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The Drivers for Change in the Foundry

  • Shorter Product Lifecycles

    The evolution of parts is accelerating dramatically in many industries. Take the automotive industry where customer demand is increasing for rapid model updates, new consumer electronics, and greater connectivity. The push for faster market response means production volumes will become smaller for each part. Foundries highly responsive to customer demand will get the new contracts.

  • More Complex Geometries

    The layer-by-layer build of 3D printed casting patterns means foundries can quickly and inexpensively deliver what were previously 'unmoldable' geometries. The combination of topology optimization with additive casting patterns means Digital Foundries can respond, for example, to the demand by electric vehicle manufacturers to deliver more lightweight parts.

  • Improved Additive Solutions

    Additive technologies and investment casting materials are improving in performance, delivering much faster print speeds and a new level of automation at lower cost with easier-to-cast materials. The industry-leading SLA QuickCast methodology and the MJP RealWax materials are delivering production-grade casting patterns to foundries. This evolution is in its early stages; major developments will continue to benefit Digital Foundry manufacturers.

  • Labor shortages

    In 2018, 90% of North American foundries reported ongoing skilled labor shortages. According to reports, the situation is not going to change and will likely get worse. At the same time, demand for investment casting is growing. Foundries need to go digital to respond to increased demand with fewer skilled employees. Digital CAD data and new additive technologies can make the difference.


  • Analog foundry practises
  • choose between analog and digital foundry practises
  • benefits of the digital foundry

3D Printing Solutions for the Digital Foundry

Engine block casting pattern printed at large scale by the ProX 950 SLA 3d printer

Try Before You Buy

Experience the full benefits of 3D printed casting patterns before bringing new capabilities in-house. Call on experts at 3D Systems On Demand 3D printing service to help you determine which technology and materials best suit your needs.

3D Systems 3D Printers and Materials for the Digital Foundry

Our MJP and SLA 3D printers and materials deliver exceptional value, part accuracy, fast speed and production-grade casting patterns. Explore the options below to find the printer and material that's right for you.

Customer Application Stories

  • The Digital Foundry in Action at Invest cast with the ProJet MJP 2500 IC 3D printer

    Invest Cast is making the foundry digital with 3D Systems' ProJet 2500 IC with RealWax materials for production-grade investment casting patterns that can deliver CAD to finished casted parts in 24 hours. (Also read the case study)

  • Vaupell Saves Time and Money with 3D Printed Investment Casting Patterns

    Vaupell is using QuickCast®, the stereolithography (SLA) process developed by 3D Systems for investment casting, to deliver unprecedented speed and quality to its customers at a fraction of the cost of traditional methodologies. (Also, read the written case study).

  • Jay Leno’s Garage Replaces Antique Car Part for One-Tenth the Cost with 3D Systems

    A reverse engineering workflow using Faro scanners and Geomagic software, and SLA printed investment casting patterns through the On Demand 3D printing service helped Jay Leno get this hundred-year-old Owen Magnetic electric car back up and running.