Every manufacturing process has its limitations whether it is traditional casting or direct 3D metal printing. High tooling cost and long lead-time are challenges of the traditional casting process whilst material compatibility is a restricting factor for direct 3D metal printing. Enable’s new Additive Casting process combines the best of both worlds by offering all the material choices we are used to from traditional casting, without the limitation and high cost of tooling as moulds are made by means of additive manufacturing.
Gradually direct 3D metal printing is seeing wider market adoption for its ability to create parts quickly, speeding up prototyping and development cycles immensely. However, direct 3D metal printing companies typically do not offer a wide range of materials for customers to choose from. If the desired material is not amongst these choices, engineers must design parts in alternative materials and therefore cannot use these parts for the final production process, potentially duplicating the development time for a part. Also, getting new materials approved that are well suited for direct 3D metal printing can be a long and onerous process, cancelling the main advantage of obtaining parts quickly.