Lost PLA Casting from 3D Prints

3D Printing & Imaging
Lost PLA Casting from 3D Prints

3D Thursday Banner

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:

YouTube player
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!

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

4 thoughts on “Lost PLA Casting from 3D Prints

  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 ( http://selkirk.ca/program/danm ) program are collaborating and exploring new possibilities with students and faculty in the Metal Casting ( http://selkirk.ca/program/metal-casting program ). I will post the results soon after the pour.

  2. Richard Sewell says:

    I had a go at casting a tiny bronze by the same process, with reasonable success for a first try: https://plus.google.com/photos/104753983975472200241/albums/5520195897768521473?banner=pwa

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Eric is a Mechanical Engineer with interests in machining, mass manufacturing, product design and kinetic art. While not building things, he enjoys skiing, cycling, and juggling.

View more articles by Eric Weinhoffer
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).