The paper presents the use of rapid prototyping technology of three dimensional printing (3DP) to make a prototype shell casting mold. In the first step, for identification purposes, a mold was prepared to enable different alloys to be cast. All molds being cast were designed in a universal CAD environment and printed with the zp151 composite material (Calcium sulfate hemihydrate) with a zb63 binder (2- pyrrolidone). It is designated to be used to prepare colourful models presenting prototypes or casting models and molds. The usefulness of 3DP technology for use with copper alloys, aluminum and zinc was analyzed. The strength of the mold during casting was assumed as a characteristic comparative feature in the material resistance to high temperature, the quality of the resulting casting and its surface roughness. Casting tests were carried out in vacuum – pressure casting. The casting programs applied, significantly increased the quality of castings and enabled precise mold submergence. Significant improvement was noted in the quality compared to the same castings obtained by gravity casting.
The manufacture and consumption of market products show ever growing trends, and this means not only the supply and demand volume but also, to a higher and higher extent, searching for new products distinguishable from the variety of products on the market. Thus, it is necessary to find methods of functional, logical and structural combination of the so far existing engineering applications like CAx, RP/RT/RE, PDM/TDM, PPC/ERP, CE/SE and RDBMS techniques. A new challenge imposed on manufacturers by the competitive market is the so-called “product customization”, i.e. attending to an individual customer’s requirements in the features of a series manufactured product. The general objective of customisation is to elaborate features of a product, manufacturing processes, documentation and production organisation in such a way that the product’s individual features meet the customer’s requirements and its manufacturing process, price and service do not stray from series manufactured products.