Investment Casting vs. Machining

Investment casting and machining are considered the most promising methods when considering the right process to produce precision metal parts. However, both techniques are different from each other, so you need to know when to use investment casting or machining? Although CFS Foundry offers both: Investment casting and machining, before you option for a process, let’s talk about the differences in detail.

How Investment Casting Works

Investment Casting

Investment casting, also called lost wax casting, is a metal forming method and is famous for producing parts with complex internal cavities, tight tolerances, and precise dimensions.

At first, they form a wax pattern in lost wax casting that is clamped onto a sprue. It is then repeatedly immersed in a liquid ceramic mixture. After the ceramic material hardens, the result will be the internal shape of the casting. Now, the wax is removed by melting, and the molten metal is poured into the same cavity as the wax pattern. The metal is now ready to solidify inside the ceramic mold, which allows the breaking of metal casting.

How Machining Works


Machining is a method that requires more detail and is a technical procedure. In this process, the material is cut directly into a final size and shape to produce parts, tools, and instruments. Typically, machining is associated with metals production; however, it is also applicable to different types of raw materials. Common tools and instruments used in machine shops are mills, lathes, and drill presses to produce metal parts.

Investment Casting or Machining- which is better?

Now that you know how these procedures work, which one will you use? However, before you begin, please keep in mind that both can sometimes work together to increase the product’s effectiveness.

Machining and lost wax casting can also be used together to produce tighter tolerances or create specific features that cannot be achieved through lost wax casting alone. In addition, machining also creates the mold to be used in the investment casting process.

One of the best features of using CNC machining is that it offers low-volume parts without tooling cost. Although if you are looking for a high volume of consistency, investment casting will be the best.

Moreover, investment casting can also be used in cases where the part requires a lot of surface detail. These surface details can be made directly in the mold to get the whole part, including the surface details. Now, there is no need to use machining during the finishing process.

Scrap is another consideration before selecting any method. Investment casting allows you to use almost all of the metal involved for the part, leaving a small amount of scrap. However, there will be a lot of scrap metal leftover with machining. While you can recycle this metal, you must be sure there is a recycling mechanism in place.

We suggest you choose lost wax casting if you want to produce a high volume of durable, consistent parts. However, CNC machining will be more effective if you have a small number of complex parts or have particularly large or oddly shaped parts.

Contact CFS Foundry for Both Investment Casting and Machining Requests

CFS Foundry takes pride in having machines and tools specifically for investment casting and CNC machining. No matter if you want Investment casting, CNC machining, or a combination of both, we have you covered.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll assign one of our metalworking experts to talk to you in detail about your projects and suggest the best approach for your business.

We have been providing solutions to a wide variety of industries for decades. From food machinery parts to agricultural equipment, we are experts in identifying the best way to create the desired parts within the stipulated time frame.

You can also count on us for comprehensive services. CFS Foundry is a China-based investment casting company that can also handle the finishing and assembly of your project.

If you are confused about your project, don’t worry we are here to help you. Contact us now to find out how to proceed with us. Just give us a call or contact us online!

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