(Storry not finished yet, sorry. Will add text and pictures later …)
You probably know, that I’m in a production cycle with the Marzocchi Bomber Canti(lever) Hanger, which is mounted on the Bomber’s Arch on early Bombers starting with the legendary Z1 in 1996.
The original part is made out of Aluminium in Die Casting – / Investment Casting Process. You need a very expensive mould made out of steel, in which hot metal will be injected with high preasure. That’s why it is process for mass productions. Means : you have to build a very complex and expensive mould, but it in a maschine for automatic processing, and all the parts are machined automaticly in high numbers >>1.000 with less $$/pcs.
If you want to rebuild a part in small numbers, like this Canti Hanger in about 100 pcs, it is absolut impossible to do this as in the descibed preocess before. The mould will be thousends of $$$$.
Here is ‘Lost Wax Casting’ a game changer. The idea is a very old style and simple one : Create a wax model, pour it with some sort of ceramic fluid, burn it to make it strong and hit resistend (wax will flue out! = ‘lost wax’), that pour fluid metal in it. After colling down you can simply take the ceramic shield off like obening a cooked egg.
You need to solve one simple problem : How I can do 100 wax models? Well, that’s also simple: create a metal mould by milling from a CAD model, poor wax in, and when it’s become stiff, make the next one. “But Hey!?”, you might ask : “A mould is such expensive”??! Yes, it is, but not that expensive than the one using in automated Die Casting processes. A lost wax casting for such case us <1.000$. You can do as many way models you need.
“But Hey (2)!?”, you may ask another question : “Why don’ you just form it using 3D Printing?” Right, you can do! You can use some wax fillament (expensive!) or other fillament or fluid resigns, which can be used in the same way : you print a model, pour it in ceramic fluid and the model will burn or flue out, when you burn the ceramic.
But have you ever printed 100 models including manuall adjustment of the support construction, smoothing the surface?? It will take a while and is not that cheap. But definitely it is a cool solution if you need just some small numbers of parts!! Keep it in mind!
“But Hey(3)!?” you do another question : “Why don’ you simple use a 3D metal printing think, like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)??” Well, yes! And I already did some! I had the possibility to do with the support of my friend Rolf, which had access to such a machine, printing 3D CAD modeln in Aluminium or Titan powder. Rolf helped me with the first versions of the Canti Hanger – he is a constructor – and built some of this models. But heaven! Do it, if you have anough money, won in Lotto ot can print $$$$. Just one parts is around 600$ if you go to a comercial print service. And it works for sure : the printed part is very strong and as best as your 3D CAD mdoel is.