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3D printing hobbyists are increasingly finding themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to affordable, good quality FDM printers, but 3D printing with metallic materials is still something that is prohibitively expensive. One designer recently came up with a neat solution to this problem, by 3D printing PVA molds that could then be used to cast objects with a metallic fluid. Her method achieved some great results, creating a range of impressively detailed figurines with an antique metallic look and feel.
Designer Eliza Wordel first had the idea as she wanted to find a way of making some Egyptian-themed figures. The 3D designs for the particular figures she wanted were initially posted on Thingverse by Ukrainian designer Andrei Kulygin, who went by the name of Zorum on the site, and they included priests, warriors, and some pretty gnarly-looking sea monsters. Wordel decided that 3D printing was necessary to physically recreate the high level of detail featured in these models. She edited the designs in CAD software to add a simple mold form around them, with little inlets to pour the casting liquid into.
Designs - Wordel - Voxelizer - Software - Printing
Once the 3D designs were finished, Wordel used Voxelizer software to prepare them for printing. She used a PVA preset, and adjusted it to be compatible with a 1.75mm plastic extruder, mounted on the ZMorph 2.0 SX multitoool 3D printer. Printing took several hours to complete, but the finished molds were immediately ready for the casting process.
3D printing with PVA meant that the molds had good heat resistance, so wouldn’t deform at...
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