Author Topic: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting  (Read 902 times)

Offline Mcgyver

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First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« on: January 06, 2022, 01:49:50 PM »
well, really my first attempt at any lost wax casting. Other than a sand cast pulley blank done 30 years ago this is my first casting. I'd bought the equipment ages ago and never got around to trying it. Gotta jump when a good deal presents itself. My youngest, a Vet practicing in Scotland, was home for the holidays and was interested in 3d printing. Recently I'd bought some printable wax in anticipation of some projects, and the idea emerged to print and cast something. Being a Vet, a simple animal curio/paperweight was what we decide on.

Its really neat how good a casting you can end up without the challenges and time of pattern making, and being investment cast, there's no limit to the complexity (free of the cope, drag and core restrictions).  Lots of model making potential!  The next level to try will be masters made from a high resin printer...but I've not gone there yet as the hi res ones are expensive and there is lots of issues around using resin in ones abode.

Here's a video giving an overview of the process. There was a lot to this, and a lot of new stuff to understand, stuff to make and marshal etc. It took us overall about a week, but having done it and assembled everything, would probably be less than half a days effort next time (not including print time or the burn out cycle). My son did all the video recording.











Offline Kim

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 06:15:41 PM »
Very intersting!

Kim

PS  Is there supposed to be any audio with the video?

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2022, 06:22:09 PM »
thanks.

No audio.  My son recorded a ton of video and I just grabbed pieces of it....so his commentary would be all cut up and not make sense.   I had some Roy Hargrove tracks loaded then deleted them considering copyright and utubes ability to auto check....so went with silence is golden :)

Offline Kim

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2022, 06:34:32 PM »
Ah... makes sense.  I just saw him talking during some of the clips but didn't hear any words, and wondered if I was missing some of the intended explanation.

Thanks for posting!
Kim

Online Vixen

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2022, 08:43:11 PM »
Hello Mcgyver,
I really appreciate the video you two made. It clearly showed the process every stage from start to finish.

That doggy casting must be the most expensive one ever. That vacuum caster, burnout kiln and melting furness are not exactly inexpensive. I once had ideas to set up a hobby business, offering small scale lost wax and lost pla castings using similar equipment. It did not take me very long to realise the quantity of work I would need to bring in just the repay the cost of the equipment. In the end it was less expensive for me to use a specialist investment casting firm in the Hatton Gardens, jewelry district, London to do the manifold castings for my Bristol Jupiter radial engine.

I hope you will bring us more examples of your great work in the future

Mike :ThumbsUp:  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Oh! sod the journey, lets hit the bar and pool instead.

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2022, 11:33:46 PM »
Thanks Mike, welcome praise from someone of your abilities!

in the balance between great quality, low price and fast I've built my shop around 1 and 2.  I picked all this stuff up (plus more not shown) close to a decade ago for fairly small dollars.  I had no requirement at the time but I knew I wanted the capability so got while the getting was good.  Its a bit embarrassing how long they sat for, but the 3D printing world has opened up so many possibilities, it became top of mind again.  All day long thoughts on occur on what I might used it for.  Nevertheless, even used, you're right, that was one expensive puppy!  But its all for fun, Maslow's self actualization.

I've a number of little mods to make after the first go and want to set it up so its organized and efficient to quickly go from idea to casting.  I want to make steel trays for under everything in case there is a spill and make a bunch of flasks ( they seem stupidly expensive) and adapter rings.  As the oven is a decent size there is no reason I couldn't do several flasks at a go.  I also want to set the oven on a couple of pieces of angle iron to reduce heat transfer to the bench...the outer casing was uncomfortably hot.  and I need ventilation...have an idea or two for that.  I've also been thinking, that some use none-perforated flasks that sit on top of the casting machine (with an adapter plate with a small hole in the middle)....well why not make a big flask, larger than the diam of the vacuum caster, that sits above it (thinking flywheels). 

If I had to outsource I'd only use it when there was no other way...whereas having it in the basement free's up my head a bit on applications.  The notion that is really bouncing around upstairs is that I need high resolution resin printer!  One thing does lead to another

Mike
« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 11:45:12 PM by Mcgyver »

Offline Jasonb

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2022, 07:16:45 AM »
It certainly looks to have flowed very well and no sign of blow holes etc and produced a surface very true to the original.

Is it possible to do anything with the surface of the printed wax in much the same way that you can fume or sand the other plastics to remove the layer marks, I wonder if a quick flame over the surface or dipping in something may do the job?

Online Vixen

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2022, 11:04:32 AM »
Thanks Mike, .........
I've also been thinking, that some use none-perforated flasks that sit on top of the casting machine (with an adapter plate with a small hole in the middle)....well why not make a big flask, larger than the diam of the vacuum caster, that sits above it (thinking flywheels). 

Mike

Mike, If you go for an oversize, external flask, be sure to add a bridge to support the investment plaster. Jewellery makers sometimes add waxed cotton threads between the wax pattern and the vacuum face to improve the vacuum draw. The waxed cotton disappears burning burnout. It's one way of compensating for the reduced suction area.
Stay safe
Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Oh! sod the journey, lets hit the bar and pool instead.

Offline kvom

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2022, 01:05:55 PM »
What is the printing material needed to melt out cleanly?

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2022, 02:01:14 PM »
printed material is Orion print2cast.  Behaves a lot like wax if it isn't wax, i.e. you can work with with a was pen, join wax to it and so on.  How it is far more rubbery than hard wax.

Jason, for this one my son liked the texture.  We toyed with bead blasting it and/or tumbling it, but he liked the texture and we were down to the wire on him catching a plane.

It is rubbery, but you can carve and file it.  For a great deal of my shop projects, not models, the finish won't matter, and of course it can always be abraded and painted when finished.  Its an open question on what to do when it does matter, the options are treat beforehand, treat after casting or get a resin printer.  I'm favouring #3 :)

Thanks Mike, the perforated flask for this one had a support bar on the bottom so I know what you mean.  So long as I can fit a flask under the bell jar, it should be possible....just thinking its a way to move beyond the interior dimensions of the casting pit, or recessed vacuum chamber on the right hand side. 

Quote
Jewellery makers sometimes add waxed cotton threads between the wax pattern and the vacuum face to improve the vacuum draw.

do you between the pattern and the bottom opening or the top?  if the bottom, wouldn't that create a path for the metal out of the mold?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 02:06:16 PM by Mcgyver »

Online Vixen

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Re: First attempt at 3D printed lost was casting
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2022, 02:30:02 PM »

Quote
Jewellery makers sometimes add waxed cotton threads between the wax pattern and the vacuum face to improve the vacuum draw.

do you between the pattern and the bottom opening or the top?  if the bottom, wouldn't that create a path for the metal out of the mold?
Yes, between the pattern and the bottom opening which faces the vacuum caster. Sure the hole left by the thin cotton will fill with metal, it is easily removed afterwards. The flow usually chills so prevents metal loss. The trick is to make the cotton path long and twisted.
Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Oh! sod the journey, lets hit the bar and pool instead.