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Lost PLA Casting - An Introduction

What is Lost PLA Casting?


In the latter part of 2018 I was happily trying to teach myself the ancient art of Lost Wax Casting, but in early 2019 something happened to change my casting focus - I bought a 3D Printer. I'd long since heard of Lost PLA Casting, but now I had a means of trying it.

For those not aware, with Lost PLA Casting, an item is printed in PLA filament. This is then set inside casting plaster (much as with Lost Wax Casting). The PLA is then melted away to leave a void the exact same size and shape as the original print. Molten metal is then poured into this void and a metal shape created. So the PLA is "Lost" - it's burned away - hence the name.

3D Printing into Metal Objects

Just like everyone else who has a 3D printer for the first time, I revelled in printing lots of strange objects that not long after were destined to be labelled trash and thrown away, but that didn't stop me enjoying myself tremendously.

Then the metal-bug grabbed me again and reminded me that I like playing with molten metal.

Cross? Well... Crucifix Is Better...

One of the joys of having a 3D Printer is creating objects yourself - actually designing something via a software program and making it tangible. Using a fabulous piece of software called Fusion 360, I set about creating something that looked to me like a Saxon Cross.

From Crucifix To Hook

And that was it. I was hooked. I marvelled at how easy it was to print something and convert it into metal. My mind buzzed with ideas and my home became accustomed to the constant drone of a 3D printer whirring away in the background as yet another project was born.

At some point I hope to find the time to share many of these Lost PLA Casting projects with you as, frankly, I'm amazed how easy it is the obtain fantastic results. I'd even be bold enough to suggest, if you can print it, you can cast it in metal.

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Brilliant!!! When I found this post I went out at midnight to try... AMAZING!!

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