Hardness, toughness and high temperature strength make nickel-based super alloys extremely difficult to machine. Vacuum precision casting avoids this problem by producing accurate parts that are near-net shape. While the processes used for making wax patterns and ceramic cores are complicated, vacuum precision casting need little final machining. This makes vacuum precision casting cost-effective for more complex parts required in higher volumes.
In the early days of super alloys, parts were forged rather than cast. However, the development of vacuum precision casting eliminated the porosity problems that plagued early attempts at casting. Today almost all investment casting of super alloys is performed under vacuum.