Rapid investment casting: direct and indirect approaches via fused deposition modelling

  • C. W. Lee
  • C. K. Chua
  • C. M. Cheah
  • L. H. Tan
  • C. Feng
Original Article


Investment casting (IC) offers an economical method for mass producing complex, shaped metal parts. However, high tooling cost and lead times associated with the fabrication of metal moulds for producing IC wax (sacrificial) patterns result in cost justification problems for customised single casting, small- and medium-quantity production. Rapid prototyping (RP) techniques can reduce the costs associated with single-part or small-quantity production as they can be applied to the fabrication of sacrificial IC patterns containing complex and intricate designs with significant cost and lead-time savings. In this project, a benchmark model is designed to assess the fused deposition modelling (FDM) process for creating sacrificial IC patterns. In addition, an indirect approach toward producing wax patterns via silicone rubber moulding is investigated. Cost and lead time comparisons between the two IC pattern production methods were carried out and presented. The dimensional accuracies of metal castings generated from the RP-produced patterns are also presented.


Investment casting Rapid prototyping Fused deposition modelling Silicone rubber moulding 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. W. Lee
    • 1
  • C. K. Chua
    • 1
  • C. M. Cheah
    • 1
  • L. H. Tan
    • 1
  • C. Feng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical & Production EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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