Casting of a simple 3D printing in aluminum
3D printing with plastics and resins is ideal for rapid prototyping of parts with all kinds of geometries, but the strength and durability of the parts produced are often limited. One solution is to use your 3D printed parts as models for casting into something stronger like aluminum. This is precisely what [Brian Oltrogge] made to produce an attractive wall hook from a 3D printed design.
The process begins with the design and printing of a wall hook, with [Brian] taking care to include the appropriate draft angles to allow the pattern to be properly removed from the mold. The print is carefully sanded and post-processed to be very smooth, so that it does not spoil the mold when removed for the casting process. From there, a sand casting mold is built around the pattern using sodium silicate in a 3-4 wt% mixture with fine masonry sand. Once ready, the pattern is removed and the mold is assembled, ready for casting.
[Brian] completes the process with a simple gravity casting method using molten aluminum. The part is then removed from the mold and filed to improve the surface finish of the sand casting process. It is then polished to a beautiful shine and hung on the wall.
[Brian] does a great job explaining the basics of what it takes to properly launch gravity; draft angles in particular are often overlooked by beginners, yet are crucial for good results. You don’t need to just throw inanimate objects; we have also introduced DIY casting process for gears already. Video after the break.