Organic Form Casting Experiment

by mhsenkow, published

Organic Form Casting Experiment by mhsenkow Dec 29, 2012
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This was another experiment with casting within the 3D print itself. It mostly worked. The form was made using Rhino and formed around the HUE lightbulb's size...kinda works as a lamp.


Print a 0 fill 2 ply or 1 ply shell. Fill with plaster or concrete. Remove.

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The plastic is just ABS plastic from a Replicator. Its making me realize the limits on the size of the printer, in regards to architectural sized objects. By printing a thin shell though, you can greatly improve the time for large objects, and with the concrete its a more durable object. BUT my method of getting the plastic off kinda sucks (right now I just cut and tear with pliers). I could melt in an oven but I have no access to a good oven as a college grad student (my housemate would diapprove). I also am a bit naive on good concrete mixes. BUT I am fairly amazed on how complex shapes the printer can make, via overhangs etc.

I don't know how well ABS burns off, but PLA sort of melt right of. You should be able to "burn it" of with pretty much anything as it burns of really easy. E.g those one-time barbecue thingy's aught to do it on the cheap even though it's not the best environmentally friendly approach. Concrete can explode if there is trapped water/moisture, however it should not be an issue as we are not cooking the mould, just burns it off. You could paint it with sodium silicate to toughen up the surface btw.

Also, just a thought. Print your object with as few walls as possible and then paint it with something to give it strength and make it leakproof.

I seriously think you should not limit yourself with a makerbot. Look at a reprap wallace, as it is easy to scale, build, replicate and cheap to boot!

Cool stuff! I'm looking forward to your further experiments.