Investment casting is also called lost-wax casting. It is typically used in the Product Realization Lab for small, jewelry-scale designs.
A design or pattern is carved or formed in wax, which is then surrounded by a fine plaster in a metal flask. When the plaster has fully dried, the wax pattern is melted out in a time and temperature-controlled kiln. The hot flask is then placed into the casting machine, which is used to melt the desired metal in a small crucible and then pulls a vacuum on the metal to force it into the cavity.
Students typically cast in silver or bronze. The investment casting process is typically taught through ME298: Silversmithing and Design.
- Neutec J-2R casting machine