3D Metal Printing vs. Casting: What Is The Difference?


Take a look around. How many products do you observe that were produced using the casting technique? How can one tell?

One of the earliest manufacturing techniques used by humans was casting.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, it has a 5,000-year history. The earliest casting, a copper frog, was produced in Mesopotamia in 3,200 B.C., but casting didn’t become popular until 800 B.C. when it was widely utilized in China.

While casting dates back to centuries, 3D metal printing is a late by-product of the industrial revolution. In the early 1980s, Japan saw the development of 3D printing in its earliest known forms.

Hideo Kodama was looking for a technique to create a quick prototyping system in 1981. Using a photosensitive resin that was polymerized by UV light, he developed a layer-by-layer manufacturing process.

Casting is progressively being replaced by 3D metal printing. A three-dimensional physical object is created using additive manufacturing, often known as 3D printing, by adding numerous thin layers of material in succession to a digital model.

Comparing 3d Printing Versus Casting

Since 3D printing service uses consecutive layers of material to create the desired items using 3D modelling software, like AutoCAD, to name one, it is generally referred to as “additive.”

3D metal printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, is a manufacturing technique that turns digital files and blueprints into better, more readable 3D structures. While with casting there’s little need for software but it severely depends on the presence and availability of a mould to shape the casting.

When talking about budgeting, with die casting, the cost of the die requires a significant upfront investment, while 3D printing has minimal upfront costs.

3D printing is much faster than moulding. Compared to moulding, where you not only need to design your parts, the filling system, and the feed head but also create a mould, 3D printing saves you a lot of time. For powder-based Additive Manufacturing technologies, all you need to do is upload the 3D model to our website.

Application Of 3D Metal Printing

  • NASA created rocket engine fuel pumps that used 45% lesser resources than it would normally take to make fuel pumps
  • A metal 3D-printed electric guitar bridge from Nik Huber Guitars achieves a sound quality that is not possible to get with conventional parts.
  • T3D-printed titanium brackets for satellites are 25% lighter and have a better stiffness-to-weight ratio than those produced using conventional techniques thanks to Thales Alenia Space and 3D Systems.
  • Porsche produces spare parts for its collectible and vintage vehicles via 3D printing, giving its clients access to a large selection of high-end, uncommon parts at a significant discount.
  • Mercedes-Benz 3D metal prints replacement parts from its digital catalog.

Application Of Casting

  • Medical equipment often needs to be produced wholly of aluminium or with aluminium parts, therefore die casting is perfect for them.
  • For recreational vehicles, we can cast parts made of aluminum and zinc.
  • Traffic lights can also be made out of die-cast metal. Making lighting enclosures and other components for traffic lights using aluminium alloys and casting dies is quite effective.
  • Die casting is ideal for firearms. Your shotgun, rifle, or pistol may contain a majority of die-cast metal components.
  • Due to their excellent conductivity, low weight, and durability, die-cast aluminium components are frequently used in telecommunications equipment.

What Is Best For You

Regarding design compatibility, 3D printing and die casting are specialized processes that require employing expensive machinery in cutting-edge technology.

If the manufacture is low-volume and the part needs intricate inside cuts, 3D printing might be the best option. When using a 3D metal printing service for your component needs, you can create free-forming patterns that could be challenging to duplicate using conventional production techniques.

However, metal die casting can be the best choice for large-scale production. Die casters like to use die-cast components because they are easier to manufacture, thanks to global foundries’, availability of the necessary equipment, and safety precautions.

Foundries frequently recycle aluminum from a variety of sources; the raw metal allows for tight pressure tolerances and produces castings that are more robust and long-lasting when used in aluminum die casting.

In conclusion, while 3D metal printing and casting are a lot alike, they are not the same. Metal printing in Australia is now made easy thanks to CAD Deziners. So why wait? Head on over to start your 3D metal printing project with us by your side today!

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