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Printing in wax [message #25004] Sun, 20 March 2011 03:06 UTC Go to next message
avatar olivierduhamel  is currently offline olivierduhamel
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Hello,

I have seen a lot of discussions about wax being offered as a material, both here in the forum and on the blog:
http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/520-Very-high-detail- printing...-also-in-wax.html

Is this actually planned for the not too distant future or should we look for alternative services in the meantime?

Printing in wax is of very high interest to anyone wishing to cast in metal...

In my case, (casting in bronze) I could take a hollow model in wax straight to the ceramic shell process, saving me much time and effort.

Plus, a wall of almost perfectly equal thickness all over would make for almost perfect bronzes... (as opposed to pouring wax into a mold and getting a wall of unequal thickness leading to "shrinkage" issue during the casting process.)

Right now I am left with having to print in some other material and make a silicone mold from which to make a wax copy... This works but printing directly in wax would have many advantages...
So many advantages in fact that I am even considering investing a few thousands and buying my own printer...

The process described in the blog would only allow dimensions of 60x45x100mm.
This is probably OK for most jewelleries but too small for my requirements.

Can we have an official statement from Shapeways on the company's plans in that regard?

Many thanks,

Olivier
Re: Printing in wax [message #25008 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sun, 20 March 2011 06:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
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If you can go with less detail than those "waxes" (or you do not mind doing some smoothing with solvents or sanding), polystyrene based dust in the machines that do WSF can give you bigger sizes. One brand is Primecast 101, we talked about it not long ago.

As for official statements... well, you should had notice that only test runs or final things were announced in the past.
Re: Printing in wax [message #25014 is a reply to message #25008 ] Sun, 20 March 2011 09:50 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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I can be wrong, but my own feeling is that in the future Shapeways is more likely to offer bronze directly (as currently silver) instead of wax.
Is that something that would be acceptable for you?

The only problem I can see with "direct" bronze is the weight - and price - of the shipping for the size you would expect.


So many things to design, so little time...
Re: Printing in wax [message #25063 is a reply to message #25014 ] Mon, 21 March 2011 15:02 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar nancyliang  is currently offline nancyliang
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Hey, wax is on the roadmap yes--and we hope to push it out quickly. Right now, though, the issue is that the current wax we use is very brittle and might not survive shipping. Also, I'm not too familiar with the casting process, but my understanding is that designers like wax because it can be used repeatedly to make molds. My understanding is that our wax is melted out of the cast and replaced with silver. That type of wax may not be what you are looking for. It's more of a one-time use wax.

Thoughts?



Product Manager
Twitter: @nliang
Re: Printing in wax [message #25109 is a reply to message #25063 ] Tue, 22 March 2011 00:55 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
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Investment casting destroys the "wax", be it wax or some other material like polystyrene, as the part is covered with clay or similar, then melted so the final material (bronze, silver, gold, etc) can fill the space.

There are probably two (overlapping) markets, those that want to cast with something that SW doesn't offer (aluminium, etc) or with different requisites (local jewelry casting service, with legal marks & certification, etc), and those that want true high detail items (no steps or "bubbles" at all in the surface that make 0.1mm detail be lost in noise) as one would expect for jewelry (but to be used for other things, scale models for example).

Some of the casters would not mind if the surface is rough as the part would be later machined, and some of the high detail people would not care if the part melts poorly, while others would want both, high detail and proper melting (polystyrene doesn't melt as low as bee wax, so melting point is relative).

BTW, in polished silver, is the "wax" polished before casting, or the metal part at the end? The non polished samples are full of layers. There must be a system or technique to get smooth surfaces without so much effort.
Re: Printing in wax [message #25110 is a reply to message #25014 ] Tue, 22 March 2011 01:09 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar olivierduhamel  is currently offline olivierduhamel
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Direct bronze not suitable for me. This is because I need to "rework" the wax before casting it (fill unwanted gaps, smooth out the surface, add features not included in the 3d model etc... )

A hollow wax is perfect. No matter what kind of wax, even brittle and fragile. (if shipped securely). It will be destroyed anyway in the next step: the "Lost wax" technique.

In actual fact, it does not have to be wax, any material that will burn out or melt completely would work (styrofoam? ) but wax allows for intricate details and smooth surface, plus I can easily weld wax "sprues" and vents on a wax model.

My models are a bout 150mm in the longest dimensions and the wall thickness about 2mm.

A model printed in wax is a one-off for the bronze casting process ("lost wax technique" :I make a ceramic mold around the wax model and then melt the wax out to get an empty cavity in which I can pour molten bronze.)

