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Wax Print Heads? casting parts?

Posted by ian918m 
Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
March 15, 2009 04:28AM
the second I saw this RepRap technology I've been wondering if it can run a wax print head. If you make an object out of plastic you get one plastic object. If you can make an object out of wax you are on the way to a couple dozen copies in bronze by lost-wax casting. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2009 04:44AM by ian918m.
Re: Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
March 15, 2009 07:47AM
You certainly aren't. Nobody has put in the hours necessary to get one working so far, though.


Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
March 18, 2009 08:57PM
good to know,.. i'm game for cheap, easy and reliable, however that pans out. those i've discussed the idea with locally (so far...) would like to supply their own materials, either (A) wax, or (cool smiley recycled/homebrew plastic. i get the feeling we'll be spending some time tinkering with alternatives. smiling smiley

Re: Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
April 17, 2009 11:45PM
I think there's already some discussion somewhere on the web about this, of course engineering grade wax has been around, and available for CNC work for some time already. Deposition CNC doesn't have as many advantages for wax though, as waste wax is very easily recycled anyway. The toolpaths are very different though...
Re: Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
April 18, 2009 02:24AM
Actually, the lost wax process only produces a single metal copy for each wax copy. The wax copy is attached to sprues and vents (also wax) and then enclosed in investment (similar to plaster of paris). The wax is then melted out and later the resulting cavity is filled with metal under pressure. The benefit to the process is that wax is easy to make into amusing and useful shapes, whereas solid metal is notoriously intransigent. Sand casting and Die casting both allow the production of multiple copies from a single model, but both have other limitations which make them less suitable for small scale use by untrained personnel. On the other hand, one of the strongest points of RepRap is that any number of copies can be produced with minimal human effort and delay. The great benefit which RepRap would derive from allying with casting is the ease of creating items in other media/materials such as aluminum, zinc, copper, and bronze.
Re: Wax Print Heads? casting parts?
April 19, 2009 01:38PM
If it's for casting parts ABS works for investment casting (lost wax) as it also melts out of the cavity, so RepRap is there already :-)

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