First Wax print arrived today!

Discussion in 'My Shapeways Order Arrived' started by Fireball_Modelworks, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Fireball_Modelworks
    Fireball_Modelworks New Member
    This is a scale wheel that was not intended for jewelry-style lost-wax casting, but rather silicone rubber molding and resin casting. Surface finish is better than FUD, but print orientation is still a huge issue for getting a decent finish on a ProJet-printed part.


    Here is the blue wax print alongside a FUD print of the same piece that has been cleaned and primed:

    The details are very well rendered, but the piece appears to have been printed on its side at an angle. Stepped print lines run across the "Up" side of the piece, giving it a poor overall finish. It's a shame, too, because this model has a completely flat side, devoid of any detail, that would have been perfect as the "down" side of the print.

    I can see the new wax printing option as a boon to jewelry makers who don't want to shell out several thousand dollars for a B9Creator or big $$'s for an EnvisionTec. For my purposes, the lack of control on the print orientation is still a big stumbling block to getting a print that's suitable for use as a resin casting master. I would rather see Shapeways offer prints made on an SLA/DLP machine-- with the supports and all-- because of the superior surface finish.

    I wonder if quickly passing a heat source, such as a small torch, over the face of this model would even out the finish and minimize the print lines...
  2. Wahtah
    Wahtah Well-Known Member
  3. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Well, there are all sorts of methods that might smooth the print you actually have, I suppose.

    But it does raise the question, why print to such fine detail if the results are sub-standard?
  4. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Let me grab the materials team to answer this for you!
  5. Fireball_Modelworks
    Fireball_Modelworks New Member
    I made a silicone mold of the new wax wheel and the resin copies actually look better than the original wax; the print lines are very faint and not as noticeable as I had feared. The fidelity of the tiny details to my original 3D model is almost breathtaking. I did no prep work to the wax model after removing it from its shipping box-- I merely blew some fibers off it and stuck it to a clay bed, then poured a silicone mold. Contrast that with the cleaning, sanding, and priming that must be done to a FUD model and the obvious choice for most of my detailed prints is wax.

    Edit: After further work with the wax, it's apparent that the resin castings from the mold exhibit the visible print lines from the wax master. With no real way to remove the print lines in the wax print before molding (unlike FUD, which can be polished), I'm afraid that wax is not for me.

    Shapeways, please offer user-selected print orientation![/soapbox]

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014