Cast Aluminum MPCNC?

I have been looking around Ali Express today at their Jewelry casting foundries.

2KG size ( probably close to 1kg aluminum) for a little over $300 delivered from China to SE Asia.

If one was to print the files at the 3% oversize recommended for lost PLA molds at a low infill, It is feasable to actually print and cast aluminum faster than just printing a 0.1mm 50% infill PLA machine.

Any thoughts?

I would be shocked if it was faster. The lost casting parts I’ve seen on youtube seem to always be more of a fuzzy replica of the PLA part, and they end up doing a lot of cleanup with metal working tools, so I’d be a little skeptical of the accuracy. I also wonder if it’s worth it, since these parts are designed to be made from plastic, and they are strong enough.

Also, why would you do 0.1mm layer height instead of 0.2 or 0.25mm?

The one reason I would cast these in aluminum, is because it would look freakin’ sweet!

The weak link in my opinion of this machine is not the printed parts it is the rails themselves especially in excess of 24". I do not think having aluminium parts would increase rigidity much if at all.

While i do agree with Jeff that aluminium parts would look sweet.

the corners on mine were quite weak. A quick very low infill print and then casting would speed things up. Toying in CAD of a nema23 version of this with bushing and gt5 belt as something that could be used to do stone or the heavy wood routering jobs I been getting lately. Hogging out pine with a 3/8 inch bit 6mm deep passes at 3000mm min to do a jewlery box roughly 2 min each side.

Sounds like a good idea to me. It probably won’t be faster to do unless you are really good and experienced at aluminum casting, but it will definitely be stronger. I don’t recommend you to do the central carriage or even the motor carriages with aluminum since they are sturdy enough, it would add inertia and they need to have a bit of flex in order to adjust the tension of the bearings on the rails, but the corners and foots would definitely be a good improvement since they could be sturdier.

For the rails, they can be very sturdy if you use some chrome/carbon steel tubes. On my machine which uses incredibly tough materials for the rails, the weak link is clearly the corners.

The corners? They don’t really do much.

If anything I would say the feet, maybe, but If I were making this with metal I would design every part very different.

I meant the bottom part of the corners. If the foot flex, it means that the bottom part of the corners flex too since they are directly connected.

I’ve thought about this too but i doubt it would do much. Most of the parts would be difficult to mould/cast anyways because of their shape.

But if they were redesigned would it be faster to cast instead of print? Yeah definitely. I considered remodeling the foot so it could be cast easily but I never got around to it. And now I’ve finished printing all the updated parts so I probably won’t.

Print overnight and when you go to work and it won’t be long before you have a set of parts.