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Castings are molded substances that form the basic parts of all kinds of metal products, from heavy machinery to automobile engines to household appliances. More than a dozen types of metal molding and casting processes exist. The traditional, and still most common method of producing cast-to-shape pieces, is sand casting. Technological advancements in recent years, however, have made alternative casting methods such as evaporative, investment, and no-bake casting increasingly attractive because of their cost-effectiveness.