When used for lost wax casting, the burnout is extremely clean (much better than using plastic filament). This product can also be polished, machined, and carved MUCH easier than plastic filaments.
Print2Cast is softer than traditional plastic filaments. Because of this, some extruder feed drives may need to be modified in order to properly feed the filament. The easiest way to determine if your printer will need any modification is to find out if other people are already using any of the flexible filaments on your machine. Many of the rubbery, flexible filaments on the market are even softer and more flexible than Print2Cast filament. Because of this the modifications necessary for them also work well for Print2Cast filament. There are two key points to keep in mind when printing softer filament material.
1. Guide the filament through the entire drive to prevent curling.
2. Provide proper tension on the guide arm bearings that presses the filament into the drive gear to prevent grinding.
For bed adhesion, our personal experience has had the best results using multiple layers of "extra super hold" hair spray on a heated glass bed. We recommend spraying the glass with 6 light coats, letting them dry in between coats.
A second option for bed adhesion would be to use cloth athletic tape or gaffers tape.
Here are a few startup recommendations to help get you started. Please keep in mind that these suggestions can be dependent on both your printer design and the geometry of the object you are printing.
a. Extrusion temperature = 140°C-150°C
b. Bed temperature = 80°-90°C
c. Shells = 2-3 (for most models)
d. Print speed is typically 20 to 70mm/s
e. Prints best when layers have enough time to cool. This can be achieved in several ways. A skirt/brim with all layers, active cooling fan (on low), printing multiple identical items, sacrificial pillar, or extra pause time between layers. A caution here is to not cool too fast. This will cause exaggerated warp.
1. "What 3D printer do you recommend for Print2Cast filament?
"Will Print2Cast work with my "XYZ" machine?"
These two commonly asked questions share much of the same answer(s).
Print2Cast will work with almost any printer that is rated for TPU (or can be modified for TPU) and allows the extrusion temperature to be set to roughly 140°C. TPU or flexible filament is softer and more flexible than Print2Cast. So, if the feed drive can reliably feed TPU, it will generally handle the wax reliably as well.
The stock firmware on some machines will have a cold extrusion limit that has plastic in mind and will prevent the extruder from running if the detected temperature is below a certain limit regardless of the temperature selected in the slicer. Quite often this can be bypassed with an M302 code being added to the start sequence. Though, it is best to ask the printer manufacturer about the ability to print at lower temperatures if you are not certain.
Some other features that are more ideal for wax would be a direct drive extruder, an all-metal hot end, a heated print bed, and an enclosure. Bowden and open frame machines can still be viable, but not as ideal. The feed drive is less of an issue with 3mm filament because of the extra rigidity the larger diameter offers. An enclosure can also be built fairly easily, so I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker if you find a printer that fits your budget and other parameters.
2. "What temperature and duration do you recommend for melting out Print2Cast?"
The first thing to address is the term melt out. This can work for some basic mold geometry like a cone or sphere where gravity can allow the wax to escape, but overall we recommend a true burnout procedure over melt out. Best practice for this is to follow the instructions of the investment manufacturer you are using above all else. Most investment burnout schedules will reach 1200°F or above which will FAR exceed the necessary temperatures to burn out the wax for an ash-free mold.
For the DIY crowd using homemade investment options (plaster and sand mixes are common), we recommend a 9-12 hour schedule for most mold sizes with a slow ramp up to peak temperature. The first 2 hours should be 300°F. This will allow the wax to slowly melt out much of the cavity leaving the mold with plenty of space to handle the natural expansion of heating the wax. Your peak temperature should ideally be a minimum of 750°F. Higher peak temps will ensure complete burnout. The homemade mixes will start to degrade at these temps so some testing should be done to see what your specific mix will handle as there is no one size fits all number.
A kiln is most ideal to accurately reach and maintain temperature for DIY or professional grade casting investment. The second-hand market is often a great place to look for very affordable options. DIY kilns can be built as another option. There are many articles and videos on the web that can be found to be helpful with this option. Depending on the materials you have on hand, the cost may be more than a used one, though, so shop around and decide what is best for your situation.