3D printing a PLA chess set for alu/bronze casting
Each piece takes 2.5 – 4 hours to print at the high resolution which I require to produce a good finish. The printed pieces will be attached to a tree, then encased in jeweller’s casting medium inside a steel cylinder. When set, the cylinder is heated to 200-300ºc to melt and vaporise the PLA, producing a cavity in the casting medium, into which the molten metal will be poured. The mould is baked for about 6 hours to thoroughly dry and harden it before the metal is poured into it.
There are 16 pieces in each army of a chess set. So 64 hours of printing for each colour. Plus failures. So far, in about 5 days of printing, I have produced the whites. That has taken almost 1kg of PLA, one roll. PLA is not expensive. I paid about $AUD22 per roll, including postage. Lately prices have risen to around $AUD30 per roll.
These look good prints. What nozzle / layer height are you using ?
0.15mm layers, 0.4mm standard nozzle, 220ºc extruder, 70ºc platten for platform layers then turned off for part.
ive also tried 0.3 nozzle, 0.1mm layers. For small gear wheels like in a (large) watch) even finer settings definately helps.