Sunday, November 9, 2014

I have not quite perfected it but I am working on using Makerbot PLA 3D prints for lost wax casting at Appstate. So far, so good.  I think there is a lot of wiggle room.  The first run was a semi-success.  I have a lot of tweaking to do.  There was some pitting but I am fairly certain that I poured when my mold was way too hot.  I also need to adjust the soaking times to insure that the PLA has been completely burned out.  

Here is my burnout schedule:

Ramp to 400 F 
Hold at 400 F for two hours
Ramp to 750 F
Hold at 750 F for two hours
Ramp to 1350 F
Hold at 1350 for two hours
Ramp down to 800 F
Hold for twelve hours 

The last twelve is for the students.  If I can nail this down we will have at least four students casting in one session.  The twelve hours is overkill but allows them to get all their stuff together.  

I had some pitting on my piece but I am certain that with the above schedule it was due to the flask being way too hot. 

I also tried printing the sprues along with the print.  I am not sure if this will work.  It is very easy to attach the sprues to the PLA.  I think I am going to just stick with printing the model without the sprues.  

I had to almost completely re-do my handouts. They are all laminated now and ready for the studio.  

I am going to try it again today with another print. 

I am having a lot of fun experimenting with Zbrush to produce models for the printer (green skull at the top). I have found that the more I mess around in Zbrush the more I like it.  It is not Rhino but fills a void for me regarding organic modeling.  

I also bought a new DSLR (Nikon D5300) and plan to do some experimentation with high resolution agisoft photometry

So much to do.  If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears.