thanks Orias. Good to see others working on this, it would be so nice to achieve this well.
On your link, it looks like they’re following more of a traditional, jewelry or satin cast procedure using solid investment flasks to encase the prints, and electric dewaxing kilns.
I have a small bronze foundry to cast my figurative sculptures, and like many other foundries, I use ceramic shells for investments (better suited for casting large models) and a gas fired kiln for dewaxing. Burnout is much quicker (less than an hour). However, in the past few years, I’ve also been casting some jewelry in precious metals, using a procedure similar to your link.
For several years I’ve been creating ultra resolution jewelry wax prints at 6-25 microns on jewelry wax printers. They’re unmatched for quality and require little cleanup if any prior to direct investment. Drawbacks are the build volume is small and the printer runs about $25,000 - $60,000 to buy. Advantages are: models print in burnable wax, have unmatched resolution, you can bypass the rubber molding process to create wax positives, and each print is relatively cheap as wax sticks supply the printer as build/support material. I haven’t topped this process for quality yet; my small jewelry castings come very close to my hi-resolution 3D models… but like I said, it’s only for small objects.
For maybe a decade or more, you could print larger hi-resolution models or rubber molds even, such as on Stratysys machines (also bypassing creating a physical model) - but each print can cost more than the TAZ itself, one reason I bought it. I mainly bought my TAZ to make decent sized models to then rubber mold and make wax positives for bronzing… but how nice it would be not to have to rubber mold them first! Rubber molding is often half the cost to make a bronze sculpture, and why it’s so expensive.
It would be nice to have an economical middle ground; if the TAZ could print a burnable filament like the jewelry wax printers, it would be a huge advantage to likewise bypass the rubber molding process for larger models.
I’m going to start some burnout tests in the coming weeks using ceramic shell investments. I’ll try to post results when I do.