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Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 11:16 a.m.

I need some motivation for myself to get back into this, hopefully this will help with that and keep me moving forward.  Also, I know there are others here that are interested in this, so they can use this thread for questions and whatnot.

I've done some casting in the past, however I don't have constant access to the shop where I did that, so I'm going to start moving towards getting my own furnace and casting setup in place here at the house.

The motivation for all of this is that one of the guys I follow on Youtube posted a video of his process for doing a 3D printed to cast part.  The beautiful thing about this guy is he berkeleys up.  He berkeleys up right there on camera and he owns it.  He shows the berkeley-up and shows how he fixed it.  If you know how these things work, then you're looking at the berkeley-up as it happens and saying "Oh no, dude.  Don't do that." and then he does that.

So I thought that if he can get this going, so can I.  (sidenote: if you want to see more berkeleyups and a semi-real-time learning curve, look for his videos of him casting a bronze cannon)

 

 

First things first, heat.  Everyone wants to build a furnace.  We've got at least one member here that is actively doing that for his own casting stuff.  I'm likely going to be lazy as I don't need anything as big as what you get when you build.  So, there are a few selections available from Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01NBY932Q/  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HSN1LRH/ https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B082V9MTKQ/  I'll be checking local shops as well if I can find one that has casting supplies.

Or maybe, possibly, if I can find one in the appropriate size at a decent price https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08RYNMPPZ/

 

I'm 3D printing some positives now.  If you are printing your own, remember to plan in for shrinkage, roughly 5% for most aluminum alloys.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/8/21 11:40 a.m.

I'm into year 4 of my furnace building materials sitting around not being a furnace.

I've been looking at the Amazon ones though, the prices are downright reasonable if they work.

Paul's garage on YouTube is sometimes member Rufledt from here, he's gone through a TON of good and informative practicing putting his stuff together, I recommend checking it out.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/8/21 12:14 p.m.

Subscribing.

 

I've always wanted to be able to cast caliper carrier brackets. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/8/21 12:25 p.m.

I got a furnace months ago and haven't fired it up once

 

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
3/8/21 12:26 p.m.

Which is the better first casting project... An engine block or a cylinder head? devil

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
3/8/21 12:33 p.m.

We had our local  jewelry casting guy  make us a silicone mold to make waxes  for lost wax casting , and then have him make the waxes since he was set up for it  with a wax pot and wax injector.

our local guy does silver and bronze and not very large parts , 

So we found a place that is casting steel to make the parts , 

3D printing is a great idea for a few parts , but we were doing over a 100 parts

 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/8/21 12:33 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

I'd want nothing to do with a cast cylinder head. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 12:38 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

Why?

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/8/21 12:42 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

By the time you get through all the machining work that would be needed to clean it up when your done (as aluminum has a high tendency to flash) you will have been better off just starting with a used magnafluxed head. 

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Dork
3/8/21 12:43 p.m.

Following.  I worked at an Investment Casting company as an intern throughout college and ended up casting some steering knuckles for our SAE Baja car with patterns I 3d printed out of PLA on an early RepRap machine.  Castable SLA resin are the next step in this tech, FDM you have to worry about the ceramic slurry penetrating the layer lines and creating mold material or shell crack.

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Dork
3/8/21 12:45 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

You're thinking too small here. Casting your own head means for Mr Asa that he could 3d print and cast an LS port crossflow head for a Ford 300 and not have to cut and weld 3 LS heads together.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 12:46 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Mr_Asa :

By the time you get through all the machining work that would be needed to clean it up when your done (as aluminum has a high tendency to flash) you will have been better off just starting with a used magnafluxed head. 

Fair enough, I guess.  That doesn't really work when you don't have a performance head already available though.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/8/21 12:51 p.m.

There's a company that will 3D print the sand directly, which is very cool.

Following to see how this goes, although I doubt I'll be melting metal anytime soon. Well, not on purpose.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/8/21 12:53 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Have you been following the sinter materials for direct printing? They aren't terribly expensive, aside from the whole sintering furnace thing.

