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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bxOzCgUj_U?rel=0&w=640&h=360The 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!
Have you done metal casting from 3D Printed parts before? If so, please share your experience and advice with a comment below.