3D Printer Prints Directly Castable Wax Patterns

The combination of Solidscape’s S500 3D printer, castable Midas material and Melt-I support material enables the printing of complex patterns for investment casting.

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Solidscape, a subsidiary of Stratasys, offers the S500 high-precision 3D printer for precision investment casting and rapid prototyping applications. The system is designed to make the printing of directly castable parts and the creation of custom molds from wax patterns repeatable and scalable. It prints precise wax patterns that can be directly cast in metals and alloys, or used to create silicone or master molds. The S500 3D printer is suitable for industrial casting manufacturers who produce high-precision, complex parts requiring dimensional accuracy and good surface finishes, the company says.

The S500’s new Solidjet Technology builds a support structure of solid wax, allowing for organic shapes with undercuts, overhangs, thin walls and interlocking parts. According to the company this technology enables the production of high-integrity castings with good interior and exterior surface finish.

Along with a new castable material, Midas, and dissolvable support material, Melt-I, the 3D printer is said to shorten production time and eliminate the need for expensive tooling. Midas provides a clean burnout with no thermal expansion and is said to be ideal for metal casting, including stainless steel, nickel and various alloys. Melt-I is a non-toxic, hands-free dissolvable support that reduces stress points on shapes with thin walls and delicate details, enabling manufacturers to produce parts with intricate or complex geometries.

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