If I want to make 20 bronzes of the same model, I would need to get 20 waxes from Shapeways. This is more expensive than making one silicone rubber mold from a model printed in some other material and using that mold to produce 20 wax but the BIG advantage is that a wax printed by shapeways would be of a perfectly equal wall thickness all over. This would allow for perfectly good bronze castings without any of the "shrinkage" defects that occur if the wax walls are of unequal thickness. This is often the case when manually producing a wax from a silicone mold.

An alternative to printing in wax would be to have Shapeways to print an empty mold instead of a positive model. ( a reverse negative of the postive 3D model) I can then use that mold to pour liquid wax in and make many wax copies.
Ideally shuch a mold is printed in silicone.

So many options to explore...

Thanks

Olivier


Re: Printing in wax [message #25111 is a reply to message #25109 ] Tue, 22 March 2011 01:14 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar neuralfirings  is currently offline neuralfirings
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Both our silver options are tumbled after the product is casted. The high gloss version also includes some hand finishing, which makes the product shinier.
Re: Printing in wax [message #25137 is a reply to message #25063 ] Tue, 22 March 2011 18:16 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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All casting waxes are NOT created equal. Several types of wax are available and each can serve a different purpose. Often they are used in combinations to suit the needs of the professional caster. Generally, the harder the consistency of a wax media, the more dimensionally accurate and stable the model/pattern will be. Modeling waxes tend to be soft and pliable like clay, easy to shape but difficult to obtain fine detail. Carving waxes are of tougher consistency, are not very flexible, but can be filed, carved or machined. Injection waxes are hard and brittle, with a consistency closer to plastic rather than to wax. As the name implies, injection waxes are used in conjunction with special pumps that literally inject molten wax into a flexible rubber mold. It takes only seconds to produce a wax pattern by this means. Because the mold is flexible, the wax pattern pops out easily. BUT, undercuts need to be minimal and not every geometry allowed by 3DP will be possible to mold. Virtually all lost wax production jewelry is made by this means.

3d printing wax media closely resembles injection wax. Hard, brittle, stable, like plastic. To the jewelry industry, the primary value of 3d wax printing lies in the ability to rapidly create a hi-res wax pattern of complex design. Due to the hi cost of true hi-res wax printing this #1 wax model would be used to create (cast) a solid metal pattern. This #1 metal casting would be cleaned up to perfection and then be used as the master pattern from which rubber injection molds are made. These rubber molds are then used to produce large quantities of injection wax models which are subsequently cast in metal via the lost wax process

But what does all this mean for the Shapeways community? For some who want to use the wax prints as is, this is great. To others already equipped for lost wax casting, absolutely great opportunity! For those wanting to do post processing of wax prints at home, and then DIY casting........... just understand that if you are intent on setting up even a modest casting operation this will require a sizable investment in time and $$$$.

-G


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Printing in wax [message #40389 is a reply to message #25137 ] Fri, 16 December 2011 23:49 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar olivierduhamel  is currently offline olivierduhamel
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I read the following on the Material page for White Strong and Flexible:
"SLS is not suitable for molding, using the model in White, Strong and Flexible as a lost pattern will leave rests after burning"

Is there a shapeway material that will not leave rests after burning?

I cast objects in Bronze using the ceramic shell/lost wax technique.
1- I make a silicone mold of the models I get printed by Shapeways.
2- From that mold I make a wax copy.
3- I build a ceramic mold around that wax
4- Melt the wax out of the ceramic shell (Lost pattern)
5- Melt and pour bronze inside the now empty shell
6- Break the shell to reveal the bronze positive.

If Shapeways could print in wax I would skip step 1 and 2 of my process and go straight the step 3, saving me much time and money.
The key is that the wax must completely melt or burn out of the ceramic mold. There are other materials that can do that such as styrofoam, hence my question above...


By the way if anyone is interested to learn how to cast small objets in bronze at home:
http://www.bodyscape.net.nz/bronze-casting-tutorial.htm
Re: Printing in wax [message #40390 is a reply to message #40389 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 00:51 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar duann  is currently offline duann
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Hey Oliver

The more people ask, the more chance it will happen

Thanks for letting us know



Duann Scott, Designer Evangelist, Shapeways
Re: Printing in wax [message #40396 is a reply to message #40390 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 02:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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Ask, ask, ask, ask... <grin>


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Printing in wax [message #40400 is a reply to message #40396 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 03:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar jzichek  is currently offline jzichek
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Put me down as someone who wants wax as an option.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40410 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 09:01 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Sadwargamer  is currently offline Sadwargamer
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Yes put me down for wax printing

Re: Printing in wax [message #40418 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 19:40 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar DMC  is currently offline DMC
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We print waxy-resin from 3D Systems everyday. I invest and cast many things. Dental Jewelry and other small items.

