Lost-wax casting is a technique normally applied to cast metal. The process begins by producing a duplicate of the final part made from wax. This wax part is then placed in a box, which is filled with cement. After curing, the cement block is heated up and the wax melts and pours out. The remaining cement is now a negative of the final part. This negative mold is then filled with melted metal. After cooling, the cement mold is destroyed and removed, leaving a cast metal part.
Virtual lost-wax casting
Our fabrication process uses the same casting idea but uses other materials than metals. We virtually design a part and then create a virtual mold by inverting the part design (see Computer Aided Actuator Design). This mold is then 3D printed and filled with uncured silicone. After curing, we destroy the mold by dissolving it in solvent.