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Prototype and Low Volume Options

Metal prototype - sand casting.  A precursor to a die casting production part. For projects where validation of design and function are required, or where annual volumes do not warrant a die cast solution, Chicago White Metal offers a variety of prototyping and low volume production options.  This includes the newest rapid prototyping (RP) process, sand casting, rubber-plaster molding, CNC machining and 3D Printing.  

Machined Hog Outs


  • Very low or no upfront tooling costs.

  • Ideally suited for low volumes.

  • Can be done in variety of alloys.

  • Very tight tolerances can be achieved.

  • Short lead times.


  • Highest cost option, especially for complicated geometries.

  • Does not replicate a higher volume process that may have broader tolerance requirements.

  • Does not replicate the surface finish of a die cast or investment cast part.

  • Some geometries, such as curved surfaces and radii are more difficult to machine.

Sand Casting


  • Low up front tooling costs.

  • Ideally suited for volumes up to 2500 pcs.

  • Ability to cast thick wall sections.

  • Short lead times.

  • Tight tolerances can be easily achieved through machining.

  • Can cast internal cored features, unlike die casting. 

  • Parts can be produced in a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.


  • Surface finish is rougher than die casting.

  • Small holes and tight tolerance features will need to be machined.

  • Achieved as-cast tolerances are not as tight as those for die casting or machined hog outs. 

Investment Casting/Rubber Plaster Mold


  • Lower up front tooling costs as compared to die casting.

  • Surface finish is similar to die casting.

  • Ability to cast complex geometries.

  • Variety of non-ferrous alloys available.

  • Short lead times.


  • Tooling costs are higher than sand casting or machined hog outs.

  • Tight tolerance features, and holes, will need to be machined.

Spin Casting


  • Ideally suited for small, zinc parts.

  • Very low initial tooling costs.

  • Ability to produce complex geometries.

  • Short lead times.

  • Variety of zinc alloys available.


  • Only available for zinc.

  • Tight tolerance features will require machining

Contact Chicago White Metal for more information about die cast prototyping for your project.

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