Shackle Clasps that are in a casting tree (for investment casting)

I created (with help from good people like DaveR) a shackle clasp and it’s knurled bolt.

They are on “casting trees” so that they could be 3d printed in wax and then burned out and cast in metal.

I’m actually only going to make 2 or 4 of them. I just copied two trees for the photo. I will cast them in Argentium silver in my garage. (It’s a premium silver that has germanium instead of copper in the .935% silver alloy). The symbol you see is the offical hallmark of Argentium. Because I have to pay shapeways to 3d Print my model, the wax printing actually costs me the same as over 2 ounces of argentium silver!

The shackles are only about 12mm for the longest dimension. Because metal shrinks when you cast it… it’s better to cut the threads after you cast the metal. So bolts are about 1% larger in diameter than the target for cutting with a die. The holes in the shackles are plenty smaller than needed and will be drilled out with a drill bit. Shrinkage is usually between 1 and sometimes even 3%.

Thank you DaveR and everyone for inspiring me to be more creative in my jewelry hobby.

Unfortunately, they still don’t make inexpensive wax printers. I believe they can cost 50K. But I believe they started working on creating cheaper 3d printers that can print wax. I can have a lot more fun once cheap printers can do wax.

Why not print it cheap with abs etc and cast the wax from that.
A bit of cleaver modelling should let you print a mold for the wax.
You might have a bit of surface finishing necessary but that shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Hello Box.

I just noticed you said print it and then make a mold from wax… very clever. But I have not practiced making molds. I heard it’s an art form making good molds, especially for small fine jewelry. If I invest in some wax injectors and other small equipment… you have a good point.

But did you hear about casting in plastic? I think it’s made from corn? But it will not burn out as consistently and completely as casting wax.

Anyways, the thing about casting jewelry, even if it’s just cheap silver… is that you want the cleanest “burn out” possible. There are so many factors in getting a complete burn out and if you use different materials they don’t burn out as clean as wax. I think there would be a small amount of ash or residue. And it’s so much time and energy to burn out one flask, that it’s not worth it. I’d rather spend the 45 bucks and at least know that the wax will burn out after 5 hours in my diy kiln.

Any residue or ash and stop the porosity in the investment that you need for allowing gas to escape when the metal gets pushed in the mold.

No I understand all that, my point was rather to print something to cast the wax in or from so you still end up with a wax positive to burn out.

Yeah, sorry. I found my mistake and reread you idea.

Great idea. I may have to learn how to make good molds. Thank you for the idea.

There are many reusable or one off mold making materials that are very simple to use. I’m sure you know of them.
Yes, PLA is a print material that is made from a variety of plant products, it’s pretty much derived from the sugar content.

By the way Rick you have a habit of ticking the solution box on multiple posts, I think you are meaning to hit the Like button instead. Try to reserve the Solution tick for only the post that actually answers your question.
As there isn’t really a question in this thread there shouldn’t be a solution, but a like perhaps.

OK. I will be sure to use the buttons more carefully. Thank you.

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That’s pretty cool, what are you going to use the shackles for?

Hello. I’m really only going to cast 2 to 4 of them. I made two trees of 8 just for the photo. I will use one to make nice heavy marine center stud necklace (like the large ship anchor chains that have a center bar in the middle of each link). So I may post the models of the links here soon. I may see if I can sell them since no one makes them regularly, especially in argentium silver which would be an economical way to have a nice boater’s necklace. (The gold necklaces like this would cost a fortune). It’s really learning experience for me to complete one because it’s so much labor to make these kinds of necklaces.

I will use the rest to either make bracelets for my wife or mom, (I make jewelry more as a hobby than anything so 98% of anything I make is normally a gift from me), or I may see if there is a market for premium shackle clasps for people that make those sailor rope bracelets.

I make a very small number of jewelry items that go to an art gallery in Juneau Alaska. But it’s very little in sales, I only send them like 3 things a year… I’m still trying to figure out what my style or themes are.

I like this idea, in general, however, I don’t think it would work for really tiny parts like @Rick’s (12mm). Plus getting the wax master out of an ABS mold might prove impossible in some cases. The newer 3D wax printers are 5000 x 5000 dpi (0.0002 in. or 0.005 mm resolution) which produce incredibly detailed pieces, but, as Rick noted, are very expensive. This video is 3 years old, but it shows the details achievable at 2400 x 2400 … a lot of polygons are needed in SketchUp to avoid having any facets showing up.

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