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All You Need to Know about Investment Casting in Manufacturing


Investment casting, also called lost wax casting, is a casting process that involves the use of wax molds to create various metal objects in various industries. You will need to create the wax molds for the metal objects you would like to produce, and then pour the molten metal into the molds and cool it down to let it follow the shape of the molds. Next, you will need to heat the wax molds until they melt, which will give you the completed metal objects.

Investment casting is an age-old casting method that has been around since 3,000-4,000 BC, and some manufacturers are still using this method to create various hardware parts, components, and metal objects with complex shapes.

The Process of Investment Casting

Investment casting is quite a long process, and in the past, this process will require plenty of money you need to spend for the initial tooling process, such as for making the wax molds. Thus, investment casting was only viable for high-volume production, as the cost will get much higher when you use this method for low-volume production. However, today, you can use investment casting for low-volume production with much lower cost, thanks to the 3D printing technology that allows you to create the wax molds in an easier way.

The investment casting process works by creating wax molds, which will contain the basic shapes of the metal objects you would want to produce. Depending on your production quantities, you might need to stack the same wax molds in the same assembly for a faster casting process. So, you will need to create a wax pattern tree, which you will use later to cast the molten metal.

After establishing the wax pattern tree containing various wax molds, it’s the time for you to cast the molten metal into the wax molds. Next, you will need to cool the molten metal down, allowing the molten metal to solidify and follow the shape of the wax molds. Once cooled down, you will need to heat the wax in the de-waxing process, and the melted wax will reveal the cast metal objects inside. Now you can retrieve the cast metal object after there is no wax left on the metal surface.

After retrieving your metal parts, you can start the process from the beginning for a new batch production.

Pros and Cons of Investment Casting

Just like any other casting process, investment casting has its own pros and cons, even more so when you consider it as an old casting process used in the foundries as far back as thousands of years ago. One primary advantage of investment casting is that it will allow you to create complex shapes for your metal objects with no problem, while the primary disadvantage of this process is the complexity of the process itself.

Here are the pros and cons of investment casting:


Parts complexity. Investment casting will allow you to create complex parts with a high level of accuracy in a single casting process, and you don’t need to create different parts of a complex object with this casting method.

Dimensional accuracy. With its dimensional accuracy, you can rely on investment casting to provide you with the most accurate prototypes, parts, and components that you can use in your product assembly process without having to make too many revisions in your product designs. 

No additional machining processes. Investment casting will allow you to cast a metal object in its entirety, so you don’t need any additional machining processes to perfect the object’s shape or form, although you can still apply some additional machining processes if you want to.

Wax recycling. You can recycle the wax you have melted in the de-waxing process and use it as new wax molds. 

Best surface finish. Investment casting allows you to produce a clean and smooth surface finish with no additional surface finishing processes.


Complex casting process. Investment casting can get very complex in its process, as it involves creating wax molds, which is a temporary tooling for your cast metal objects. You will need to de-wax and recreate the wax molds after the casting process is complete.

High equipment and tooling costs. Investment casting is also a complex process that will require you to spend a lot of money on the equipment and tooling costs. This is the reason investment casting is not suitable for low-volume production, as your spending will be much higher than your return on investment.

Outdated casting method. The investment casting process is an outdated casting process that uses age-old traditional casting methods to create the completed products. Today’s modern casting processes can provide you with simpler and better casting methods than investment casting.


Investment casting is the forefather of today’s modern casting methods, allowing you to cast metal objects by using wax molds and other breakable mold types. It gives you cast metal objects that have complex shapes, with very high dimensional accuracy and a smooth surface finish.

This is the casting method that can cost you a lot of money, so it is more suitable for you to use it only for high-volume production.