6 Comments to “Lost ABS experiment with 3D-printed objects and aluminum casting”

  1. B.Marcos

    Dec 10th, 2012

    I have this idea in my mind for more than a year. The first question I made on 3D printers, was that if you can print with wax. Your idea of ​​burn the ABS directly makes me to think in a new idea.

    From what I understand about plastics, i think that they are dissolved in acetone. You may not have to burn the plastic, maybe just dissolve and drain. And i think when the acetone evaporates you can reuse the plastic.

    I will review all your website because it seems very interesting.
    Would be nice to share some ideas. I am interested in printable robots.

    • jason

      Dec 10th, 2012

      Because wax becomes a fluid so quickly, it is a pretty difficult material to 3D print with. You can, however, use a CNC / manual milling or routing machine to subtract material from a block of wax, which is something I am working towards as we speak :) I’m building a ShapeOko CNC router to experiment with foam and wax carving, which can be cast with the same method outlined here.

      Very interesting idea about the acetone. ABS and PLA both dissolve in acetone (ABS moreso, if I remember right), so theoretically there is a great idea there. However, when using investment material like you see in this post, the kiln burnout process not only destroys the plastic model, but also helps harden the mold itself. I’d be concerned about the integrity of the mold when only acetone is used, but I think its absolutely worth a shot!

      3D printers are great for robotics, just head over to and browse around. Grab a cheap printer like the Printrbot Jr. or the Solidoodle and start playing!

  2. Nuktek

    Dec 12th, 2012

    I did a comparison burn-out of ABS vs. PLA and found that ABS seems to burn out of the mold cleaner. The trick is to get all the residue out of the mold cavity before the pour. I cast a 4″ x 4″ x 1″ bonze casting into a plaster of paris mold and the results were acceptable. To improve things I have to use a better investment material that is stronger and can handle the heat better. I’ll try to post more info for the casting community. Thanks for the great work by the way.

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  4. Baptiste

    Dec 8th, 2014

    Could we have details about heat up/cool down cycles ?

    Great job anyways

    • Jason

      Dec 9th, 2014

      Sorry, I don’t have much further information there. I worked with a professor who knew how to run the burnout kiln, and he programmed it. I was under the impression that he uses a pretty standard thermal cycle, taking about 36 hours. I’m sure some googling will yield some good results.

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