Casting in metal from printed parts!

Good news everyone!

3D printed metal parts are currently a possibility with your TAZ or AO 3D printer (with some fancy casting)!

We’ve been working with a local casting company called W.H. Casting to develop a method for casting directly from printed parts using the lost wax method. The process involves coating a printed part (or wax part) in a ceramic material similar to porcelain called investment. The wax is then melted out in a furnace and molten metals poured in to fill the void. When the investment is broken away, you’ve got a metal part! You can read more about the process and W.H. Casting’s uber casting machine here (!lost-wax/c1pqt)

For our purposes, we printed parts in our standard black ABS and had them cast directly. The ABS melted out of the investment extremely well, and the cast part shows incredible detail. As an early trial we had a few parts cast in bronze, though many materials can be cast this way.

More updates to come

Definitely an interesting technique. Mostly for things that can’t be easily machined due to their shape :slight_smile:

You can apparently get a decent sized aluminum melty electrical furnace for about $500. I’m planning on getting one of them to do exactly that at some point in here

So, is that a Buddaschnozzle 3.0 All metal hotend then? All bad puns aside it does look like a new design maybe?

I’ll let BAM answer more about it as he knows more, but here’s some info. We were just interested in the bronzing (or any metal) process in general, so we had a few different things made. One experiment is a hot end like the one pictured (but not just like that one). It wouldn’t be Buda 3.0 though, it would likely have its own name as it is quite different.

As a side note, we do have an experimental Buda which is nearly the same as a 2.0, but has a higher temp part for the PEEK, which allows it to got to 300C. So it will have all the advantages of a Buda, but at much higher temp for polycarbonate and others. Only one prototype has been built so far, so it’s going to be a bit before we decide if we’re going to make them with the new part and then awhile to get them produced.

Well, if you do make a higher temperature variant, I will buy at least one of them for sure if that helps, maybe 3 if they aren’t much more spendy than the 2.0

Awesome! I might look into that myself

It is an all metal hotend, though like Jebba said it’s probably not the be what the Buda3 will look like. We’re currently looking at a couple different materials that cast well, as well as several different designs of cast hotend (with or without cooling fan, with or without teflon liner, etc) and some more traditional machined hot ends. Once we’ve got something more to show I’ll post a bit on the cast nozzle development.

Until then, have some octopi!

When do you think we will see an all metal hotend from Lulzbot?

I was considering getting a higher temp nozzle then my Buda 1.1 in the next few months.

We recently purchased a TAZ 3 for our business. Initially we bought the TAZ to make models and dummy’s for our mold making process, but we also do lost wax casting and such, I was curious if you could elaborate on your “burn out process”? It would be an unexpected but awesome ability to cast printed parts :smiley:

We’re quite a lot closer to the all metal hotend, we’re currently working with the awesome folks at reprapdiscount on a custom tailored Hexagon hotend. In the works is a longer melt zone to get closer to the uber high print speeds of the buda, as well as some custom cooling and mounting options for the TAZ. We’re planning on it being standard on the EZ TAZ mini, and available as a high temp printhead well before then.

Awesome! I wasn’t super hands on in the casting process, but I can tell you a few things I’ve learned. W. H. Casting has some home built ovens for burning out the wax/plastic, I believe they were melting our standard abs out of the investment at around 240C (you might get in touch with them on this). Also, casting form these ABS parts required reinforced investment to cut down flash, which is when the abs produces cracks as it expands, which then get filed with metal (left 2 tentacles in the image below).

Let me know how things go for you guys!



Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! Great info! We will surely try our hand at this soon and I will rely our results. Thanks again!

It’s great to hear that now we can print easily. But everyone cannot buy a 3d printer because of high cost. One can go for professional help. It will save time and efforts also. I thought about this for 3d metal printing .