Finding Casting Partners to Cast Formlabs 3D Prints
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For most jewelry practices, adding a 3D printed material into a production workflow means developing a relationship with a casting house that can produce reliable, quality casts with our Castable Resin. We wanted to share some tips for how to find a great casting partner in your area.
Experience with 3D Printing
Casting houses already working with 3D printed material will be set up with the appropriate equipment for burnout, and may be more open to experiment with you to see how our materials perform! If you’re unsure, the best place to start is by sending them the Formlabs recommended burnout schedule, to make sure they have appropriate ovens that can ramp to the necessary temperature.
Multiple prints for Burnout Experimentation
When working with a partner for the first time, you might consider sending them 3-5 printed pieces to allow them to experiment a little. They can try their normal burnout and our recommended burnout to tweak the process until they get a great result.
Don't forget to post-cure!
If you’re preparing your own models for casting, it's vital that you clean and sand your models thoroughly, and co-ordinate whether you or they will post-cure your models prior to casting. The length of post-cure depends on the light source and how close it is to the print. A good rule of thumb is to post-cure a part until it has significantly discolored (yellowish brown). Talk to the casting house to establish whether you or they will take care of this part of this process. This might be another case where you can provide multiple prints for them to experiment with.
Compare multiple vendors
We worked with a number of vendors and rated them on a combination of quality, price, and turnaround time. Typically though, you can tell who is best to work with as they’ll be responsive, helpful, and ideally excited to work with a new material which is much more affordable than the materials used widely in this space.
A lot of the vendors we worked with offer additional post-production steps like polishing, plating, and stone setting. This isn’t always the case, so it’s best to let them know what you have in mind prior to casting.
If you’re preparing your own models for casting, it's vital that you clean and sand your models thoroughly, and coordinate whether you or the vendor will post-cure your models prior to casting.
To help you find a partner close to you, we've assembled a list of casting houses who have tested Formlabs’ Castable v2 Resin with successful results.
If you work with Castable Resin, please share your recommendations for casting partners in our forum thread. We know some of you are casting the material yourself; we'd love to know about your own casting services and any advice for people starting out with this process.