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Hello fellow metal workers, I have some questions regarding making aluminum tank tracks for a robotics project. The tank tracks are 4.25" wide x 5/8" tall (length TBD) they are made up similar to the way an Abrams tank track is put together. I found a metal works company who specializes in turning small 6061 aluminum - rubber coated wheels and though expensive they can produce what I'm looking for. So now I'm back to the tank tread portion which I'll probably make myself. My experience: 10+years experience with TIG welding/fabrication and can weld most things. Many years ago I read a book on backyard metal casting because I wanted to cast aluminum tank treads. Back then the guy was using a Pyramid furnace (the company is no longer in business) to cast aluminum tracks. So here I am wanting to pioneer this venture again with many questions. After reading the beginner pinned thread and all the safety precautions, Aluminum casting seems a little scary/intimidating as well as an enormous investment of time to learn a whole new universe of skills and the safety surrounding them. Therefore I've come to these questions which I hope others can help me answer. A:) Would a furnace produce acceptable enough results in fit and finish for this type of application? (or am I better off in fabrication?) B:) How much cost investment is there in buying a high quality furnace, crucible and safety gear? C:) Roughly how much time investment is there in learning to cast small aluminum parts? D:) What is the mold material needed? E:) Are there any up to date extensive youtube videos or good book recommends specifically for casting aluminum. I have concerns with doing it safely as well making sure the mold is built correctly. Additional massive concerns about what the results will be after I Invest huge amounts of time and money in it. Will the results be good enough for this use? And more importantly will they be better than a machined/welded/fabricated alternative. In other words: Which route is shorter and produces the best results? I'll attach some drawing and pics of what I'm trying to manufacture. Thank you, Av