The basic metal casting process involves creating a pattern and a mold, then pouring molten metal into the mold. You will then extract the solid metal casting and finish your piece. This process is customizable for different types of metal casting, along with shapes, sizes, and more.
Step 1: Create the pattern
Before you make your mold, you must create a pattern to determine the mold’s shape. The pattern can be a 3-dimensional model of your final cast. It may be shaped in wax, sand, plastic, or even wood. Some casters use molds made of plaster or silicone, which are materials that could not withstand a molten metal cast, but allow the caster to mass create wax multiples to use in expendable mold casting. When you are shaping your pattern, make sure you account for any anticipated shrinkage when the metal cools. Patterns may also be gated with sprues to allow the molten metal to flow into the mold.
Step 2: Make the mold
After you have created a pattern, it is time to make your mold. As we mentioned above, you may choose to make a reusable mold, which is typically made from metal, or a single-use mold, which may be made from sand, plaster, or ceramic shell. Each of these methods for making molds are optimized for different casting metals and various levels of pattern complexity. If you are working with a wax or plastic pattern, you can burn out the pattern inside of a kiln.
Step 3: Choose the metallic alloy
All metal castings are produced from either ferrous or non-ferrous alloys. Alloys are a mixture of elements that provide the best mechanical properties for the final cast’s use. Ferrous alloys include steel, malleable iron, and gray iron. Non-ferrous alloys that are most commonly used in casting are aluminum, bronze, and copper. If you are working with precious metals in a jewelry studio, you may work with silver, copper, gold, and platinum.
Step 4: Melt the alloy
Melting processes vary between alloys because each alloy will have a different melting temperature. Essentially, melting consists of placing the solid alloy in a crucible and heating it over an open flame or inside of a furnace.
Read more: The basic metal casting process
Send us a message and one of our customer service representatives will contact you soon.Contact ×