Tuesday, November 1, 2016

metal casting from abs 3d prints

In my casting class we've been using 3D prints quite a bit this semester. Some of the students chose to use them in our first project as patterns for sand casting and now many of the students are using 3D prints for our second project. One of my advanced students (Dee) just vacuum cast the rings above and then today Phoebe centrifugally cast the 3D printed heart and the fake flowers. The aluminum heart surface is so nice. The prints were made on my Ultimaker and I'm happy to report that I am really loving the updates to Cura and the Ultimaker print quality has been excellent. It's really "replaced" my Makerbot now that the support settings in Cura have gotten better. We've been mainly using ABS and we seem to be getting a bit of ash that sometimes gets trapped in the investment leaving us with a few pits or thin walls, but the less detailed prints have shown no signs of any trapped ash left behind by the ABS. I believe we can eliminate the ash by a good vacuum of the mold before pouring. I was really happy with our success today.

Again, in this course students are just integrating the technology where needed. I really haven't covered any modeling demos and students are just taking upon themselves to learn what they want in terms of software or utilizing Thingiverse to appropriate forms that they then can manipulate and add to with wax. I am handling all of the 3D printing of pieces in my office that will soon be converted to the DCRL (DCRL East Side Mountain Edition). I just need a good break this Christmas to be able to make the changes necessary. With great student progress and results, I get more and more excited to be here in Boone.


Natalie Macellaio said...

Can you tell me how the ABS differs from the PLA in terms of casting it? I have been having my students make rubber molds of their 3D printed forms and then pour wax then cast... very long process. Just wondering if I could go straight to casting the prints if they are PLA? We have a LUZBOT printer which I am really liking so far and I think we can use ABS with it as well. Might need to just order the ABS and go from there. Love seeing your progress and that you are enjoying your move!

Frankie Flood said...

Hi Natalie,

The PLA will be better than ABS for burn-out I believe as it melts at a lower temp than ABS. We're getting a bit of ash with ABS and the PLA prints that we have burn-out are a bit better about this issue. We do silicon molds sometimes if we want to make multiples but we're just going for it with the 3D print for singular objects. Use the PLA for direct burn-out! Lulzbot makes a great printer. They were one of the first companies that I used for supplies when I first started building printers.

Hope you are doing well. You're kids are getting so big. Love seeing pics of them!

I'll be at UNT in a couple weeks for visit.