Appareil de prototypage pour pièce métal moulage cire perdue

Investment casting creates a prototype of flawless quality

Creating a new metal alloy prototype using the investment casting technique is a time-consuming task, which can take an average of 10 to 15 months depending on the project’s complexity and the time between each of the 9 steps of the process. We consider these 9 steps our guarantee of quality.

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In high-tech industries like yours – defence, medical, high-end industrial, nuclear or aerospace – developing a new prototype often involves a technological breakthrough or innovation.

Therefore, you need to be able to count on a high-precision foundry and a highly qualified team to guide you as soon as the engineering drawing feasibility study is complete.

9 essential steps to designing a state-of-the-art metal alloy prototype

Within our industry, we see it as our duty to maintain and evolve a rigorous process to ensure the highest quality investment casting process every time. The standards we must meet are too critical for us to let our guard down. 

Therefore, any investment casting company should have a proven method involving many specialists to validate the compliance of the part during specific steps in the process.

At Vestshell, we’ve established a 9-step process that every prototyping project must go through before production begins.

  1. Design reception and review 
  2. Specifications check
  3. Recommendations for improvement
  4. Procedure and quality plan creation
  5. Process map creation
  6. Prototype development
  7. Process improvement
  8. Prototype delivery
  9. Customer approval (ISP)

Throughout this process, making adjustments and performing all the necessary analyses, corrections and checks before final production is possible.

Metal part feasibility analysis 

A feasibility analysis begins as soon as the technical drawing of your metal alloy part is in the hands of the investment casting specialists.

Before accepting the prototype order and issuing a quote, all the details of the new part must be checked: the alloy chosen, dimensions, overall size and many other technicalities. 

The relationship you develop with your business partner for this type of advanced design must be based on transparency and understanding. If a part can’t be made, the project manager or account manager will let you know why so that you understand the reason for the refusal. 

Often, it comes down to profitability, especially for you. Investment casting is an extremely precise process. If substantial savings are to be made with a more appropriate technique, an experienced specialist can suggest alternatives such as sand casting.

Meetings and follow-ups during prototype development

When requesting a new steel part or one made of another metal alloy, the most common questions are related to manufacturing and delivery lead times

For this reason, during the process of getting a prototype into production, various meetings and follow-ups may be required to bring you up to date on the progress made and the timeframe for the next steps.

Considering the costs you’re incurring, it’s essential to complete each step properly to avoid putting a part into production without it being examined by experts by your customer and your company and by the investment casting foundry. 

That said, each prototyping project is unique, and sometimes no changes to the design are required, or the process map needs no improvement.

Accelerating metal alloy prototype production

Communication and collaboration are essential to optimize the new steel or other metal alloy part production process.

At Vestshell, we make sure that every exchange, follow-up or meeting is necessary and that everyone involved in the project plays a key role. We’re also aware that time is precious, which is why we focus on efficient collaboration and follow-up.

The main issue remains production and delivery lead times. Our customers appreciate that we’re well aware of this. 

Do you have a project in mind? Our resources and expertise can help you make it a reality.

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