Lost PLA casting

Someone mentioned lost plastic casting and I thought it wasn’t possible. http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/ I stand corrected, it seems that you can use PLA for lost ‘plastic’ casting. This seems like something that would be interesting to try. The trick though is calibrating the shrinkage when the aluminum cools. Anyone interested in trying this who knows how to run the kiln?

Check out this: http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=8191.0 awesomeness for why this is such a cool thing. That means you can 3d print most of the parts you need for a 7x10 class lathe and cast it out of aluminum. The patterns happen to be one of the trickiest parts. Oh and there’s patterns for mills, shapers, grinders, dividing heads, drill presses, etc. I’ll have to dig out my gingery build your own machine shop books.

Cool stuff! Keep it coming! I’d love to do some casting work over the winter.

Ha! That would have been me you were talking to. My thought was that you could produce a three dimensional part accurately with the 3D printer that would be too flimsy if you just tried to use it in its PLA form, make a mold from it and cast the part with a sturdier or more attractive material. My intent was actually to make decorative things out of concrete or resin with the technique. Being able to cast metal parts designed in a CAD environment could be pretty useful though.