Polycast: How to turn your 3d printing prototype into metal parts with Lulzbot and Polymaker

Hi my friends,

Really happy to have you today.

The topic today is about 3d printing and metal casting for this article. For those of you who have a 3d printer or used one before, you know that with the FDM 3D printers (the most commun) we can print only plastic (PLA or ABS) or composite (wood, stone, steel...). But what do we do if we want to print metal?

Usually, you need to find a foundry with a mold which is very expensive, specially if you don't want to print a big serie. And this is when the article starts being interesting when talking prototyping.

Lulzbot and polycast

You probably heard about Lulzbot, if not this an 3d printing company based in Colorado which producad open source FDM 3d printer. You can have a look on their website: www.lulzbot.com. And maybe also about Polymaker. If not, they are a company developping filament for FDM 3D printer.

To make a long story short, polycast developped a new filament that can be burned without residues (ashes) when burning with the metal casting. What allowed you to have a pure part of mold depending of what you are doing. Which may be a nice prototype if you developped a small serie.

At the same time, Lulzbot developped a profile for this filament with the exact setting for metal casting on the software of is 3D printer.

Process

I'm about to see quickly with you the steps that are necessary from 3d design your part to the metal casting.

  • 3D Modeling of your part for sure

  • 3D printing of your part with the Polycast Filament made for metal casting

  • Post-processing: Dip polishing or spray polishing

  • You usually send the parts to a casting company that do the following

  • The object in put on a tree with wax branches

  • Then plunged in ceramic several times

  • Burnout: it is put in an oven at 1100-1200°C

  • Casting: Pouring of the metal

  • And then come the clean up

  • Patina: And to finish, a last layer is applied on the metal to keep it protected and have it last in time.

There we are your prototype or metal part depending of what you want to do with it is finished.

Of course, what metioned above is a big view of the process. You can find more informations on the process with the folowing link: How to turn 3D printing into metal part at a low cost

Future

  • Do you have any ideas of what you to do know with this in your mind?

  • Would this technic change the way we do metal parts?

  • Anything that can be improved?

Share your thoughts with us.

A nice video tutorial is also available at the end of the article with all the process.

If you like the article and want more weekly news, feel free to subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of the frontpage (www.makersgeneration.net) and follow us on social medias (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Youtube). You can also contact me if you have any questions or ideas at the following "contact@makersgeneration.net"

See you soon for more news, articles and videos tutorials. ;-)

Source: Lulzbot.com

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