If you’re looking to create metal or plastic parts from specific materials that are not directly available from a 3D printer, casting is an affordable alternative for one-of-a-kind parts or short-run volumes. Sand casting and investment casting utilize plastic 3D printed parts to create the same parts in metal while urethane casting is a great option for plastic parts.
To make a 3D metal piece from sand casting, 3D print the master pattern from a high quality plastic or powder 3D printer. From there, you’ll need to utilize sand, a molding box, raw metal, a kiln or furnace, cool water, a baking oven and proper protective tools and gears to make your metal parts.
Investment casting, also called “lost wax casting”, utilizes investment powder to pour around a wax or plastic pattern. Generally, investment powder consists of plaster and silica sand. You can buy professional investment pre-made mixtures that will produce a better result than those created in shop. When you pour the metal into the mold, the wax or plastic pattern melts away. The plaster allows for higher accuracy while the sand helps the mold break apart more easily when extracting the final metal part, and it increases the mold’s resistance to high heat.
Using Casting to Create 3D Metal Objects
We understand that not everyone who is interested in 3D printing and prototyping is ready to invest in a metal printer. Casting is a cost-effective way to create metal 3D prototypes using a plastic 3D printer. This method of metal casting to create the object is quick, but requires a high-quality 3D-printed wax or plastic piece.
Urethane casting utilizes a 3D-printed plastic part of very high quality and surface finish that serves as a master pattern. A silicone mold is poured around the master pattern. Once that mold sets, the master pattern is removed. Then the plastic resin is poured into the mold to harden. This creates one part at a time in the mold, and the mold can be used multiple times. It is an affordable solution for short-run parts when compared to injection molding.
Available 3D Printers at Duncan-Parnell
Our team is prepared to help you find the best 3D printer to create your metal or plastic parts, whether it is from a directly 3D-printed part or through a casting process. Our plastic, wax, and metal printers produce high-resolution, durable parts. Get the accuracy you need after consulting with our experts.
At Duncan-Parnell, we provide our team with frequent training to stay on top of a quickly changing industry. We’re equipped to help you find the best printer or service for your application and to work with your team to ensure successful production! Talk with us today and learn more about how you can get started with your next printing project.