The research focused on the production of prototype castings, which is mapped out starting from the drawing documentation up to theproduction of the casting itself. The FDM method was applied for the production of the 3D pattern. Its main objective was to find out whatdimensional changes happened during individual production stages, starting from the 3D pattern printing through a silicon mouldproduction, wax patterns casting, making shells, melting out wax from shells and drying, up to the production of the final casting itself. Five measurements of determined dimensions were made during the production, which were processed and evaluated mathematically. A determination of shrinkage and a proposal of measures to maintain the dimensional stability of the final casting so as to meet requirements specified by a customer were the results.
In contrast to casting to conventional non-reusable “sand” moulds, for which calculating technique for an optimum design of the gating system is comparatively well-developed, a trial-and-error method is applied mostly for casting to ceramic shell moulds made by the investment casting technology. A technologist selects from gating systems of several types (that are standardized by the foundry mostly) on the basis of experience. However, this approach is not sustainable with ever growing demands on quality of castings and also the economy of their fabrication as well as with new types of complex sizeable castings introduced to the production gradually (by new customers from the aircraft industry above all) any more. The simulation software may be used as a possible tool for making the process of optimising gating systems more effective.