Frequently Asked Questions

September 24, 2012 · 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What kinds of parts are best suited for the investment casting process?         A. Almost any configuration can be investment cast. The key to economical use of the process is to fully utilize its flexibility and incorporate as much added value into the casting as possible.

Q. What are the benefits of an investment casting versus other types of casting processes?         A. The design freedom investment casting offers is unlimited. It allows you to combine multiple manufacturing processes into one and offer a net shape product. It also offers excellent dimensional stability, surface finish, and size range. When combining value added to the component, the process provides a shorter lead-time and lower total costs.

Q. What sizes of parts can Signicast produce?         A. Signicast pours a wide variety of parts, weighing anywhere from a few ounces to as much as 200 pounds.

Q. How long will it take to receive a quote?         A. Our goal is to turn quotes around in five days or less; when required, we can turn quotes around in less than a day. Our estimators will work with you to meet your requirements.

Q. What alloys does Signicast pour?         A. Signicast concentrates on pouring the following:

  • Low alloy and carbon steel such as 8620 and 4140
  • 300 and 400 series stainless steel
  • 17-4 ph
  • Tool Steels
  • Nickel-base alloys
  • Cobalt base alloys

We do not pour aluminum or titanium. For more information download the PDF.

Q. What are the typical lead-times for samples?         A. Prototypes can be made in less than week utilizing the rapid prototype process. Samples that come from simple tooling can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Samples from more complicated tooling can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks, depending on the complexity of the component and the finishing requirements.

Q. What is the lead-time for production parts?         A. Once a part is approved for production, our lead-time is 1-4 weeks. There are many things we can do to reduce this lead-time as actual throughput time is only 5 days. Please see the Just in Time and continuous flow sections of our website.

Q. When does it make sense to utilize Rapid Prototyping versus building a prototype tool?         A. Rapid prototyping makes sense when you only need a few parts and can live with some variability and a rougher surface finish. We utilize the SLA process to create wax patterns, so no tooling is needed, but they are more expensive. The SLA process also creates a stepped surface finish and it is harder to control some of the tighter tolerances that may be required for a production component.

There are alternate methods to creating investment cast parts without needing hard tooling depending on your requirements. Please call for further details.

Q. What CAD files can Signicast accept and read?         A. Signicast can import and read just about anything. We currently run UG, but ProE, AutoCad and others can be accurately transferred via disk or e-mail.