Test of Blue-Cast: compatible and castable resin


#44

I received my order a few days ago. Unexpected results. I’m really happy: casting without defects even for very big rings. All with a standard investment

More pictures on


#45

This is probably a silly question, especially since I don’t have my own printer yet, but how do you use 3rd party resins with form labs tanks? And does this resin wear out the tanks as well so ever 2 liters I’ll need to get a new tank?


#46

With Formlabs 1+ you can simply use the BlueCast resin with Castabele V2 profile. With Formlabs 2 the same but you need activate the open mode with gray V2 profil. BlueCast is less aggressive towards the pdms of resintank. The life time can be up to 4 or 5 lt with our resin


#47

I have been using the castable v2 profile with the form2. Will i get different resuts with the gray v 2 profile


#48

Hi all,

Ordered my 0.5L of Blue cast last week. Hope to receive it beginning of next week.
Very much looking forward to the printing and casting results. Will share of course =)

One question: I see you guys of @3d_Garage are not using the Preform software.
Why is that? And do you also always use the printing supports for casting?

Regards,
Niels


#49

Hi Niels. We use Preform only as a sw for printing. We project the supports with jewel and sometimes we use the supports as sprues. Make this with Preform is impossible and not good way in jewelry industries or dental sector


#50

Hi All and especially (@3d_Garage)

Just printed my first small print in the BlueCast resin.
I am amazed with the nice detail and smooth surface.
I also ‘noticed’ the material seems a little bit more ‘fragile’.
Especially when cutting of the supports generated by preform.
I guess that might also be one of the reasons why you use other types of support that also can be used for casting.

Have a few questions:
What is next?

  1. Printing in the BlueCast resin
  2. Take of print of building plate
  3. Clean print with light sprinkle of alcohol water?
  4. Cut of supports?
  5. Cure a little bit in UV? (I bough a B9 Model Cure unit,…) Any suggestions If I should use this?

Casting Process?

  1. Is UV curing helping the casting process? (I now it is not necessary but would it ‘help’? )

Kind regards,

Niels


#51

Hi,

  • use 80% 90% ethilic alcool normally used for house cleaning, no need of esoteric isopropyl or other alchhols
  • quickly wash and dry with air, avoid long time into alccol
  • repeat washing 3 times, last one with clean alchool (if last wash is made with used alcool some solute resin will remain on pattern)
  • Allow pattern to dry on the table (20 min is usually ok) NO UV postcuring NO sun
  • Prepare cylinder as for regular wax, use your preferred investment and your usual burnou schedule, BlueCast Resin fit from fast burnout (1h) up to production cylinders burnout (12h)

Any doubt, just ask.


#52

Sorry, forgot the postcuring answer.

Postcuring is normally used to complete polymer crossilinking that was started with printing.
This is required to resins that tend to expand during burnout in order to prevent investment damages.
BlueCast was developed keeping in mind all problems and need related to jewelsmith job, from fast burnout (customer hurry) to technical aspects of different investments and burnout cycles.

We decided to move our research to polymers able to sublimate (they pass from solid to gas without intermediate liquid phase) in order to bypass expansion and carbonious residuals.

Now, if you postcure patterns you will experience shrinkage, and also if you leave your models on the table for weeks, you start to see model that shrink. On filigree models this is more evident than on solid models.

Postcure affects in no way casting process, uncured polymers they sublimate as fully cured ones, so it’s quite unuseful to post cure them, maybe on filigree you can use 2 or 3 minutes postcure in order to avoid model deformation when pouring investment, but any other case is unuseful.


#53

cut supports before curing


#54

I just had to share…three days ago I ordered some BlueCast…it comes from Italy, and I’m in Texas in the US. It arrived via FedEx this morning. Actually too fast. I wasn’t ready to start playing around with it. Haha!

But in all seriousness, I’m appreciative of the fast turnaround. Stuff I order on eBay from China or India takes a month, so this was amazing! Thanks, guys! I’ll be printing today and keep you posted. Gosh, if it’s that fast, I might have rings cast by tonight!

UPDATE: I just completed my first prints, and they look good. I even started the printer in Open Mode at 19.1°C WITHOUT HEATING (Open Mode disables heating and the wiper) and it worked fine. I’ll post pictures later, and will invest tonight, and cast in the morning.


#55

Hi all,

Are you all professional jewelers or some of you are also doiing some smaller casting (at home,…).
Don’t want to offense jewelers as I know that it’s a profession but I’m interested in trying small pieces, maybe rings and pendants in silver.
And also some slightly bigger pieces in copper (sand casting ?).

The BlueCast seems a very nice resin for that, better than FL Castable ?

Is there some non too expensive equipment that actually works ?
I’ve seen tons of furnaces, ovens, vacuum casting machines on amazon and I don’t really know if they can be trusted… What is really needed to make some small pieces ?


