Learn how to sand cast.Out of curiosity I looked at what getting a driver printed in metal would cost. As expected, it's quite prohibitive given the quantity needed for something like this even in a cheaper medium such as steel.
Interestingly though, that led me to find the technique of lost-PLA casting; it's possible to use the PLA to form a mould in water soluble plaster: The PLA is melted out and the mould can then be used to cast in aluminium and then rinsed away. I'm probably late to the party with this but I found it fascinating. It's an interesting blend of old and new technologies.
So if you have access to the forging equipment (and I appreciate that could be quite an 'if' ) it should be possible to transfer any parts you 3D print, to metal if you need to. Pretty cool.
Print the parts you want to cast with axle! so you can do some turning on a lathe.
Dont expect that the casted parts will come out "ready to go".
Use some wet play sand instead of that ridicules expensive "special casting sand"
Or better if you know a brick layer and he has to cut some bricks, ask for a bucket of that left over dust.
Aluminium would be good, it depends on the quality and what is added in the aluminium.
For good casting i suggest go to a car junk yard/scrap dealer and buy a car tire, or try to get zamak 3, it is easier to cast.
A furnace that can melt those metals 1000c max is not so expensive.
Aluminium "only" needs 750c zamac 600c.
Keep in mind due to the shrinkage of the metal make your 3d print 1% bigger....
There are some draw backs.
Forge(~450 euro): consumes gas and make a lot of noise, dont go for the electric ones
Crucible (~100 euro) buy a ferriet one and do not make a steel one for your aluminium castings
Sand casting is a learning process.
You need a small lathe(~500 euro) plus a small cnc(~500 euro) dont buy proxion or some chinees.
Forget your "lost" pla method....
Can it be done.... O YES!!!!!. Is it fun....O YES......is it satisfactory.... OOOOOO YY EE SS
I suggest to find on youtube some people that explain sand casting, and pleas forget all the "lost molding" technics.
Metal Casting at Home Part 21 Core & Mould Making Casting & Machining - YouTube
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