Ajatec Prototyping uses 3D printing to create patterns for investment casting, ceramic plaster for the mold, and a vacuum casting chamber to melt and cast selected metal alloy. Process steps include the following:
- Pattern creation – The patterns are created by 3D printing in polystyrene or cast in wax with silicone molds. We might use cores to form internal features. Patterns are attached to each other with wax to form a tree-like assembly. The casting tree forms channels through which the molten metal will flow.
- Mold creation – This “pattern tree” is dipped into plaster and dried to form a mold around the patterns and casting tree.
- Casting – The mold is preheated in a furnace and the metal is melted in vacuum and poured into the mold. Metal is allowed to cool and solidify into the shape of the final casting. When metal has cooled, the mold is broken using water jets. Parts are separated from gating system by sawing.
- Finishing – We offer grinding and sandblasting and can arrange for machining, X-ray and other finishing alternatives.