. Shapes are limited, however.
Investment casting (also called “lost-wax casting”) uses wax patterns which are inserted into the mold and melted out later. This process enables the production of intricate shapes and provides a high level of accuracy. It’s more expensive than other techniques, however, equipment costs may be lower.
Die casting is the process of molding metal under high pressure. This technique produces accuracy and dimensional consistency and is best for high volume production due to higher equipment costs.