#56

@3dvs, I am doing small-scale casting in silver in my home studio, and sending some models out for professional casting that I created in castable v2 because it prints smoothly…the caster is making a rubber mold of it and then waxes for casting larger quantities. I have a casting setup, but there are methods you can use to get started on a smaller scale. Copper would be harder to cast because copper melts at a much higher temperature, so sterling silver would be easiest to start. If you are sandcasting, I would suggest the gray castable resin, which gets a good surface for sand casting. I’ve made molds using the clear resin, and it works well.

If you are doing lost-wax casting, you will want a castable resin, but you would need a kiln that can burn out the mold and follow some sort of burnout schedule…a computer controller would be best. You can get smaller kilns with a controller for $500-600. A vacuum table is nice if it’s in your budget…it’s used to remove bubbles from the investment (plaster) twice while making the mold, and can be used for vacuum-assist casting.

I’m heading out the door, but there is another forum up here where another user asked a similar question. I’ll find it later, but if you search “vacuum cast” you should be able to find it.


#57

Thanks @katkramer for the answer!

I might try silver first then! (would brass be easier than copper ? around the same melting point as silver I think)
For jewelry, is the vacuum casting necessary (for investment and for casting) ? Without it, small items might lose their details no ?

I’ll continue to read/watch videos first :slight_smile:


#58

Yes, ancient bronze or “caster’s bronze” is MUCH cheaper…you buy it by the pound instead of the ounce, about $15 a pound. It melts a little hotter than sterling silver, but not much.

https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Ancient-Bronze-Casting-Grain/706051

The vacuum casting is NOT necessary, but if you have access to it it will greatly reduce the number of bubbles that may attach themselves to your casting, which results in little spherical “bumps” on the surface that can be sanded off. If you don’t have access to a vacuum table, you can use a bubble preventative that is a spray before you put the model in the investment.

There is a method of casting called “steam casting,” and I’ve seen a simple setup in a book that involves taking a jelly jar lid, drilling a hole and attaching a handle, then packing it with wet paper towels. After melting the metal and putting it into the flask, you put this on top to use steam to force the metal into the cavity. I have seen some YouTube videos on this…look up “steam casting.” The method is also described in this book on Amazon.

However, after a suggestion from another forum participant, I use an old towel that’s soaked in water over the flask when I’m casting to use steam to assist in pushing the metal down into the flask. Use gloves or a heat-proof glove.

And if you’re interested, there is a link on my website for a casting kit I got when I was a teenager…it shows the process with basic equipment, but you could substitute the steam casting handle for the vacuum box. The kit included a torch, and you could use the Bernzomatic MAPP (MAP-Pro) Kit. This type of gas burns pretty hot…in the US the kit runs around $50.


#59

Thanks again @katkramer
I’ll now stop polluting this thread.

I’ll also test the BlueCast once I’m ready to try casting!


#60

@3d_Garage, you mention in an earlier post that the process is “1 hour for gipsum - 1 hour for burnout.” I’m not sure what this means. Do you mean that the “investment” (I think you call this “coating”) has to sit for one hour after mixing, then one hour burnout? My other question is about the casting temperature…do you lower the flask to the casting temperature after the burnout?

@BlueCat also mentions in another post that you’re supposed to use PTFE spray for “gypsum bonded investment.” Can you tell us WHICH investments are “gypsum-bonded?” I have SatinCast and PlastiCast. I can’t find information anywhere about gypsum in any of these. Do they all have gypsum?

@3d_Garage, with your skull ring, was that cast in a vacuum casting setup? Can you tell us what burnout schedule and temperatures were used on this particular piece? I see suggested burnout instructions on the forum, but I would really like to know what technique was used on the skull.

@RickyMcG, you mention “standard investment.” Which investment are you using? Skull is gold, I’m casting silver. Do you mind sharing your burnout schedule, flask size, etc?

Anyway, got a flask in the kiln right now on a Satincast 5-hour burnout in a 2x2.5" flask…we’ll see how it goes.


#61

Hi KatKramer,

here you can find a “long story short” about investments, http://mycourses.med.harvard.edu/ResUps/SDM404C.00/pdfs/HMS_2235.pdf

here what’s inside Satincast https://media1.riogrande.com/Content/Kerr-Satin-Cast-20-Investment-MSDS.pdf

FIY calcium sulfate hemihydrate+H20 = gypsum


#62

Okay, here we go…it’s a long post, but hopefully helpful. I purchased the BlueCast at regular price, and was not given anything in exchange for a review. I’m documenting my experience here so people can know what worked well in my particular case. I’m using a vacuum casting setup and non-perforated flasks.

I cast four flasks today…two 2x2.5" and two 2.5x3" solid flasks. I did not use the super-fast burnout, but instead used a modified burnout from Ransom & Randolph for the PlastiCast resin. The castings are really nice, and they are not kidding that there is ABSOLUTELY NO CURING under UV light.

