Lost Wax Casting
For lost wax casting, you use Jewelry Casting Investment to form the mold for your metal jewelry. For our needs, SRS brand wins for price and speedy shipment from Amazon. For performance (less metal porosity) and shorter curing time, this investment from SRS definitely works for our purposes in ring-making. To reduce casting defects, we had to really depend on detailed guidance. and avoid practices such as mixing less than 50% new silver in with old silver (casted once or twice) or not allowing the investment to cure correctly. SRS has many different versions of investment available for purchase, so please search on Google or Facebook, and read and watch reviews to see which investment works best for you. Each product picture shown below links to the product on Amazon..and the latest lowest price!
For lost wax casting, we use a vacuum casting machine in concert with two different kilns. The kiln we use to melt the silver or gold up over 2000 degrees F is the Hardin HD-234SS. This kiln does a great job for me and comes together as a kit with gloves, graphite crucible, and metal tongs (matched to grab the crucible by the throat). FYI, we bought our system in 2016 and it's still working fine.
You've already read about our short 3D Resin Printing journey (thus far) in another tab. But we stand firm and recommend the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K 3D resin machine for price, specs, and the great results. The biggie for us, is we get faster exposure times than many machines out there..some cost thousands of $$, and it prints at 35 micrometers x-y resolution!
The Vacuum Casting machine we use for our small casting shop is made by OrangeA. This kit comes with needed items such as tongs. rubber gaskets, and metal fixtures. It works great I tell you. We did add a nozzle on the left side of the unit to better empty the vacuum pump oil. We've also extended the fill port up to the top of the unit. There are more expensive machines (double the price) available that cost more than the OrangeA machine, but they do have these two convenience items (fill port and evacuation port) already installed.
For lost wax casting, you will need a kiln that will cure the investment and allow the wax to melt and disintegrate properly. The machine we use has a programmable timer that lets us set our many (12) points of temperatures/time and has a hole in the top to allow proper venting/oxygen for the wax. If not for the timer, we would need to monitor the time on the clock and make adjustments in temperature at the right times of the day....maybe over 8-14 hours! The programmable timer allows us to "set it and forget it" while we sleep. BTW, we do monitor the kilns with a Wifi camera...they get HOT! (we don't want to miss it if our garage catches fire). BTW, we bought the 4KG perforated casting vessel from a vendor at Etsy.
The Qidi Tech Shadow 6.0 is a 2K mono-screen 3D printer. It was our first printer on the job and it does a great job of printing perfect ring and jewelry models. The price is right at Amazon and it is a sturdy, capable machine. For us, once the Phrozen showed up at our house bringing better speed and x-y resolution, the Qidi Tech unit became our back up tool, but when we need another machine, it's there ready to produce.