Re: Metal Casting question

October 9th, 2009, 12:34 pm

mgnt8
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Sorry to here that it didn't work out. The nickel plated parts I've seen must have had some extra polishing done to them.
Last edited by mgnt8 on April 15th, 2010, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Metal Casting question

October 27th, 2009, 2:57 pm

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GPIprototype
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Have you thought about DMLS ? Direct Metal Laser Sintering. GPI offers this and we are in Lake Bluff, IL

I would ask you to come check out our facilities we will help you with the process if you decide to do SLA and cast it that way I can also help you with that here.

Tim Ruffner
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Re: Metal Casting question

October 27th, 2009, 7:09 pm

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sam hagger
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Have you thought about finding a local crafts person or artist that does sand casting?

You could go along and help out/learn to speed it up/keep the cost down?

Re: Metal Casting question

October 28th, 2009, 5:33 am

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Travisimo
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I was thinking the same thing.. find a local craftsperson, or even a knowllegable person at a local art school with a foundry. they'd probably work with you on the price.

Overall, I would send this out for quotes at all the above mentioned prototyping methods and evaluate on cost. Make sure you don't just send to one shop for each method, prices vary a lot.

You might want to try a DIY route if you really want to get costs down. You could have an RTV mold made of your part, then make wax castings and then investment molds. Places like Forecast3d do some rock bottom priced work (and you get what you pay for), but the bottom line is very low. Just to buy the mold would probably set you back around $500 and you could make 40+ wax parts Then make plaster investment molds ready to pour. Melt out the wax, then all you need is molten scrap metal.... I wish I had the time to build one of these DIY kilns, it would be perfect for this kind of thing

Image
http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/bucketfurnace1.html

Once the you get more volume, you could go to more economy of scale type manufacturers...

Re: Metal Casting question

December 17th, 2009, 4:03 pm

Andrew Werby
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While it's great to do stuff yourself, jumping into something as complex and potentially dangerous as lost-wax bronze casting without really knowing what you're doing is just asking for failure, or worse. Just melting out the wax and pouring in metal is not going to work - the residual wax in the mold will volatilize and rapidly expand, sending a spray of molten metal everywhere, like a volcanic eruption. You don't want to be standing anywhere nearby when that happens.

You got some good suggestions here - the best was to do this project on a lathe, and weld the components together. This will give you better results than the more high-tech processes mentioned, and will be cheaper as well. There are lots of people with lathes looking for work, and they're more likely to give you a deal than someone with a $100k rapid prototyping machine to pay off. Even if you just did one that way, you could take it to an art foundry, have a mold made, and have the things cast for you by professionals.

If you want to go the high-tech route, the least costly way would be to use a CNC mill to cut the component parts for you in wax (or just one part, if they're as identical as they seem), make molds from that, and produce them by casting. I'd suggest casting the "donuts" separately and welding or silver-soldering them together. Sandcasting will work, but you'll have to do more finishing to get to a polished surface than if you went with lost wax. On the other hand, the process is considerably cheaper.

Whether you can actually make any money selling these candleholders is another question, since most people don't have much appreciation for what things like this cost to do in small quantities (it sounds like you're finding out) but if you avoid killing yourself, at least you can try again...

Andrew Werby
http://www.computersculpture.com

Re: Metal Casting question

June 25th, 2018, 5:54 am

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ralphzoontjens
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Since this is a moldable piece, Powder IM is a good option and provides great surface finish while economic at large quantities.
For low volumes, there are third-party 3D printing service providers that offer bronze lost-wax casts very economically.

It would be great if you had an update on ever getting these made.
Also I am looking for someone expertised in investment casting and metal injection molding, let me know- I would greatly appreciate your effort.
http://www.id-z.one
IDZone - Product Design || Visualisation || 3D Printing
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