Die-casting has been used for many decades to manufacture metal parts. Today, however, there are other methods of manufacturing parts thanks to the development and growth of technology. One of the most popular ones that you may have seen for yourself is 3D printing. So if you’re looking to manufacture high-volume products, you may be wondering if you should go with 3D printing or die-casting for your manufacturing needs. If you are wondering which is more appropriate for your company, you came to the right place. We’re going to be addressing both types of manufacturing to help you decide which one best meets your needs.
What is Die-Casting?
Die-casting is a process of casting a product wherein a liquid metal is subjected to a mold using high pressure at around 150-1200 bar and a high filling speed that can go up to 540 km/h. Metal alloys with low melting points are commonly used in die-casting. This type of casting process is suitable for the mass production of parts. Any mold can be created so it is possible to manufacture large and complex parts that have a low wall thickness.
What is 3D-Printing?
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing. It is the process of creating a three-dimensional solid object from an uploaded or created digital file. The 3D printed object is created with the help of the additive processes. The additive process creates a specific object by pilling up layers of plastic material until the object is completely created.
Each layer that makes up the object is a thinly sliced cross-section version of the object. 3D printing enables anyone to create an object with complex shapes and it uses less material than the traditional manufacturing process commonly used by companies and manufacturers. 3D printing uses a model that you can create yourself or download from a 3D library.
Die casting has been used in molding metals and other materials since the start of the 19th century while 3D printing was introduced to the market during the mid-1980s. 3D printing has allowed engineers with design flexibility as they can create or upload any drawing to print it into a 3D model. Die casting, on the other hand, has a lot of varying techniques and processes, such as semi-solid metal casting and squeeze casting, which gives the manufacturers different types of designs that are suitable to the required application or industries that will be using them, such as automotive industries.
With regards to design capabilities, die casting and 3D printing can be considered as specialized processes. Usually, if a part required is needed in small volumes, it can be easy enough to choose 3D printing. The additive manufacturing process allows for any type of design that can be a difficult feat to execute through the traditional process of die casting.
If there is a need for high-volume metal products, die casting is the highly recommended choice. Die casting is capable of the large scale production of complex metal parts with high accuracy and repeatability.
With die casting, it is also possible to produce different finishing techniques depending on the requirement and specifications of the product. Die casting has proven that parts that are produced or manufactured have tight tolerances, stronger, and more durable than their counterparts in the market.
What is the Difference Between Die Casting and 3D Printing?
1. Investment – With regards to investment costs, die casting will require higher upfront investment costs compared to 3D printing. The printing costs are higher with 3D printing while die casting is more affordable as the volume requirement of the products increases.
2. Manufacturing process – 3D printing is a newer technology and has been available on the market since the 1980s while die casting has been around for a long time and is a more established process. Die casting is a process that involves the use of liquid metal and injecting it into a die or mold. The process is quite fast as it only takes around 30-45 seconds. It is quite similar to sculpting.
3D printing is a process where a specific material is used, for example, plastic and it is deposited, solidified in the machine, and is used to create a three-dimensional part. The common materials used are powder grains or liquid molecules that are combined thoroughly to form an object. Die casting produces more waste, but can also be recycled depending on the process used.
What Are the Benefits of Die Casting?
Die casting comes with a lot of benefits if you need high volume products it is the perfect solution for you. You can just use a single die-cast to manufacture a large scale production of metal parts using materials such as zinc and aluminum. It is a quick process as it only takes around 30-45 seconds and it is faster than 3D printing.
Through the die casting process, the products that will be produced are usually strong, durable, last longer, and are commonly preferred in different product applications. With the availability of the scraps after each process, they can also be recycled and reused in the production of metal parts. Different types of molds can be used to manufacture high-volume die-cast parts through the die casting process.
What Are the Benefits of 3D Printing?
3D printing has a lot of benefits and we will be discussing some of them here. In 3D printing, it is not required to do a die for every part that you want to make. The 3D printer machine is capable of creating any part with no limits as long as you program it into the machine correctly.
If you need to create complex items, you may use a 3D printer. If you need a limited number of parts making a die for each one can take you a long time and may require you to spend more money. If the required part is quite complex, making a cast can be difficult and complicated compared to printing it with a 3D printer instead.
You can save a lot of time by using the 3D printer in making products or parts that have short life cycles. This will allow you to make parts faster so that you can beat your competitors in the market. If you are going to get a 3D printer, make sure to get a high-quality one as not all 3D printers are created the same. Some are affordable but can also affect the results of the final product.
If you need high volume aluminum and zinc die-cast products, die casting is perfect for you. SEI Castings can help you manufacture custom die cast products.
When Do You Need to Use the Traditional Die Casting Process?
If you are planning to manufacture large-scale mechanical parts like engine parts and gears for machines, then die casting is the smart choice. If you need a large volume of large-sized parts, a 3D printer is not advisable as there are limitations of dimensions a 3D printer can create.
Die casting can be a cheaper option if you need to manufacture high volume die-cast metal products using materials like aluminum or zinc. It is the perfect solution for you if you need multiple copies of the parts. The production and manufacturing cost will decrease as your number of parts increase, whereas in 3D printing, the cost stays the same regardless of project volume.
When Should You Use 3D Printing?
Oftentimes when you need plastic parts, 3D printing is recommended as this is the process that utilizes this material while being capable of producing complex parts. Compared to 3D printing, plastic is not as receptive to the die casting process. It is also possible to use the injection mold to produce high-quality high volume plastic parts. Some may prefer 3D printing if they need small batches of custom parts. However, if you will need a huge amount of products with a specific type and size of parts to be produced quickly, then die casting is the best option for you.
At SEI Castings, we can manufacture custom and standard high-quality and high-precision aluminum and zinc die-cast products. Please contact us by filling up this contact form here. If you want to know more about the available finishes for our products please visit our website. Click this link if you want to request a die casting quote. If you need it to be customized or if you have any specifications or requirements needed for your products, then please let us know.
Are you searching for a company that manufactures aluminum and zinc die-cast products? You’ve come to the right place. SEI Castings is the answer to your problem. We are a company that manufactures standard and custom die-cast products made from materials such as zinc and aluminum. If you want to know more information about our company or the products that we are currently offering, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can give us a call at 408-662-4887 and we are located at 555 Mayock Rd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Choose SEI Castings for all your die-cast product needs and contact us today! We look forward to working with you soon!