Sand casting is a process where liquid metal is poured into a sand mould to create a final product. The process is referred to as sand casting because the mould that contains the cavity into which the liquid metal is poured is made of compressed or compacted sand.
The mould is typically produced in two pieces, the top half and the bottom half. A refractory coating is typically added to provide a better surface finish and protect the mould from the turbulence of the poured metal.
This is one of the most common methods used for casting processes due to its economical characteristics. But the affordability of the process is not the only remarkable feature.
These are some of the pros and cons:
- Sand casting process employs techniques that can produce shaped parts of nearly any design, including very large parts and those with internal cavities.
- Parts produced by sand casting often require at least some additional machining to reach final dimensions or tolerances.
- Additionally, parts may be heat-treated to improve dimensional stability or properties.
- This process has a low production rate.
- The mold needs to be broken but much of the sand used to create the mold is captured, reconditioned, and reused with all the steps that this intermediate process can have.
How 3D Printing Technology Can Improve This Conventional Method
Creating complex geometries with the conventional method of casting process is in general very difficult and labour-intensive work, but the combination of Additive Manufacturing gives the opportunity to create forms which would be impossible to create in any other way.The additive manufacturing process also allows us to produce stronger patterns to replace the conventional ones.
Among the most outstanding features you can find the following:
- Some 3D printers can print sand moulds within a few hours, using a standard CAD file.
- The dimensional accuracy is higher because the machine prints the provided CAD file. This reduces the machining and finishing processes.
- The surface roughness for the piece casted using a 3D printed mould and core is better when compared to conventionally casted piece.
- The cost of the machine, materials can be higher than in conventional sand-casting process but on the other hand the surface finish of the piece and the quality is generally much higher.
How Meltio goes even further
Meltio’s exclusive patented technology brings many additional advantages for improving sand casting methods. In a nutshell, Meltio’s metal 3D printing technology is capable of:
- Printing parts with high speed technology and fast deposition rates.
- Print parts at competitive prices, much lower than with traditional additive manufacturing methods.
- The printing process makes it possible to use materials only where they are needed. For this reason, the weight of the final part can be improved typically near 20% in reduction.
- Print full range of full dense metallic materials in large scale.
- Print high resolution parts with over 99.9% density.
- Print using metal wire, metal powder or both simultaneously without changing the nozzle.
- Mix alloys on the fly
Additionally, the ability to produce parts from wire makes operation and material handling very clean and safe, and ensures 100% material efficiency, as well.
If you want to know more about this technology and its multiple applications, don’t hesitate to contact us for the latest in additive manufacturing solutions.