Precision Casting Factory Tour
Shenzhen Adventure Day 20Tweet
The precision casting plant was really neat! They have some pretty major clients, which you might be able to guess from some of the photos (but probably best if this doesn’t show up in the search results).
This factory uses the cutting edge technologies to make über precise components.
A precision mold starts with precision materials. The materials they make use of here are void free, meaning that there are no microscopic pockets or bubbles in the material which would make it hard to machine precisely.
The blanks are then given a rough CNC cut, and then brought to a precision grinder where a worker uses a device to trim all edges. The device scales all of the workers movements by a large factor, and greatly magnifies the part. A bouncing rotary tool allows the worker to grind away slowly.
The next step is an ablation process which uses a super high current arc to blast off material bit by bit and polish the mold and give it a mirror finish (if I recall correctly).
The polished mold pieces are very pretty!
The finished pieces are then assembled into a mold housing.
The parts are made by injection molding a metal powder into the mold. These are very delicately held together, you could easily snap them with your bare hands.
They are then forged at high heat, which bonds the metal, making it very strong.
Overall, this is a process you could hope-to-afford one day when either prices come down, your company is doing really well, or you are operating in a niche that requires it. Despite being somewhat inaccessible, it was really cool to get to see how it all comes together!