Mar.21, 2014

3D printing allows you to create a part faster than traditional processes, but limited by printing speed, surface finish and material selection, 3D printing a small production run could be an expensive and time consuming process. Maker Mark VanDiepenbos has designed a rotocasting solution 'RotoMAAK' that is built to bridge the gap between rapid prototyping and the cost of producing thousands of hollow cast parts.

Rotational Casting, also known as roto casting, is a molding process for creating items, mostly hollow in form and typically made of plastic.

A hollow mold is filled with a charge or shot weight of air cure resin. It is then slowly rotated (usually around two perpendicular axes) causing the softened material to disperse and stick to the walls of the mold. In order to maintain even thickness throughout the part, the mold continues to rotate at all times during the casting phase and to avoid sagging or deformation. But often this kind of machines are quite expensive.

The RotoMAAK rotational casting machine uses laser-cut parts to keep the cost low. With the popularity of DIY 3D printing, you can now create a 3D printed object in a relatively short time and then with rotational casting, you can reproduce many identical parts from the print. In fact, you can create a mold from almost any part and in turn reproduce multiple replicas of that item.

Another advantage of using RotoMAAK is the savings in materials and weight. Instead of using pounds of material to cast a solid piece, you can cast it hollow with ounces of resin. In addition the RotoMAAK also controls the rotation of the mold to ensure a uniform wall thickness that rotating a mold by hand cannot achieve.

The RotoMAAK has been launched on Kickstarter, you could get a complete kit for $699 now.

The device can be used in many different areas: doll makers, artists, model makers, action figure enthusiasts, can go from clay original to silicon mold to produce limited edition reproductions. Candy or chocolate makers can make custom and personalized hollow chocolate figures by using food-safe latex mold to cast multiple pieces.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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