Archive for the ‘2D->3D’ Category

Plaque Buildup: Bronze Casting from Laser-Cut Forms

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Here are some pictures and notes from a test of a bronze casting using forms produced on a laser-cutter. This is a casting of a plaque with text, produced first by engraving into a 1/2″ deep piece of acrylic using a laser cutter. The acrylic form is used to create a negative mold in casting sand, which can then accept molten bronze.

This was a really cool project and seems to be successful. I’m hoping to continue and try some more interesting forms beyond text. I think cutting-edge fabrication technology is at it’s best when combined with established/non-digital techniques–it’s the best of both worlds!

This pour took place at the Butler Street Foundry in Chicago.

Laser-cut Form for Bronze Casting

Laser-cut Form for Bronze Casting

The Final Product: A Cast Bronze Plaque

The Final Product: A Cast Bronze Plaque

A Deep Raster Engraving With a Tapered Shoulder Makes for a Great Plaque Form

A Deep Raster Engraving With a Tapered Shoulder Makes for a Great Plaque Form

A Two-part Sand Mold Will Recieve the Molten Bronze

A Two-part Sand Mold Will Recieve the Molten Bronze

Casting Sand Packed into the Two-part Sand Mold Holds an Impression of the Laser-cut Form

Casting Sand Packed into the Mold Holds an Impression of the Laser-cut Form

Casting Sand is a Mixture of Sand & Clay; Imagine the Best Sand-Castle Sand, Times Ten

Casting Sand is a Mixture of Sand & Clay; Imagine the Best Sand-Castle Sand, Times Ten

A Gas Furnace is Used to Melt the Bronze

A Gas Furnace is Used to Melt the Bronze

Solid Bronze Goes into the Furnace to Melt

Solid Bronze Goes into the Furnace to Melt

Solid Bronze Goes into the Furnace to Melt

Solid Bronze Goes into the Furnace to Melt

Lifting the Lid off the Furnace

Lifting the Lid off the Furnace

The Molten Bronze is Lifted Out of the Furnace in a Container Called a Crucible

The Molten Bronze is Lifted Out of the Furnace in a Container Called a Crucible

Molten Bronze Hoisted out of the Furnace

Molten Bronze Hoisted out of the Furnace

Molten Bronze Hoisted out of the Furnace

Molten Bronze Hoisted out of the Furnace

Molten Bronze in the Crucible

Molten Bronze in the Crucible

Molten Bronze Poured from the Crucible into the Two-Part Sand Mold

Molten Bronze Poured from the Crucible into the Two-Part Sand Mold

Molten Bronze Cools in the Two-Part Sand Mold

Molten Bronze Cools in the Two-Part Sand Mold: Weights are Placed on Top to Contain the Hydraulic Pressure Created in the Mold

After About 20 Minutes, the Bronze has Cooled Enough to be Released from the Two-Part Sand Mold

After About 20 Minutes, the Bronze has Cooled Enough to be Released from the Two-Part Sand Mold

Bronze Casting Released from the Two-Part Sand Mold

Bronze Casting Released from the Two-Part Sand Mold

The Final Product: A Cast Bronze Plaque

The Final Product: A Cast Bronze Plaque