First Print Session: Used Gray Resin v2 in Form 2, resin temp was about 22°C, Open Mode, no adjustments to Z height. Prints turned out beautifully, casting had problems that I believe were from inadequate sprue/ventilation and residue. I used Kerr SatinCast on this one, standard 5-hour SatinCast schedule, top temperature 1440°F/782°C for 90 minutes.
Second, Third Print Session: New sprues for more ventilation. Used Castable Resin v2 settings, resin temp was about 23°C, Open Mode, no adjustments to Z. Prints did not adhere to build platform…the resin seems extremely “slippery.”
Fourth Print Session: Used Gray Resin v2 settings, warmed resin to 28.4°C, sanded build platform with 220-grit sandpaper and cleaned thoroughly with IPA. Z axis setting changed to -0.2. WORKED PERFECTLY.
Fifth Print Session: Immediately after fourth, resin still warm. Same settings, worked perfectly again.

First of all, I have to say that the @3d_Garage folks are extremely responsive. We’ve been chatting through Facebook, and even though they’re in Italy, we’re on the same schedule. They’ve given great feedback through the process. I also should say that I have some casting experience, but am not as experienced as some folks on the forum. Customer service is outstanding.

After getting consistently good prints, I’m sorta following their instructions. Before BlueCast, I’ve been using a soft, flat artist’s paintbrush and IPA when cleaning any print from the Form printer. They suggested pouring clean IPA over the print, but instead I used the cleaning station and vigorously dunked the print a few times as usual, then used the soft brush to brush away any residue. I washed the print again in clean IPA, then dried it with a hair dryer. (They’re probably cringing right now that I’m only loosely following instructions…)

Then I put the models in different configurations…two were large earrings, so I attached a 3mm sprue and put them each in a 2x2.5" flask. The second was four dangle earrings, coming off of a 3/8" sprue, in a 2.5x3" flask. The last was eleven small flower pendants (11mm and 16mm) with 3mm sprues attached to a 3/8" feeder in a 2.5x3" flask. One of R&R’s tech guys had suggested what sounded like a “ball” at the top of the sprue. I used a light coating of WD40 brand PTFE/Teflon spray on the UNCURED models.

BURNOUT SCHEDULE
I used a burnout schedule that was the PlastiCast version for 3x4" flasks, but I changed the highest temperature to 1450°F/788°C instead of 1560°F/849°C that was recommended by BlueCast. R&R says that PlastiCast can break down at temperatures higher than 1450°F/788°C, although the guys at BlueCast are using the higher temperature successfully, I decided to err on the lower side and hold longer. R&R says that at higher temperatures, above 1450°, there is not enough oxygen in the kiln, which is critical for eliminating the residue in the mold. R&R also recommends submersing the flasks in water for a minute before placing in the kiln, and said that it didn’t matter whether the button was up or down but that ventilation was key (mine were down). I did find that the largest flask with the flowers had cracked during burnout, but it did not affect the casting in any way.
Here is my schedule that worked:

  • AFAP (as fast as possible) to 300°F/149°C, insert flasks, hold for one hour
  • 400°F/204°C per hour ramp to 700°F/371°C, hold for one hour
  • 325°F/163°C per hour ramp to 1450°F/788°C, hold for three hours
  • AFAP down to casting temperature, I used 975°F/524°C for silver with vacuum casting, hold for one hour or more.
  • Cast. My sterling silver was at 1830°F/1000°C in a Kerr Electro-Melt crucible

So I think the biggest advantages are being able to cast quickly, with no curing, and smooth surface that requires minimal cleanup. On the flowers in the video below, I used an ultrasonic cleaner to remove investment coating, then pickled with pH Down spa chemical (instead of Sparex, it’s cleaner), then put in a tumbler with burnishing liquid. A little cleanup with a file and some sanding sticks, and they’re done.

I did purchase a baby formula warmer on Amazon for about $25 in order to warm the 1/2 liter bottle of resin…the heater is turned off when the printer is in Open Mode. This model fits the 1/2 liter BlueCast bottles perfectly—if you buy 1 liter, they send it in two 1/2 liter bottles. They say it doesn’t have to be warmed on the Form 2 (only the Form 1), but since castable resin is expensive, I want to make sure that the prints turn out. It turns out that the lowest setting on most baby formula warmers is 104°F/40°C, which is BlueCast’s recommended temperature.

Because photos never seem to do it justice, here’s a video that shows the flower pendants. If you blow it up, it’s not clear, but the smaller video should give you an idea of the smoothness. I do think that Formlabs Castable v2 resin produces a smoother model, but the smoothness of the BlueCast model is good, there is no curing, you can invest the models almost immediately, and the surface quality of the casting seems better. I am going to try a different burnout with more sprues on the Castable v2 and compare the results. But so far, the BlueCast is very impressive!


#63

Kat

Thanks so much for sharing. Have not tried the bluecast with plasticast yet. I have been using satin cast with a 1250 top temp for 2 hours. Just cast 3 items yesterday. 2 came out fine, the disk I have had trouble with still had some issues… some investment breakdown but lettering was great. Still experimenting.

Tomorrow I am casting a bluecast bottom of a ring with a milled wax top attched, Curious to see results!

thanks
art