Lost Foam Casting

You may have heard of lost Wax Casting, but how about “Lost foam Casting”? I cut the pattern for this vice handle from pink foam on my Glowforge. Bury it in sand, add molten aluminum, and voila! A cast aluminum vice handle. The aluminum melts out the foam as it enters the form, creating a perfect cast. Thanks to you tuber VegOilGuy for his methodology.

The spinner handle wasn’t cast; I turned it on my lathe & added it later.

37 Likes

Oh man, that’s hot.

5 Likes

Wow. That is really nice. I assume that is after cleaning up? There is no way it came out looking that nice from the sand…

3 Likes

Yes Bill. I probably spent an hour or so on it after it came out.

3 Likes

Where is the spru John? Where is it poured…

2 Likes

Wondering the same, maybe it was poured top down more like a resin mold ?

4 Likes

Now that’s clever thinking. You could lost-foam cast some really neat stuff that way, and repeatedly.

For that matter you could do the same with plaster and get close to finished items straight out.

I’ve done foundry work the medieval way (melting bronze in cauldrons, massive bellows). Lost wax was great, but then you’d have to start all over again.

4 Likes

Oh cool! It looks like the Delft casting system. I have the pink foam, now just need the sand. I would love to try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

3 Likes

I have seen a lot of lost foam casting done like that, but it had not occurred to me that you could do some pretty thick 3d relief engraving. The Glowforge would not know or care if you used >1,95" foam and the beam just happened to go most of the way through :grin: You would just have to watch it like a hawk that it did not burst into flame, :fire:

2 Likes

Here are a couple of more pics, showing the spru & immediately after decasting:
Edit: the plaster sprue is to hold the molten metal & give time for the foam to melt out. It also keeps the metal Liquid longer so that the gasses from the foam can pass through it and escape.

6 Likes

Robert, i haven’t experimented with the foam a lot, but I’ve noticed if i go more than about 1/2” there is a lot of melting & the kerf gets quite wide.

2 Likes

If you are engraving there is no Kerf, the focus gets bad but this does not kill an engrave.

1 Like

Wow… and the possibilities too!

2 Likes