Before making the big step towards actual production, product or part designers need to go through prototyping first. Prototypes allow you to test the design of your product or part; you can evaluate it for any flaws you need to fix or improvements you want to make.
Prototyping also shows you how production can go, what issues may be encountered, and how much costs will be.
What Process to Use?
You have to choose what kind of production process for your prototype. You can use prototype investment casting – a service offered by firms such as Precise Cast Prototypes and Engineering – but plaster or sand casting can both manufacture investment cast parts or products just as well.
You can enjoy cost savings using plaster or sand casting too due to the costliness of investment casting.
Plaster or Sand Casting?
Plaster casting uses a plaster die with a pattern inside where the molten metal will be poured. Sand casting, on the other hand, works similarly to plaster casting, except it uses synthetic or naturally bonded sand.
Which of the two is better? Your choice will depend on what results you want. You can look at the pros and cons of the two below to make your choice.
A Better Finish
Plaster casting can produce smoother surface finishes even on complex part shapes with thin walls. It also touts a higher degree of dimensional accuracy compared with sand casting. It can be more expensive, however, since the plaster mold needs to be frequently replaced.
In spite of this, it can be a cost-effective process if you want a good surface finish.
In contrast, sand casting results in low costs, even in low-volume production runs. You can cast ferrous and non-ferrous products or parts with sand casting. You also enjoy low costs when it comes to post-casting tooling.
This casing method yields rough surface finishes and lower degrees of accuracy, however.
With the brief rundowns above, you can now choose which of the two casting processes you will use. A Colorado casting company can help you with either casting process to manufacture your prototype.