Traditional investment casting—creating metal parts from a ceramic mold after a wax pattern has been burned away—has been around for more than 5,000 years. Over the last century, the process has benefited from many innovations, but it is still slow and costly to create this kind of tooling for complex parts. Production time is typically measured in months and costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But if Vaupell, a 70-year-old supplier of aerospace components and subassemblies and a more than 20-year veteran of 3D printing, is any example, the workflow is changing rapidly.
“QuickCast patterns enable our customers to get a part long before a production or prototype tool could be designed, made, tested and brought online."
- Austin Wong, Rapid Prototyping Manager, Vaupell
QUICKCAST 3D PRINTED CASTING PATTERNS
Vaupell is using QuickCast®, the stereolithography (SLA) process developed by 3D Systems for investment casting, to deliver unprecedented speed and quality to its customers at a fraction of the cost of traditional methodologies. The QuickCast process is ideal for the aerospace market, which often requires low volumes of highly complex parts.
“Additive manufacturing comes down to who can do it faster, who can do it better, and who can do it cheaper,” says Wong. “Vaupell focuses on speed and quality. Unless it is a particularly large part, we promise delivery in one to three days. Timely support from 3D Systems ensures that we keep that promise.”
- Reduce delivery time from several months to a few days
- Cut costs from $200,000-$300,000 to $6,000-$15,000
- Increased part complexity allowing for consolidated parts and reduced weight
- Antimony-free material With best burn-out efficiency