Anyone have experience with Moldlay?

I’m interested in doing some casting, and wondered if anyone has experience with Moldlay? If so, which hotend, Buda or Hex? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Scott

It appears that moldlay can be extruded at between 170C-180C and so the Buda would work fine. Of course the hex would also work. I unfortunately never got moldlay as I didn’t have any upcoming projects that would need it. Keep us posted on how it turns out if you use it. Like with any specialty filament, it will probably just take some time to dial it in.

It arrived today. I still have a print in progress, so earliest testing would be tomorrow.

Excellent. I look forward to seeing what you have discovered with this filament. I will be trying out PoroLay Felt & Fomm in the near future.

Here’s my first prints with Moldlay. I used a .08mm layer height with a .25mm nozzle.
The first is a print of the rook used by formlabs as their test print.
The second is a print of a half wheel in progress, the third is the finished top, and the fourth is the bottom with the support material removed and the part cleaned with a very small chisel and the rougher edges cleaned with a small diamond file.

It seems to be pretty good at these high resolutions, but certainly not as clean as ABS. The plastic feels tougher and more elastic compared to ABS. It’s heavier too. It is very prone to fine strings. I was able to print directly on the PEI with a nozzle temp at about 179c and the bed heat turned off. When I printed the rook, I noticed a little lifting. When I printed the wheel, I used a brim. With this particular part, the brim was attached to the support material.
Once done, the part removed easily from the bed. I restarted the print if I had any adhesion problems, cleaning the bed with alcohol.
Removal of the support was easier than with ABS, but final cleaning of the surface is harder and not as smooth of a final surface finish.

I should also note that I had switched from ABS and had done a purge of the tip with the Moldlay at 240c with no problems.





In all, for what I plan on doing, I think the results will suffice.

Cheers,
Scott

Sounds like the filament was harder than I had thought. I was expecting more of a wax strength to it allowing for easy removal of supports and so on.

Are you looking to cast some RC rims?

P.S. Your prints appeared to have turned out well!

Cast aluminum rims are the goal. I am going to try a wax filament from this place next. http://www.machinablewax.com/product.php?product=52
I’ll have to give them a call to see about availability in 3mm. The Moldlay is both harder, and melts at a higher temp than I thought. Frankly, I don’t know if it would out perform PLA in this use. I could see using it as a mold in that it seems like it would release easier than other plastics. I also found that some of the finest fuzz can be cleaned with acetone. Though acetone won’t act as a solvent type adhesive with it like with ABS.

Well thanks for keeping us informed on your findings with moldlay. Thats really going to help me down the road. I hope to have the foam and felt in hand tomorrow to see how they work out.

Cast aluminum rims are the goal. I am going to try a wax filament from this place next. http://www.machinablewax.com/product.php?product=52
I’ll have to give them a call to see about availability in 3mm. The Moldlay is both harder, and melts at a higher temp than I thought. Frankly, I don’t know if it would out perform PLA in this use. I could see using it as a mold in that it seems like it would release easier than other plastics. I also found that some of the finest fuzz can be cleaned with acetone. Though acetone won’t act as a solvent type adhesive with it like with ABS.

Hi Scott (saramos),

Thanks so much for sharing your experience on trying Moldlay wax filament. Did you end up casting the aluminum rims? Any further information you can share on the Lulzbot / Moldlay (wax) to aluminum casting process would be so interesting to hear about.

Hello,

I’ve not sent any wheels to be cast yet. I have abandoned the idea of using Moldlay, and would recommend to anyone really wanting to print for casting to go with the machinable wax filament. I ordered a roll and set about to see what I could do. It was a slow hard start. I had a lot of problems with getting bed adhesion. I almost gave up until I finally found the secret. Hair spray on the PEI sheet did the trick. After that, printing at 140 with a bed temp of 55. Using a .25mm nozzle with a layer height of .2mm for coarse printing and .08mm for the finish produces great results.

I had sent a test print of the wheels in ABS to a fellow RC modeler, and he’s confident that the ABS would be strong enough for use on his 45 lb plane, and would be a significant weigh savings. I just got some petg this evening to try. It may be even a better choice than ABS as it has fewer problems with adhesion and warping, plus being a bit stronger.

In all, the Moldlay was easy to print, but it’s higher temp makes mold clean out a tougher issue, especially for someone wanting to do their own casting. Once you learn to work with the wax, it really becomes the best choice for casiting. Foundries will be very familiar with the wax, but may be more hesitant to try the Moldlay. Home made jewelry starts to become a real possibility. Hmm, I’ll have to search for some jewelry stl files and do some tests.

On a side note, Shapeways now can print in aluminum. I got a quote for my 3" wheels . . . at $538 per wheel!
On the other hand, The foundry near me is geared for production runs and have a significant up front setup charge which would require making at least a dozen wheels before seeing a, still on the high side, realistic price.


Cheers,

Scott

Scott (saramos),

Many thanks for sharing your experience with lost wax casting! To be clear, is this the machinable wax filament that you referred to? http://www.machinablewax.com/product.php?product=52

The cost of those shapeway/aluminum wheels must have been a shock!

Can you tell what print settings you used? The more the better I am new to this stuff. So any thing will help.

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been on. Yes, that is the machinable wax I was referring to.