Mumbai-based 3DWare, a manufacturer of industrial grade SLA/DLP 3D printers announced that it has launched a new resin for the jewellery market. Known as the Zeta Wax Yellow resin, the new resin has a high burnout when compared with conventional castable resins. The new resin works as a perfect substitute to real wax in the lost wax casting process. The 3D printed models in ZWax give a clean melt-out with zero ash post-casting.
The New ZWax Resin for 3D Printed Jewellery
Conventional castable resins are primarily dependent on using acrylate monomers and oligomers which undergo pyrolysis at elevated temperatures (above 750 degrees Celsius). The material then starts to burn out cleanly leaving behind a negligible amount of residual ash. Therefore, casting service providers need to follow a very strict burnout cycle for the materials to be able to cast with acceptable results.
However, the new ZWax range of materials starts melting like wax at temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius (instead of undergoing pyrolysis like conventional castable materials). The melting allows the material to escape the mould cavity at temperatures of between 600-650 degrees Celsius. This means the peak temperature in the casting cycle would be over 100 degrees Celsius lower and the duration of casting would be half of the conventional castable resin chemistries.
How ZWax Differs From Conventional Resins?
Today, 95% of the world jewellery industry uses the lost wax casting process for manufacturing jewellery. However, internal research conducted by 3DWare showed that existing machines and processes restricted the creative freedom of designers as it supported only a certain kind of geometries. Since 3D printing is the first step in casting, the company realised that the problem had to be resolved.
As a result, 3DWare built a machine which could produce wax like materials in any geometry a modeller could conceive. After close to a year of extensive R&D, a couple of failed prototypes and countless hours on the factory floor, 3DWare launched the first version of Zeta 3D printer.
With the launch of the new 3D printer, the company was able to give manufacturers the ability to cast 3D printed parts with the short casting cycles and low casting temperatures! This has enabled the jewellery industry to produce designs considered otherwise impossible while still maximizing their throughput and minimizing energy costs.
In addition, for non-castable jewellery model resins, the company also minimised the curing times whilst still being able to achieve the superior surface finish. For photosensitive materials, beyond a certain amount of reactivity, the curing becomes uncontrollable. This leads to extra cured jewellery CAM service.
The 3D printed jewellery piece is an exact replica of the final gold piece. In the casting process, as the mould is heated, the 3D printed piece melts out leaving a cavity which gets filled up by gold and gives the final cast jewellery. The 3D printed jewellery piece is essentially the master piece used in the lost wax casting process.
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