Formlabs: Using Castable Wax Resin

3D Printing, Castable Wax Resins, Casting, Formlabs, Resins, SLA -

Formlabs: Using Castable Wax Resin

This article applies to Form 2Form 3Form 3BMaterials (SLA)

Use Formlabs Castable Wax Resin to produce highly detailed jewelry by casting parts through direct investment casting with minimal part finishing (no post-cure required). Castable Wax prints are strong enough to use for prototyping and fitting before production.

A 20% wax-filled material, Castable Wax Resin prints both delicate and bulky models with ease. Parts printed in Castable Wax are ready to cast after washing without post-curing for fast, clean burnout and a streamlined casting process.

Understand the step-by-step workflow, recommendations, burnout schedules, and special considerations for designing models, printing, preparing investments, and casting successfully with Castable Wax Resin.

RECOMMENDED FOR:

  • Direct investment casting:
    • all jewelry models
    • jewelry with delicate features such as filigree, pavé geometries, thin walls, and fine surface details
    • large castable parts
  • Prototyping and fitting for jewelry

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR:

  • Final or functional parts

 

Several silver casted rings and their complementary printed versions on a marble surface. Castable Wax prints both delicate and bulky models.
Several silver casted rings and their complementary printed versions on a marble surface. Castable Wax prints both delicate and bulky models.

Material properties

Castable Wax Resin is an acrylate photopolymer formulated with liquid wax to enable a burnout process similar to a traditional wax schedule.

Castable Wax Resin prints parts with high mechanical strength in their green state when compared to parts printed in Castable, which requires post-curing. As a result of the high strength, Castable Wax is particularly suitable for large patterns and for patterns with delicate features and high surface detail requirements.

See the table below for relevant material properties:

CASTABLE WAX RESIN V1 (FLCWPU01)
GREEN1
Color Purple
Tensile Strength at Break 22.5 MPa
Young’s Modulus 0.94 GPa
Elongation at Break 13%
Temp. at 5% Mass Loss 249 °C
Ash Content (TGA) 0.0–0.1%

1Data was obtained from green parts, printed using Form 2, 50 micron Castable Wax Resin settings, without additional treatments.

Required resources

MADE BY FORMLABS:

MADE BY THIRD PARTIES:

  • Jewelry-specific CAD software, such as JewelCAD or RhinoGold
  • Recommended investment:
  • Burnout oven capable of 750 °C
  • Casting equipment (vacuum chamber and casting system, such as Indutherm MC-series or the Neutec J2R)
  • Compressed air
  • Sandpaper (400 grit or above)

Design for casting

Casting is both a skill and an art form. The design of the piece to be cast is as important as the material properties for successful results. Pay attention to the design of individual features, the flow of material in the investment, and the printing configuration. Learn more about the best design parameters for common jewelry features, such as prongs, filigree, engraving, surfaces, raised text, and milgrain, in the white paper Jewelry 3D Printing: Basic Design Parameters, Supports, and Orientation [en] from Formlabs.

Formlabs PreForm software displays a 3D model of a thick bracelet illustrating appropriate design for material flow.
Design airflow vents in thick or large geometries to allow sufficient ventilation during burnout.

Printing with Castable Wax Resin

Follow Formlabs print setup instructions to open the model in PreForm, orient it, generate supports, and select print settings.

The PreForm print settings for Castable Wax Resin are optimized for printing jewelry and quality cast parts, with a focus on achieving the features and detail that matter to jewelers.

Open Mode must be toggled off to print with Castable Wax Resin.

Shake the resin cartridge and mix resin in the resin tank to agitate Castable Wax Resin before printing. Mix the resin regularly to maintain or restore expected resin performance.

Finishing

Wash Castable Wax prints in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) for 5 minutes. Rinse in a second, fresh IPA bath to eliminate any remaining uncured material. The Form Wash agitates the alcohol bath and removes parts from the bath after a set time.

Do not leave parts in IPA longer than necessary. If the pattern is hollow, ensure liquid resin is flushed out thoroughly from internal channels and hollows.

Ensure all IPA on washed parts evaporates completely prior to casting because the IPA can interact with the investment and cause pitting. For best results, wash parts in clean IPA and use compressed air to dry parts, especially parts with internal channels and hollows.

Post-curing requirements

No post-curing is required for Castable Wax parts. While post-curing Castable Wax parts should not affect castability, post-curing may shrink parts slightly (by less than 1%), which can cause distortion.

 

This guest post was originally published on Formlabs blog site. The content in this guest blog is for informational and educational purposes only and may contain copyrighted material from Formlabs.

Source: Formlabs

 

Formlabs Castable Wax Resins are AVAILABLE in Puzzlebox 3D Printing Solutions!

To know more about this material, feel free to send us an email at solutions@puzzlebox3d.com or message us directly to any of our social media sites.


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