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The history of investment or lost-wax casting dates back thousands of years. Its earliest use was for idols, ornaments and jewellery, using natural beeswax for patterns, clay for the moulds and manually operated bellows for stoking furnaces.
Investment casting came into use as a modern industrial process in the late 19th century, when dentists began using it to make crowns and inlays,as described by Dr. D. Phil-brook of Council Bluffs,Iowa in 1897. Its use was accelerated by Dr. William H. Taggart of Chicago, whose 1907 paper described his development of a technique. He also formulated a wax pattern compound of excellent properties,developed an investment material, and invented an air-pressure casting machine.
In the 1940s, World War II increased the demand for precision net shape manufacturing and specialized alloys that could not be shaped by traditional methods, or that required too much machining. Industry turned to investment casting. After the war, its use spread to many commercial and industrial applications that used complex metal parts.Today, investment casting is a tried and true approach to manufacturing close tolerance and complex shaped parts. It has many advantages inmodern metal manufacturing.