Leading the Way in 3D Printed Casting Patterns is Spectra3D Technologies. They specialize in the creation of highly accurate 3d printed investment casting patterns. Spectra 3D uses colorFabb PLA/PHA in combination with the Stacker 3D printers. For more information visit spectra3d.com
We chose colorFabb natural PLA/PHA because it contains no color pigments, prints great and burns out really clean from the mold,” he said. “Currently we are going through 25 +/- rolls a month of colorFabb Natural.
Jerry LePore , Spectra3D Technologies
Water tap splitter design by colorFabb
Instead of investing in tooling to produce a wax pattern, foundry companies can choose to 3D print their patterns in a material suited for investment casting. ColorFabb PLA/PHA Natural is a material uniquely suited for investment casting. It’s an easy printing material capable of creating complex shapes with great smooth surface finish and will work with most desktop and industrial type FFF 3D printing machines.
For this print we used the Stacker S4 XL. Printing 4 pieces at a time took about 22 hours at 0.12mm layer height and each part weighs approximately 140 grams (and is eventually turned into a 1kg of stainless steel part when all is said and done).
One of the big advantages of FDM/FFF 3D printing in this case is the decrease of costs. This part was made for about € 100 (compared to much higher costs elsewhere for a similar one-off production):
- Investment Casting with colorFabb PLA/PHA 100 Euro
- CNC Machining (3DHUBS) 580 Euro
- Metal 3D Printing (3DHUBS) 1150 Euro