Latest mold result

Updated on December 12, 2020 in General Stuff
6 on December 11, 2020

Almost starting to feel cocky here. The mold making process seems to be to the point of reliability. Of course, as soon as I say that, the next one will fail, but here’s the latest:

The big thing I need to figure out is if those print lines on the last image will survive through the metal casting process. I assume I’m going to lose some detail along the way, and that may work to my advantage. On the other hand, it looks like I can convert that print into rubber and then into wax without losing much of any detail at all. Which may actually be a problem. I may need to figure out a method for smoothing those out at some point in the process. We’ll see.

This is what the original model looks like:

 
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0 on December 12, 2020

What print?

Why would you need to smooth out the lines?

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0 on December 12, 2020

The grey thing on the left in the second picture is the 3D print. The first pic is the rubber mold made from that print. The green thing is the wax copy of the print made from the mold.

The issue with the layer lines is that I’m going for a “jewelry” quality level on this. Got to be perfect.

Worst case I can buff those out after the metal casting, but it may end up being easier doing it earlier in the process.

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0 on December 12, 2020

I take it you need the wax copy because you can’t pour hot liquid metal onto rubber(?) But doesn’t wax also yield to hot metal?

Also, what is the 3D print made out of? (I figured out how to edit.)

I wish I had studied metallurgy instead of law. More interesting and useful.

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1 on December 12, 2020

The wax will be encased in a sort of plaster called “investment”. Once the investment hardens, the wax is melted out, leaving a negative copy of the part behind.

That investment (call it a big lump of plaster, inside a can that’s open on both ends) will then be fired in a kiln, curing it. Once cured, but with the investment still at high temperature, the molten metal is poured in.

After the metal cools, the investment is broken away and the part (now cast in metal) is cleaned and polished.

So tmfrom start to finish, this goes from:

– 3D print (positive)
– Rubber (negative)
– Wax (positive)
– Investment (negative)
– Metal (positive)

on December 12, 2020

This is ringing a bell.

There is a great, as in classic, autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini in which he describes the agonizing process of casting metal statues during the Renaissance. Such toil!

I don’t much understand it, but you will. He was a hilarious and accomplished artist, and warrior. And killer. He didn’t suffer insults gladly.

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0 on December 12, 2020

The great advantage I have over the ancients is the first two steps of the process.

But once I’m at the wax stage, any metalsmith from the bronze age could take it from there. Which is pretty cool.

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