When it comes to 3D printing, we haven’t seen many consumer level 3D printers really utilized for the production of jewelry. One reason for this was because, up until just recently there were not any affordable 3D printers available that had the ability to print in the extremely detailed manner required for the creation of jewelry. With this said, however, with the influx of affordable SLA based 3D printers, it is now possible to purchase a machine capable of printing with the fine details needed in order to create elaborate jewelry pieces. SLA based 3D printers can now be purchased for between $2,000 and $5,000, with one even currently available on Kickstarter for $1,009.
Even with the influx of affordable SLA 3D printers, there was yet another thing missing; the availability of resins created specifically for the casting of metal jewelry. That is, until now. MadeSolild, Inc. has announced today that they are releasing their new FireCast Resin. According to the company, this new material is the first consumer-grade resin formulated specifically for the casting of metal parts. Best of all, the FireCast resin is compatible with most SLA/DLP 3D printers, including the Form 1+, B9 Creator, and the Deep Imager 5.
What makes FireCast so remarkable is the fact that it leaves no ash when it burns out while heated in the investment casting process.
“The MadeSolid team created this formula after seeing a neglected area of the 3D printing industry,” the company explained. “Until FireCast Resin, no casting specific resins have been made for consumer printers, such as the Form1. Pairing FireCast Resin with the influx of lower-priced SLA printers opens the door for casters of jewelry and metal parts to affordably access this technology.”
FireCast has been under beta testing for a while now, as the company had wanted to get the product just right for the consumer market. They worked very closely with an experienced casting group, Mind-2-Matter, to make sure the product met all the standard casting requirements.
For those unfamiliar with the investment casting process (also referred to as lost-wax casting), traditionally a wax model of a ring or other desired object is created. It is then covered in plaster, which creates a mold around it, before being put into an oven to burn the wax away. Liquid metal is then poured into the remaining plaster mold, the plaster is washed out, and the final metal product remains.
“Instead of taking the man-hours to hand create a wax model or to send off for a model to be made, it can be printed in a very short amount of time,” Pete Walton, VP of Marketing at MadeSolid told 3DPrint.com. “It also allows access to a huge library of rings online and CAD created rings. Basically, what the printing does is: 1) Save time & money on creating the wax models and 2) create intricate parts only doable through SLA printing. “
This may really open the door for the creation of custom jewelry. Now anyone with a SLA 3D printer will be able to create professional looking jewelry and other metal works.
Customers may now order FireCast Resin via the MadeSolid website. It is priced at $199. What do you think? Will you be giving FireCast a try? Discuss in the FireCast Forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the introduction video below:
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