Tooling Design for Investment Casting

Tooling Design for Investment Casting

metal casting processes


When it comes to metal casting and CNC machining, tooling refers to reusable items that are utilised for each job. Wax-injection dies are used as tooling to create wax patterns in investment casting. 

If you know how investment casting works, you already know that the investment casting process relies on these wax patterns. Wax has smooth surfaces, low melting temperatures, and excellent flow properties enabling highly complex investment castings to be made.

You can learn more about investment casting HERE, what wax moulds are and how they are made and more. In our free E-Guide Book, you can also learn more about how we deal with different kinds of Investment Casting defects.

Investment casting tooling design

By following strict guidelines based on decades of experience, foundries can recommend design changes to improve product quality and function, as well as to increase production efficiency and decrease manufacturing costs.

Most of the time, the customer is in charge of the casting design. Casting facilities work with customers to optimise designs for manufacturability and to ensure they pass through a rigorous Advanced Planning Quality Process (APQP).

At Omnidex, in addition to our own die manufacturing facilities, we also work with over 200 suppliers who also produce high-quality investment casting dies. We produce wax dies with CNC mills, lathes, and electrical discharge machining (EDM) machines. Finally, we finish the tools manually by polishing or filing.

In order to optimise materials, dimensions, and critical surfaces, the foundry works directly with the toolmaker. It is also possible for the tooling to remain at the foundry during production, but in most cases, it belongs to the customer who ordered the casting. The wax injection die is an asset that can easily be transferred between foundries if necessary.

Investment casting tool materials

Investment casting dies are often made from aluminum, which is used for wax-injection. Aluminium has a number of properties which make it an excellent investment casting material. A major advantage of the material is its thermal properties, which allow heat to dissipate quickly, thus assisting with the reduction of cycle times during wax injection.

Additionally, aluminium is less dense than other alloys, so aluminium dies are lighter and easier to handle. Finally, aluminium is an easily machinable material, so the cost of manufacturing aluminium dies is relatively low. Aluminium stock is not expensive and is easily available.

The wax injection process does not wear out aluminium die cavities since investment wax is non-abrasive. Steel, brass, or anodized aluminium are often used to make moving parts or components that experience friction during moulding.

Cost factors for investment casting tools

In comparison with other casting processes, investment casting tooling can be much less expensive. Depending upon the tool, the cost can range from $2,000 to over $20,000. A further reason for the importance of Design for Manufacturability is that it takes into account cost variables across the entire manufacturing process. In spite of the initial investment, wax injection dies to have a number of advantages:

With its nonabrasive properties and relatively low melting temperatures, investment tooling can easily handle 250,000 injections. In most cases, wear can be easily repaired without excessive downtime. Die repairs are typically necessary because the excessive flash on wax patterns occurs when moving parts of the tooling engage with one another.

As with any manufacturing process, investment casting involves the design and production of tooling. Investment casting customers can better predict costs and timelines for bringing a new product to market by understanding the production, costs, and variables associated with wax-injection dies.

Omnidex Metal Casting Services

Omnidex is a leading manufacturer offering 73+ Industrial Manufacturing Processes. We focus on manufacturing high-quality products. You can contact us by email if you have any questions or if you need metal casting foundry cooperation.

Contact our Engineering Team to learn more about our diverse manufacturing and engineering service and how we can help on your projects.

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Omnidex is a World-Class Manufacturing and Engineering company that produces high quality, porosity-free casting products which are trusted by companies across different industries. Throughout the whole process, from product development to delivery, we strive to provide you with unwavering support. Providing you with unmatched diverse capabilities and experience, we help you overcome any obstacle.

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