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Home » 3D Metal Glossary

This page will cover all of the terms we encounter here at The Virtual Foundry. They may not all relate directly to 3D Printing. But they will be things that come up when discussing various related concepts.

Near Net Shape
The term Near Net Shape is a recurring theme for TVF. In any industry, when a piece of metal cant be formed to the exact spec. needed, you make it a little bit larger, then trim it in a post-process where you have more control.

Here’s an example that I thought was easy to understand because it’s such a massive object, man-hole covers. Since it’s difficult to get two cast objects to fit together well, they go a bit oversize, then mill it down. 

This example is massive, but it works the same for very small parts. When 3d printing isn’t precise enough, we tell people to print it Near Net Shape, then post-process it.

The whole video is interesting (they’re using a process called “Lost Foam Casting”), but if you just watch from this link to about 9:30, you’ll get the idea.

https://youtu.be/DWfnIsVpTtM?t=466

Cuppelation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupellation