Hello from Fayetteville, NC

Discussion in 'New member introductions' started by david wendelken, May 2, 2021.

  1. Hi, I've been sand casting and lost wax casting off and on for a number of years -- mostly off. :(

    Most of the items that I've cast have been fairly clunky because, well, finely detailed models were very hard for me to do by hand.

    I've just started using 3D design and a 3D printer to produce my models and now I can create models that are much more delicate. I'll start casting them this week!

    If you're in the area and want a casting buddy, I'm looking for some folks to cast with once the plague has passed us all by.
  2. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Hello David, welcome to the forum.
    Looking forward to seeing what you whip up.
  3. Thanks! I'm busy cranking out designs to cast in my 3d design software. I have 102 designs ready to test print, refine, and then reprint and cast. Some will be simple sand castings, others are going to stretch my abilities with very delicate designs for lost wax casting.
  4. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    102 designs???
    Of what???
  5. I have two series of brooches based on two different cat alphabets I found on the internet (which are for learning purposes, not for sale as it's not my design) , six different earring designs, a set of rain chain links based on one of the cat alphabets, another set of rain chain links based on Japanese mon (their version of clan heraldry), plus some custom foil presses to emboss designs onto thickish silver foil (not quite as thick as aluminum foil but way thicker than leaf), a name badge, a custom pin mechanism for fastening cat-themed brooches to one's clothing, a pendant for a friend's business, and some pieces intended to become "cloisonne'" enamel designs (except that I'll try to cast the wires onto the metal backing) based on a variety of traditional designs, a belt chape, and more.

    Here's a few pictures from the Rhino 3d design software:

    turkish carnation earring design enamelled stem.png

    cat alphabet 01 Pins (front).jpg Mon rain chains.png
  6. The reality is that I print them out in the cheap resin and then decide whether they really look castable or not. The cat brooches will do fine. The Japanese mon need a bit of re-work. The outer rim was too small for the size hole I needed to link them together, so I'm increasing the diameter by a few mm. Some of the mon have too fine of a lace pattern and may present casting issues, for example, the top mon in the center column. So I'll need to modify them a bit more than I already have. I'm not experienced enough to truly grasp exactly what size it will be until I see it printed.

    And after I try casting them, I'm sure I'll have to tweak some of the designs and try again.
  7. This is intended to become a cloissone' enamel work. This is just the wire work, it will be placed onto various objects and then printed out and cast. I may have to increase the width of the wire, I think I'll be pushing the ability to cast the wire design as is.

    I've attached two pictures, one with just the wire work and the other with the manuscript image behind it. I've modified the design a bit, most notably in the heraldry. Manessa Codex 10 wire pattern.png Manessa Codex 10 wire pattern with manuscript image.png
  8. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    Welcome David. Maybe I’ve missed it but what metal are you using? I’m not a wax caster but I see quite a bit of it here. I’ll be interested to see how these fine patterns perform in terms of burnout and fill. Could you describe your process and equipment?

  9. Depending upon what I'm making, I'll be using brass, bronze or sterling silver or fine silver. If the quality of my work improves enough with practice I'll try casting in gold.

    I do sand casting and lost wax casting. I've tried cuttlefish casting but Lordy! The stench of burnt squid permeated the garage. Even worse, the garage was attached to the home and had a air draw from it into the house so everyone in the family got to enjoy the smell. Cats loved it though.

    I have a propane powered home built ammo can forge and an electric melter. The forge is more fun (all those flames!) but the electric melter is much more convenient and can be used inside.

    I have a vacuum table/casting unit of indeterminate lineage.

    The biggest item I've cast was a replica of a late 1800s/early 1900s oarlock to repair a coast guard vessel in a museum somewhere. (I've forgotten.) Photo shows the original and the just cast version. 460193_348310525215508_1341321932_o.jpg
  10. As for preparing the waxes, I used to do them by hand. But I'm clumsy and a bit spastic when it comes to fine motor control, so fine detail work in wax models was not something I could do. I would drop them and break them or just hold them and break them. Either way, the finely detailed ones never survived to be cast, so I was limited to larger, clunkier pieces.

    I've been learning Rhino 3D design software for the last 5 months and just got in a Formlabs Form3 3d resin printer. It's awesome. I'm now able to produce very finely detailed models.

    My hope is to use their wax/resin mixture to make the models and cast directly from them for one-off or limited run pieces. (The wax/resin mixture is expensive, so if I wanted to make a bunch I would make a flexible mold from the printed pattern and use my wax injector to fill it with old-fashioned wax to cut down costs.)

    Some folks I know in the jewelry world have friends who have had trouble casting with the formlabs wax/resin mixture, so I'll find out if direct casting with the printed models is desirable for me to do.
  11. Oh, and for anyone who wants to buy a Formlabs Form3 resin printer, I have a $500 off coupon code. I assume there's a way to private message me on this forum.
  12. Someone sent me a private message about the coupon for the Formlabs printer and I realized I hadn't been clear on that. Here's a bit more info.

    I have 10 of the $500 off coupon codes to give away for free. They are good for $500 off the price of a Formlabs Form 3 resin printer bought directly from Formlabs.

    You get $500 off and I get $500 worth of resin or other accessories when you buy.

    This is about the referral program: https://formlabs.com/referral-program/

    This is about the printer: https://formlabs.com/3d-printers/form-3/

    The printers are pricey but the print resolution can't be beat for anywhere near that cost. They are also incredibly easy to use if your interest is in printing items instead of tinkering with printers to hope they will then print items.

    I got mine last Wednesday and I love it! I compare how easy it is to use compared to the videos I've seen of other printers and it's simply fabulous by comparison. They really put a lot of thought into the user interface with the product across the board.

    If you decide to get one, I'll send you the code and the Formlabs contact to phone. (You can cross-check the phone # with the Formlabs website 'cause that's just being smart. :) )

    So far, the support for the product has been very prompt and helpful, too.

    Anyway, I don't want to hijack my own thread with this topic, so any other info on it should be via private message.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  13. I've unearthed my casting gear (we moved 15 months ago) and am a day or two away from having space to be able to set it up. Picked up a new workbench to use for it. I'm upgrading my vacuum casting table, burnout kiln (with a digital controller this time!!!!), and electric melter. They'll show up over the next few weeks.
    Tobho Mott and DavidF like this.

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