In this study, investment foundries and metal printers were asked to quote 75 different cases consisting of 5 part geometries, 3 part sizes and 5 production volumes ranging from 1 to 10,000 parts. Quoted prices were averaged for both investment cast and printed metal and in each case, the lowest cost method was determined. The results provide insight to what parts of the investment casting landscape are vulnerable to competition from metal printing.
- Understand where 3D metal printing provides lower cost production of metal components
- Determine where 3D metal printing will likely become the low cost production method as cost of metal printing comes down
- Understand where hybrid investment casting (investment casting using 3D printed patterns) provides the lowest cost of production