CNC Machining vs Casting

We would like to include a brief description and clarification of each foundry process before we begin to address the discrepancies between the two manufacturing methods.

The easiest way to explain CNC machining is to produce pre-programmed software to determine how machines and other automated factory tools produce a product. CNC machining is often confused because it does not require a single tool and operation. In other words, because the devices are designed using dynamic software, the three-dimensional cutting tasks can be easily managed with a single prompt. CNC machining uses machine tools that cut complex 2D and 3D shapes from material blocks using computer software. In general, the desired part is drawn by CAD or by other digital representation and converted into CNC system instructions. In order to remove the different layers and achieve the final form, the machining process can need several routers, lathes and other instruments. Generally speedy, reliable and repeatable CNC machining can be used to achieve accurate tolerances.

Cast molding, known as casting, hand-poured forming and clamshell molding – means making an instrument in its desired form, then putting the thermoset resin liquid into the mold. The polyurethane expands to fill the cavity and becomes polyurethane foam during the reaction. After the foam is cured and hardened the mold is removed and the tool is ready to produce the next, identical piece. Die Casting is a method used to produce very precise metal pieces, which are sharply defined. A metal content is molten with high pressure and heat during casting process, which causes a metal to die. Once the metal is molten, the material is poured into a mold and hardened and the finished product is formed. Once the product is hardened within the mold, minimal workmanship is needed to produce a perfect product.

When one person puts one of the employees in our foundry on the spot and says "What is the difference between the two production methods as quickly as possible?," nine times out of 10, one employee would simply point out that die casting involves taking a mold metal to fill the void (mould). Both production methods work extremely well, but how do you know which is the better method for producing your product? If you need parts quick, machining has the advantage. Within hours of making a CAD model, processing parts can be created while manufacturing a die and casting takes much longer. Even if processing is finally achieved by casting, it offers machining advantages. A component can be modeled, machining and checked with some prototypes at a fraction of the cost of casting. The part is re-designed — and, where possible, several times — to allow the design to be fine-tuned until cost and longer delay in the production of a die and the associated fixing are incurred, depending upon the machining results. The amount of prototype production may vary from a single part to a larger part for laboratory research or testing.

You therefore need a prototype for a product you expect to launch in the future. In doing so, you have to take into consideration two important aspects – cost and quality. The response is not always immediately clear when it comes to the debate between die casting and CNC machining. Indeed, when CNC processing is followed by casting, many manufacturing processes are made more efficient. Die casting is always the best way of producing the product if a great deal of surface detail is required. Surface details can be rendered directly into the die to cool and reinforce the molten metal with all already inscribed surface details. The alternative is to cast the product and add surface information using later process machining. When used in the production of low-volume components, the CNC machining is better, because no tool cost is needed. Ferner, when there is a need for a large number of consistent and reliable components, CNC machining becomes the best production process.

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