Precision casting, also known as investment casting, is a lost wax casting process widely used to produce ferrous and non-ferrous metal parts. Unlike other casting processes, investment casting produces net-shape parts with excellent surface finish and dimensional accuracy. This manufacturing process is ideal for applications where production volumes are relatively low (100 to 10,000 units) or where product designs change rapidly.

Through precision casting, we can cast nearly 200 kinds of alloys. These metals range from ferrous (stainless steel, tool steel, carbon steel, and ductile iron) to non-ferrous (aluminum, copper, and brass). When casting in vacuum, superalloys can also be used. The only process that matches this range of materials is machining, but it cannot produce the complex geometries that investment casting can provide.

Since investment casting uses consumable patterns and ceramic shells, it is ideal for complex and detailed part designs. The process creates complex parts that are difficult, if not impossible, to machine, forge or cast. Examples include internal passages and ports in valve bodies, curved blades of impellers and internal cooling passages in turbine blades. The key barriers to prototype development and short-run production are the time and cost of injection molds. Every precision casting requires a wax pattern, which is injection molded. As design complexity increases, tooling often becomes too expensive and time-consuming to make prototyping and low-volume production feasible.