For decades, die casting has been an efficient and reliable way of manufacturing metal parts (zinc, aluminum, magnesium). With the development of technology, other production techniques such as 3D printing are also at the forefront. What is the benefit of die casting and 3D printing as two of the most frequently used production methods for your component requirements? In this article, we will discuss the benefits of die casting vs. 3D printing in the comparison between 3D printing and die casting and help you make a better choice when printing with die casting vs. 3D printing.
Difference between 3D printing and die casting-Die casting vs 3D printing
1. Costs of investments
With die casting, a significant upfront investment is necessary for the cost of the die, while 3D printing has minimal upfront costs. The unit price for printing is, on the other hand, much higher than die casting.
2. Ways of Manufacturing
3D printing is a much newer technology compared to die casting, but it only became commercially viable around the mid-1980s. On the other hand, die casting is an established process of manufacturing. The injection of liquid metal into a mold involves die casting, which results in a faster cycle time than printing of 30 to 45 seconds. Die casting is more like sculpting than die casting. In order to create a three-dimensional object, 3D printing is a process in which material is deposited, joined or solidified under computer control. The materials are added together, such as powder grains that are merged together or liquid molecules. As far as costs are concerned, this means that more waste is generated by die casting, which increases the cost of waste removal.
3D printing technology can automatically, quickly, directly and accurately convert the three-dimensional design of the computer into a physical model, and even directly produce parts or molds, thereby effectively shortening the product development cycle, without the need for traditional tools, fixtures, machine tools or any molds. However, die casting is not without comparable capabilities.
3D Printing Advantages
- Time savings are the greatest advantage of 3D printing. 3D printing is faster than that of traditional production. If you want to go down the traditional production path to produce a product, it will take significantly more time than printing a single object in 3D. Because tooling takes a terrible amount of time compared to 3D printing, where one object can only be reproduced overnight. That's not to say that 3d printing is faster than mass production, but it gets ready faster, you can just produce one object overnight on a 3D printer, whereas, for example, with mold die casting, you need to do that and get it up and running, which takes a very long time, but then you can produce parts very quickly once it's up and running.
- 3D printing does not require a die for every component that needs to be produced. It is possible to create any part by properly programming the printer. It doesn't matter how large or small the component is. You don't want to invest money and time in making a mold for a large number of small parts when the components are very complicated. Similarly, with a single cast, many parts may be too complex to make, but with a 3D printer, they are easier to make.
- There are little or no geometrical limitations to 3D printing. Some objects are very complicated now, and there are not many other ways you can produce them other than 3D printing. 3D printing is a layer-by-layer process, otherwise referred to as additive manufacturing, and has no geometric limitations inherited from other more traditional manufacturing processes, which is why many aerospace companies are now adopting 3D metal printing for end-use components. Because, while maintaining strength, they can get the weight down because they do not have to adhere to the same geometric limitations they have done in the past.
- It is cheaper than mass production, but only if a certain number of components are desired. We are talking about the comparison of 3D printing to die casting. It is much less costly to get one or two or three than to produce a tool for die casting. Now, producing hundreds of thousands of identical parts could be useful, but if you don't want that many, it's a wasted sunk cost and it's going to take a very long time to get you there again. In the early stages of product development, 3D printing is therefore much more cost-effective than tooling and producing mass production molds and producing parts in this way. Generally, 3D printing is also cheaper than CNC processes where you could start with metals and remove them from the subtractive Lee machine, 3D printing tends to be a bit cheaper than those processes.
Advantages of Die Casting
There are many advantages to die casting, especially when the products are similar and many are similar. You can make one die with simple parts in order to cast almost perfect copies of your part over and over again. Die casting also enables you to create a large number of components at a faster speed, which is much faster than the same part printed by an additive manufacturing machine, from 30 to 45 seconds if necessary.
For 3D printers, there is a limit to the materials that you can use. Some plastics, for example, absorb moisture from the air, may affect the resistance and performance of printing. Die casting makes it possible for you to make components from various strong metals, such as zinc, aluminum and plastic. In general, the components produced by die cast are strong and can last for a long time, making them used for all works of life.