I'm looking into them as a stopgap while I decide whether to rebuild the air compressor or turn it into a furnace

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
3/8/21 1:03 p.m.

How to Pitch for Bass Like Mike Iaconelli | Field & Stream

 

Sorry. Carry on.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/8/21 1:40 p.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Have you been following the sinter materials for direct printing? They aren't terribly expensive, aside from the whole sintering furnace thing.

I'm looking into them as a stopgap while I decide whether to rebuild the air compressor or turn it into a furnace

I know of it, but haven't looked too closely. Markforged offers it. The sintering furnace put it out of reach for us.

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
3/8/21 1:42 p.m.

Oh THAT kind of casting... I thought we were talking about couches. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 1:45 p.m.
RacetruckRon said:

Following.  I worked at an Investment Casting company as an intern throughout college and ended up casting some steering knuckles for our SAE Baja car with patterns I 3d printed out of PLA on an early RepRap machine.  Castable SLA resin are the next step in this tech, FDM you have to worry about the ceramic slurry penetrating the layer lines and creating mold material or shell crack.

I've seen it done with FDM prints.  Possible they just had great luck with it, but I dunno

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 1:49 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
RevRico said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Have you been following the sinter materials for direct printing? They aren't terribly expensive, aside from the whole sintering furnace thing.

I'm looking into them as a stopgap while I decide whether to rebuild the air compressor or turn it into a furnace

I know of it, but haven't looked too closely. Markforged offers it. The sintering furnace put it out of reach for us.

I've been looking heavily into metal filament printing via https://www.thevirtualfoundry.com/

According to them, a ceramic kiln should work for non-ferrous stuff if you setup a purge system

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Dork
3/8/21 2:04 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:
RacetruckRon said:

Following.  I worked at an Investment Casting company as an intern throughout college and ended up casting some steering knuckles for our SAE Baja car with patterns I 3d printed out of PLA on an early RepRap machine.  Castable SLA resin are the next step in this tech, FDM you have to worry about the ceramic slurry penetrating the layer lines and creating mold material or shell crack.

I've seen it done with FDM prints.  Possible they just had great luck with it, but I dunno

Definitely possible with FDM, you just have to be careful that the part is totally sealed on the outer surface. I was saying that SLA more or less mitigates that risk and is promising for the hobbiest in the next few years.

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
3/8/21 4:13 p.m.

Several good sources on metal casting worth a look: 

https://www.youtube.com/c/swdweeb/videos Perry has a lot of 'how to' videos. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSTKBcCz9pD_MC0l_ZarxhA/videos Kelly is crazy good at lost foam casting. He's cast throttle bodies, intakes etc. and his latest is trial castings of AC motorcycle cylinders. Highly recommended! 

https://www.youtube.com/c/PaulsGarage/videos RevRico mentioned Paul earlier. Paul also has a couple kilns he's been using.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ol+foundryman+ Years of experience in the casting industry. From pattern making machine-type parts, casting to machining and assembly. Good watch for any metal caster.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD2A7F5FD2D3C3088 myfordboy , similar to ol foundryman. 

http://forums.thehomefoundry.org/index.php Good metal casting forum here. Alloy Avenue forum is no longer active but archives are available, so I've heard.

I'd recommend a ton of research before you jump in for the direction you want to go. 

Good luck.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
3/8/21 5:10 p.m.

Anyone have a recommendation for supply houses?  Places to get tongs and heat resistant clothes and other stuff?

bgkast (Forum Supporter)
bgkast (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/8/21 5:36 p.m.

I'm watching this. I did a bit of aluminum sand casting in High School metal shop and would love to be able to do it at home. I have the 3D printer, now I just need all the other stuff!

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/8/21 5:45 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Heat resistant clothing, if you feel the need while doing aluminum, can be found online fairly inexpensively. I've known a few people to use the HF welding clothes, but most people don't bother for aluminum at least.

I made my own tools, seems a lot of people do. Hell, my tongs were just a giant pair of pliers for a long time.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
3/8/21 5:54 p.m.

Has anyone made a mold , maybe  3D print ed , 

so that you can shot foam into it for lost foam casting ?

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