In indirect processes, the additively manufactured parts are typically used as
- Master patterns or lost patterns for investment casting to produce final metal parts
- Master patterns for vacuum casting to produce final metal and plastic parts
- Lost molds and cores for sand casting to produce final metal parts
- Tools for die casting to produce final metal parts
- Tools for injection molding to produce final plastic parts
Advantages / disadvantages
In indirect processes, the final parts are produced with a traditional manufacturing technology. Therefore, the parts are produced in standard materials with well-known mechanical characteristics. Indirect processes often become price competitive when the number of required identical parts increase. Using additive manufacturing within the traditional process can reduce cost and/or allows more complex geometries.
The final parts are not produced directly with additive manufacturing. The utilization of traditional techniques is often limiting the high degrees of design freedom usually available with additive manufacturing. Further, indirect processes are often not price competitive at low quantities and have longer lead times.
Compare to other 3d printing technologies
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