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A new method of preparing 3-D acrylic photopolymer patterns for investment casting

By James Binnion 

Editor’s Note: This article is excerpted from “A New Method for Preparing 3D Acrylic Photopolymer Patterns for Investment Casting,” a paper by James Binnion that was published in the proceedings of the 2016 Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology.

The difficulty of obtaining consistent, high-quality castings from a 3-D printed resin pattern is well known. And with the recent proliferation of 3-D printers in the jewelry industry, this problem is becoming more and more pronounced. In an effort to achieve better castings from my resin models, I started experimenting with the steps I took to fully harden and prepare the models before casting. From my experiments, I discovered a process that greatly reduces issues of investment degradation during burnout, resulting in much better surface finish in the resulting castings.