“Foundries should see 3-D printing as another route to make metal parts. 3-D printers can build patterns as fast or faster than many processes, and things become even more interesting if you think about replacing tooling cost and lead time altogether: You can 3-D print a wax pattern for a +20-in. rotor in a few hours. Can you really find the tools, prep, and mold one complex part with traditional processes in just a few hours? Also, you can use the same printer to make the sand casting molds, patterns, and waxes just by swapping out the materials in the system,” explains Will Shambley, president of Viridis3D LLC, developers of additive manufacturing technology for producing sand molds and cores.