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.