Discovering the Intelligent Solution – 3D Sand Printing, Foundry Tooling, or Hybrid

Discovering the Intelligent Solution — 3D Sand Printing, Foundry Tooling, or Hybrid

When it comes to having your castings produced, which method is the most intelligent approach, whether it be 3D sand printing, foundry tooling, or perhaps a mixture of both? Good question. The best and most responsible answer is “it depends.”

Yes, we realize in this complicated world wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a single solution, an approach that you can always rely on to give you the results you deserve. But those who have been in the industry long enough know, depending on a single or uniform solution can sometimes produce production issues leading to missed deadlines equating to higher project costs.

At Hoosier Pattern, we believe innovation drives productivity. When it comes to delivering your products on time every time, choosing the right approach is key to our success. Below is a brief synopsis that will provide your project with the best results.

Please keep in mind, we cannot possibly cover every scenario. This article aims to provide an overview of the processes we use to meet your requirements. If you have a project in mind, then please get in touch with Dave Rittmeyer, our Customer Care & Additive Manufacturing Manager, to help answer any questions you might have on this subject.

3D Sand Printing

With our 3D sand printing technology, we can develop accurate, uniform cores and molds that rapidly and significantly reduce lead time. Click here to learn more about our 3D sand printing process.

3D sand printing is ideal for situations where these molds and cores have complex geometries. In addition, from the CAD design to the completed product, this streamlined process can deliver molds in shorter turnaround times than other more traditional methods. Prototyping complex molds and cores with 3D sand printing deliver the highest return from a production and financial perspective.

Now the limitations to 3D sand printing are based on volume and scalability. For larger projects requiring higher production runs, 3D sand printing may not be the most effective choice unless your project has complicated or multiple cores that must be assembled together. At this point, we might turn to foundry tooling or even a hybrid option to provide you with the best possible results. We understand you might be thinking wouldn’t it be awesome to never need tooling again? But let’s face it, a completely tooling-less plan is very unlikely for the overwhelming majority of foundries.  

Foundry Tooling

In 1997, Hoosier Pattern began its pattern shop based on foundry tooling, and since our humble beginnings, quality and innovation have always remained one of our highest priorities. With our expertly trained and highly detailed employees, along with our extensive knowledge, we can proudly say that foundry tooling is our specialty. Click here to learn more about how we can serve your foundry tooling needs.

Foundry tooling, also known as hard tooling, is typically a better fit for higher production runs than 3D sand printing. Tooling can produce thousands of final products, along with the precision and quality you expect. Although some obstacles with hard tooling have to do with the setup process being more extensive, alterations or modifications can lead to production issues and delays.

But what if we can create a mold with some elements of foundry tooling that integrate into 3D sand printing? Perhaps that process can give us the results we want to achieve.


The hybrid option is merging foundry tooling with 3D sand printing. From prototyping to developing scalable projects, the hybrid option can reduce lead times and production costs. In many cases, this process requires ingenuity and knowledge to develop solutions that maximize the desired results for these molds and cores.

Higher production runs that require complex geometry and patterns may be well-suited for this type of technology. Since hybrid options offer such a wide array of possibilities, it can be challenging to determine whether this process is the best choice for your project.

Just as with all things in life, your production decision — in many cases — boils down to time and money. As discussed, these three approaches are not the end-all and be-all to your decision-making. We want to make sure there is never just one approach for every job — it’s not one size fits all. That makes no sense.

When you contact Hoosier Pattern, we will discuss the intricate details behind your project to help you decide which approach is the best fit for your particular project. Partnering with Hoosier Pattern allows us to provide you the highest quality tooling or molds and cores to fit your next project’s needs.