We build up to 8"x8"x8"

I would have thought wax would be the easiest and most logical first material for any 3D manufacture? No?

One material is a true wax with 32x32x16um resolution the other has resin in it and can withstand International shipping and is a little more corse on surface finish.

Am I not suppose to mention this stuff on this site??

Scott

Re: Printing in wax [message #40422 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 22:09 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Psyckosama  is currently offline Psyckosama
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I hope that link just isn't a cruel teaser. But it seems like it was... and we know for a fact they're already printing in wax, its how they make silver.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40426 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sat, 17 December 2011 22:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar swbarrett  is currently offline swbarrett
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I am a jewelry artist and i ended up here originally looking for wax prints. so put me down as a yes.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40434 is a reply to message #40426 ] Sun, 18 December 2011 08:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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Why don't you put your points on this suggestion:
http://feedback.shapeways.com/forums/111989-shapeways-feedba ck/suggestions/2427719-offer-wax-models
Smile


So many things to design, so little time...
Re: Printing in wax [message #40442 is a reply to message #40434 ] Sun, 18 December 2011 14:04 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Psyckosama  is currently offline Psyckosama
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Just did.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40443 is a reply to message #40442 ] Sun, 18 December 2011 14:15 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Jettuh  is currently offline Jettuh
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Last week I received a wax model in the office.
The model's structure is very strong, and won't break in other materials.

However, this model came in 3291 pieces.
The material is so brittle that it breaks with the smallest amount of pressure on it.

Unfortunately, we will need to look for other wax printers.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40444 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sun, 18 December 2011 14:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Psyckosama  is currently offline Psyckosama
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Hmmmmm... how about offering it already encased in a plaster casting shell then?

Will raise the handling fees a bit but the plaster should prevent the item from disintegrating which would balance it out by lowering the failure rate. All you need to do is shove it in a kiln to burn it out then cast what you want in it.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 December 2011 14:23 UTC]

Re: Printing in wax [message #40449 is a reply to message #25004 ] Sun, 18 December 2011 22:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar DMC  is currently offline DMC
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Get an old ThermoJet printer from ebay for $2k. LOL

I see them all the time! Wax printing is decades old.

Not exactly new technology here guys.

Then of course, the Modern day 3D Systems CPX is about as
good as it gets for wax, as far as resolution goes.
Are we actually allowed to talk about machines on this site?

I really see very very little machine discussion. Maybe it's suppose to be a mystery and I'll just shut-up now.

We ship out fragile stuff floating in liquid (either corn oil or water)

Scott
Re: Printing in wax [message #40921 is a reply to message #25004 ] Fri, 30 December 2011 07:04 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar cona99  is currently offline cona99
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I think that the closest I have gone with waxing is printing on a paper with a very thin layer of wax in it just to be able to disperse its colors quite a bit. It was actually hard as some forms of ink do not really stick quite well with it and some are even washed away when it hits a lower part of the cartridge. I was actually looking to print some models in it to wrap it around balls.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40985 is a reply to message #40921 ] Sat, 31 December 2011 11:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar abby  is currently offline abby
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I think the point is being missed.
Wax patterns for "lost wax " casting need to be very cheap.
I sell casting in non-ferrous metals for a lot less than the cost of a model made by any form of RP.
It follows then that the cost of the wax pattern must be pennies rather than pounds.
For most of my products the use of conventional rubber moulds or metal dies for wax injection is the only cost effective route.
Even if the material for printing was free the print time is still a killer for any reasonable production run.
Dan.
Re: Printing in wax [message #40993 is a reply to message #40985 ] Sat, 31 December 2011 16:16 UTC Go to previous message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Great point Dan,
"Rapid Prototyping" is not the same thing as "Rapid Manufacturing" and it most likely won't be for many years to come. This fact can be discouraging for budding young computer aided designers with low budgets and no interest in doing, or learning how, to do things the old fashioned way.
On the flipside this is great news for those who are willing or able to use their hands and brains to manipulate real world, solid matter rather than just pushing pixels.
For the forseeable future, to a more or less degree, both skills need to be employed in order to manufacture high quality finished goods at reasonable cost.
-G
P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR Y'ALL


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci

 
   
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