Lost Wax Casting
This is where I publish the processes and show the techniques I use to produce cast Sterling silver using the lost wax process and three dimensional printing investment casting. The 3D printing method is documented in the 3D Printing tab in the main menu bar. The results of my efforts shown here, are presented in another website KautzCraft Studio and sold on-line in it's connected store website.
A necessary first step in lost wax casting (a.k.a investment casting) is creating the original model.The model and all the work creating it are totally destroyed in the casting process. This is why the term "Lost Wax" is used. I have a process available to make a rubber mold of the master model, and through a process of hot wax injection into the rubber mold, making duplicate wax copies. These wax copies are then destroyed in the casting process, but a large number of duplicate castings can be made.
There are a number of ways to create the wax master and one of them is carving directly in the wax. This can be done by hand carving or CNC machine carving. A third method available for creating a direct castable master model is the process of three dimensional printing in plastic. My best results so far are produced using the Lost Wax process, but I will continue to explore 3D printed plastic as well. Using the rubber mold process mentioned above, small solid (also 3D printed) items can be copied into wax and used for lost wax casting.
The master model must be as perfectly finished as possible as the lost wax casting process copies every minute detail of the original master model. The desire is a perfect model to create a perfect metal casting. It's far easier to detail the wax than detail the metal.
After creating the model, the casting process follows, which includes investment of the wax master in plaster like material, burn-out of the model and hardening of the investment in a high temperature kiln (1350 degrees F), casting the metal at 900-1000 degree mold temperature, and metal finish and polish at the workbench. (Several hours of hand finishing)
The casting metal is heated a couple of hundred degrees above melting (~1,800F), either by hand-held torch (my method) or in a heated furnace-like crucible for melting larger quantities. With the kiln heat and molten metal pouring, the casting process (after all the original effort of making the model) is a hot, somewhat dangerous, but very exciting and rewarding creative experience. Holding the finished product is my tangible reward.
I do what I love for those who love what I do.