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Wax Casting Parts

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Wax Casting - Medical Industry
Table of Contents

What is wax casting?

Prototek specializes in creating wax castings, or lost wax casting, to produce metal parts quickly and cost-effectively. This process is ideal for making multiple metal parts without expensive tooling. It is usually used for low-volume requirements ranging from 10 to 50 units. Wax casting is also suitable for low-volume production applications where tooling costs are high, and the product life cycle is short. Additionally, it can be used for high-value, low-volume applications.

How does wax casting work?

Wax casting is a manufacturing process used to create metal objects of varying complexity by casting an original model or pattern. At Prototek, we use stereolithography (SLA) to create a pattern for our castings. This process involves using a high-powered laser beam to cure a liquid photopolymer into a solid form. The result is an accurate 3D model of the desired object.

Once the pattern is created, we make an RTV (room temperature vulcanization) mold. The RTV mold is made from a two-part silicone rubber that cures at room temperature. This mold makes the wax casting a replica of the original pattern. 

To ensure void-free castings, we use vacuum casting technology from Renishaw. This process involves using a vacuum to remove any air pockets in the wax material before it solidifies. The result is a high-quality wax casting that is a near-perfect replica of the original pattern.

Metal parts can be produced from wax casting. The wax casting is coated with a ceramic slurry made from refractory materials and binders. This coating is repeated several times to create a thick shell that can withstand the high temperatures of the casting process. Once the ceramic shell is dry, it is heated to burn out the wax, leaving behind a hollow ceramic shell. The shell is then filled with molten metal, solidifying to form a single metal part.¹

Finally, the ceramic shell is broken after casting to reveal the final part. Any remaining ceramic material is removed through sandblasting, leaving a finished metal part replicating the original pattern.

 

¹  At Prototek, we create the wax casting; we do not work with molten metal. You’ll have to seek outside assistance for that part of the process.

Advantages

Wax casting has revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured. The following are a few of the advantages:

Disadvantages

While there are a lot of advantages to wax casting, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

Designing Parts for Casting

Designing parts for lost wax casting involves careful consideration of several factors. The first step is to create a 3D model of the desired position using CAD software, ensuring that the dimensions are accurate and the design meets the functional requirements. The model is then imported into CAM software, which generates the tool paths required to create a wax pattern using a CNC machine.

It is essential to design the part with the casting process in mind, incorporating features such as fillets, draft angles, and minimal undercuts to make the wax pattern easy to remove from the mold. Additionally, it is essential to include a sprue and gating system to allow molten metal to flow into the mold.

Lastly, it is necessary to consider the wax’s shrinkage rate and the metal used to select the appropriate tolerances for the design. Successful wax casting requires design knowledge, technical expertise, and an understanding of the process.

Wax Casting

Wax Casting Finishes

Finishes refer to the surface treatments applied to a wax mold to create a desired texture or appearance. The final finish of a wax mold can significantly impact the product’s overall look and feel. The most common wax casting finishes are high polish, satin, matte, and textured. 

High polish finishes are achieved by buffing the surface of the wax mold until it is smooth and reflective, giving it a shiny and polished appearance. Satin finishes are less reflective and have a soft, brushed appearance. Matte finishes, on the other hand, are non-reflective and have a flat appearance.

Textured finishes can be added to the wax mold to create unique patterns or designs on its surface. This is often done by etching the surface of the wax mold with a specific pattern or texture. Doing so will give the final product a distinctive look and feel.

The choice of finish will depend on the intended use of the wax mold and the desired aesthetic effect. For example, high-polish finishes are often used for jewelry and decorative pieces, while matte finishes are more commonly used for industrial parts. Satin finishes are versatile and can be used for a range of products. Textured finishes are often used to create exclusive and personalized designs.

Why choose Prototek for your next wax casting project?

We are the ideal choice for your next lost wax casting project. First and foremost, Prototek has a team of skilled experts who can guarantee high-quality and accurate results on each project. With over three decades of experience in the industry, Prototek can offer you world-class services that surpass your expectations, from designing to final quality control. Furthermore, we are well-equipped with advanced technology and tools to deliver rapid prototyping and wax casting services at an unbeatable speed. Prototek’s immediate prototyping services will allow you to get your products to market faster, thus enabling you to stay ahead of the competition. Finally, our prices are competitive, and they are committed to delivering projects on time, making them the perfect partner for your next project.

What do our customers say about us?
They are competitively priced for their services and a very personable team to work with. If you haven't used them - do it! You'll have a lifelong vendor you be happy with that repeatedly goes above and beyond what is asked.
Product Designer
We are extremely happy with the quality of the parts as well as the level of service - thanks!
VP Product Designer