Digitizing the Foundry Casting Process

3D Printing and software solutions to reduce manufacturing lead times and develop patterns quickly and cost-effectively.

Sand Casting Pattern
Additive Manufacturing Solutions
Accelerate Casting Production with 3D Printed Patterns

3D printed casting patterns offer an affordable way to create complex cast parts in production volumes and is a reliable method for metal parts. With the shift to digital production, many have adopted 3D printing. Traditional sand casting is slow and costly, requiring skilled pattern makers. Some manufacturers turn to CNC milling to produce their patterns, but this method can not create certain complex geometries and wastes material. 3D printing automates production, speeds up processes, and reduces costs, breaking free from traditional methods.

Palmer Foundry

Part: Hose Coupling Sand Casting Pattern
Material: Onyx

Sand Casting Pattern

Material: Onyx

sand cast1
sand cast 2
sand cast 3

Benefits of 3D Printing for Foundries

3D printed casting patterns offer an affordable way to create complex cast parts in production volumes.

Rapid Prototyping

Traditional pattern creation involved crafting patterns manually, which was time-consuming and often required skilled artisans. Markforged 3D printers enable rapid prototyping by producing precise, intricate patterns directly from digital designs. This significantly reduces lead times and allows for quick iteration and refinement of designs. 

Complex Geometry

With additive manufacturing, complex geometries and intricate designs that were difficult or impossible to produce using traditional methods become feasible. Markforged 3D printers can fabricate intricate patterns with undercuts, internal structures, and intricate shapes without the need for complex tooling or assembly. 

Material Selection

Markforged 3D printers utilize a wide range of materials, including composite materials reinforced with carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar. These materials offer high strength-to-weight ratios and durability, making them suitable for foundry applications where robust patterns are required. 

Cost Efficiency

By eliminating the need for specialized tooling and reducing material waste, Markforged 3D printers can lower production costs associated with pattern creation. Moreover, the ability to quickly iterate designs in-house reduces the overall development costs. 


Additive manufacturing allows for on-demand production of patterns, facilitating customization and adaptability. Foundry companies can create custom patterns tailored to specific needs without incurring excessive costs or lead times associated with traditional methods. 

Reduced Lead Times

By streamlining the pattern creation process and enabling faster iteration cycles, Markforged 3D printers significantly reduce the overall lead times for pattern production. This agility can be crucial in meeting tight project deadlines and adapting to design modifications swiftly. 

Valmet Foundry: Customer Case Study

Replace Worn Gates & Risers with Onyx Printed Versions

As sets wear out or break, print a new version with just-in-time inventory.​ Using the Composite Materials, the gates, risers, and heels are as durable as their aluminum/red board materials.

Traditional Process:

  • Full day in pattern shop. Additional time for mounting, filling holes, adding leather fillets
  • Aluminum or red board materials are significantly higher cost and require extensive machining

3D Printing Process:

  • Prints in 1 day
  • Fraction of material cost
  • No touch time for creation, more durable, resists blasting process, lasts longer

Start creating high-quality, intricate patterns while reducing production time and costs

Markforged Product Lineup background
Software Solutions
Design & Develop Molds, Patterns, and Castings

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD provides a comprehensive set of tools specifically designed for creating precise and intricate geometries necessary for casting processes.

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Capabilities

  • Parametric Modeling

    Create precise 3D models with flexible design modifications.

  • Advanced Sketching

    Capture intricate details and shapes with splines, arcs, and more.

  • Feature-Based Design

    Efficiently build complex geometries with extrusions, cuts, and sweeps.

  • Surface Modeling

    Shape complex surfaces for compatibility with various casting processes.

  • Assembly Modeling

    Visualize and assemble multiple components for product integration.

  • Draft Analysis

    Ensure optimal draft angles for easy mold release and casting quality.

  • Mass Properties

    Calculate volume, surface area, and center of gravity for part evaluation and costing. 


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