If you own a Form 2 from Formlabs and get the High Temp Resin, you can create detailed metal figures in miniature format with the help of 3D printed tin casting molds.
- favorite digital model in STL or OBJ format
- a Form 2 printer
- Formlabs High Temp Resin
- a curing chamber such as the Cure Form
- Autodesk MeshMixer (free)
- CAD software of your choice
First you have to choose your favorite model. It should be noted that the figure should be at least 1.5 mm and at most 15 mm thick in order to achieve the best results later on. A figure too thin would be too unstable, a figure too thick would not have a nice surface.
The next step is the design of the mold. There are two options to choose from: A shell shape that completely envelops the object or two halves of the mold.
Once the mold is finished, you can print it with High Temp Resin, which must be cured afterwards.
Then the molds can be filled with tin. Caution is required!: Casting may only take place in a well-ventilated room or even only out in the fresh air. Since the casting material is heated and can cause injuries in case of skin contact, protective work clothing including eye protection is required and the molds must be fixed, for example in a vise.
There are various tin alloys with different melting temperatures. Formlabs chose Alloy R98 from Rotometals, which becomes liquid at approx. 260°C.
Then wait until the material has completely cooled down, only then it can be removed from the mold. Done!