In this study, A356 aluminum billets in different extruded states are used as feedstock for the thixoforming. The extrusion billets were fabricated by a hot extrusion process through a flat-face and a curved die. After the induction reheating of the extrusion billets into a semisolid state, the microstructural evolution was thoroughly investigated. For the extrusion alloy by the flat-face die, there was a large variation in the average grain size (20 %) and the mean roundness (17 %) of equiaxed α-Al grains. This, together with evidence of elongated grains in the interior regions of the billet, indicated that a noticeably nonuniform globular microstructure had been obtained. In contrast, for the extrusion alloy through the curved die, the obtained globular microstructure was more uniform. There were slight variations of 5 % and 7 % in the average grain size and the mean roundness, respectively. By using the extrusion billets, some parts fabricated via the thixoforming process those underwent T6 heat treatment. The tensile test results for the fabricated parts showed that when the extrusion billet through the conventional flat-face die was used as the feedstock, there was a large scattering in the tensile properties throughout the part. In contrast, when the extruded billet through the curved die was used as the feedstock, limited variation was observed in the tensile properties. © 2013 Springer-Verlag London.