Artisanal work will include that provided by a qualified welder. But technical skills required for the carrying out of metal casting services can now include those who are skilled in computer hardware and software processes and controls. Metal casting work, now mostly computer based, is based on the ancient artisanal and artistic practices of metalworking, mostly by hand. Indeed, there are still those occasions where handheld and non-mechanized metalwork or metal casting will be required.
Metal casting is that process where liquid metal is delivered to a mold using a crucible. The mold is shaped hollow. The liquid metal is poured into the mold through a hollow channel known as the sprue. Metal and mold are then cooled. The metal portion contained in the mold is known as the casting. When the metal has been cooled it will be extracted. The process of casting is generally required for the purposes of producing complex shapes that may not be economical to produce through other conventional methods.
Manual casting has been used for thousands of years. For a time it was popularly used for the production of sculptures, particularly those composed from bronze. Today still, casting is used for producing jewelry from precious metals, and the production of tools, as well as weapons. Traditional casting techniques include lost-wax casting, sand casting and plaster mold casting. 21st century casting processes are categorized into expendable and non-expendable casting.
These latter day processes are further broken down by mold materials sand, metal and the pouring method by making use of gravity, low pressure or vacuum. Owing to its simplification perhaps, sand casting remains one of the most popular types of casting. And aside of sand and metal, numerous other casting processes can still fill the mold.