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Jeshua Lacock recounted his experience of casting metal parts directly from 3D Printed PLA in a fantastic photo-filled writeup. He prints the parts with his Ultimaker (at 103% scale, to account for shrinkage in the mold) and pours mold material around it before letting it set. After the mold hardens, it’s placed in his homemade furnace to melt away the PLA, leaving a beautiful female mold behind. Although the original post has been around for months, Jeshua recently released a video (and Thingiverse page) for documenting the process as he casts a part for his CNC Mill in Aluminum:

The longer, more comprehensive version of this video can be found here.

And here’s a slideshow of a few key-points in the process, as he creates a mount for the focusing lens on his custom CO2 laser cutter. Well done, Jeshua!

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Have you done metal casting from 3D Printed parts before? If so, please share your experience and advice with a comment below.

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Product Development Engineer at MAKE. He creates kits and sources products for sale in the Maker Shed, focusing primarily on manufacturing. Occasionally he writes about cool things for the blog and magazine.



  1. Jason Taylor says:

    We are about to! I am the Chair of an awesome school in Nelson BC, Canada called Selkirk College. In my “School of the Arts” we are working on the blend of digital manufacturing and traditional studio arts. Our students and faculty in the Digital Arts ( ) program are collaborating and exploring new possibilities with students and faculty in the Metal Casting ( program ). I will post the results soon after the pour.

  2. I had a go at casting a tiny bronze by the same process, with reasonable success for a first try:

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