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 (http://www.freemetalcasting.com/#!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