There are a number of different methods available for stainless steel manufacturing, so many so that it is a bit surprising that investment casting is still considered a viable option. This method is one of the first forms of metalworking and takes more time than modern processes. First you need to make a mold of your product, then you make a wax cast of the product which is then used to make a ceramic mold of the product. This ceramic mold is then filled with the desired molten metal and left to harden. The ceramic mold is then broken off of the metal to reveal the final product.
So if there are so many different quicker options, why would anyone decide to pick the time consuming and often costly investment casting procedure?
The reasons are simple; there are more benefits to investment casting than other metal working techniques. The process may be from a thousand years ago, but many companies specifically use investment casting for the benefits that are provided. 3 of these benefits are listed below.
Reduced machining time: Due to the fact that these molds result in what is basically the final product there is much less secondary machining and modifications that need to be done to the metal in order to get it up to the customers specifications after the molding process. This saves money in the long run as it cuts back on the time of the overall manufacturing process.
Customizable lot size: Typically, investment casting is done one part at a time. This gives customers the option to make customized lot sizes instead of having to purchase more parts than they really need. This saves the manufacturing plant significantly more time and resources as they do not have to put working into products that the customer has no real need for.
Improved quality: Perhaps the biggest advantage is that these molds are created with a high attention to detail which means that the final product is of the utmost quality. This in turn improves the strength of the metal by reducing the weakening through overworking the final product.