Casting is a process that can be quite demanding for the first timer, but highly rewarding once the basic techniques are mastered. It then becomes possible to quickly and reliably produce metal parts en masse, and with impressive tolerances if the right method is chosen. [VegOilGuy] has been experimenting with lost PLA casting, and decided to see if it could be applied to car emblems.
The process begins with 3D models of various car emblems, primarily sourced from Thingiverse. These are printed in PLA, with sprues added to assist with the casting process. The parts are sanded to avoid unsightly print lines on the finished product, and any voids filled with wax. The various emblems are then assembled onto a casting tree, with extra sprues added to improve metal flow with wax and further PLA parts.
The investment mold is then created with plaster, and baked to remove water and melt out the PLA. This is crucial, as any water left in the mold can react explosively with the molten aluminium bronze. The mold is then filled with metal and then allowed to cool. The plaster mold is destroyed, and the parts can then be removed. Final processing involves a trip through a rock tumbler before final polish with sandpaper.
[VegOilGuy] gets impressive results, with the parts looking excellent in their bronze colour. This is an unconventional color for a car emblem, but it’s noted that this material is an excellent candidate for chrome plating to get a more OEM finish.
You might find your lost PLA casting experiments could benefit from the help of a microwave, too. Video after the break.
10 thoughts on “Casting Car Emblems Via 3D Printing”
Good way of satisfying the “hood swiping” market in a nondestructive way.
Pull hard enough on the Mercedes star and vile smelling dye will squirt out of nozzles behind the grill?
On some rolls royce models the “spirit of ecstasy” ornament will retract into the hood if its touched.
so does mine according to the wife.
Until a lawyer sends you cease and desist letter.
Send a reply in Chinese.
Lewin: these just about match the tone used by Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura for their top trim models :)
These can be made with much less effort, some folks just have to over do things.
Hey what the heck! Where is the STI badge!
Maybe just print them from plastic and apply chroming? After all, the OEM emblems are plastic on modern cars.
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)