Casting 3D Printed Parts @ LanOC Reviews

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I did a bit of metal casting in my past.  Twas really fun stuff as you would pick a mold and then pack some special casting sand around it to transfer the shape.  From there you would pour in liquid aluminum and wait a day or so for it to cool.

After that knock out all of the sand and start cleaning up some of the "flashing" that happens around the seams. 

The best was using a lost foam cast where you would carve something out of dense foam and pack that in the casting sand.  There was no need to remove the part so you could cast complex shapes that you normally couldn't do.  The trick was to make sure the sand was packed extremely well as once the foam started to burn away it lost all support.  Some castings would implode while others turned out really nice.

A funny side story, this is also how many engine cylinder heads are cast.  If you look carefully you can sometimes see the imprint of the foam bead in the casting.

So you have had a shiny new 3D printer for a few months, your house now is full of little plastic tchotchkes. There are Little Yoda heads in the living room, some benchy boats in the bath, and an R2D2 on your desk. What’s next? You can buy fancy filaments with metal powders embedded in them so you can make your gnomes rusty or green but they’re still plastic. How does one make something metal with a 3D printer? You can spend a huge sum of money and buy a printer that can sinter metal powders together. Unless you’re NASA or SpaceX that is a lot of money. Sure, you could slap a MIG welder nozzle on your printer but that is not very precise and would take a lot of tinkering to get something useful out of it. Instead of going high tech, let’s go low tech. Casting liquid metal into sand molds is a process humans have been doing for centuries. What if you used a 3D printer to create the mold patterns for the sand in a few hours instead of the day(s) it would have taken to do by hand?

Seems you can now do a similar casting using 3D printed parts.  They won't burn away like foam but, for many of you without any skill it can be a nice alternative.

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