Sam PrattWhat did you make and why is it cool?

This project is cool because it shows that sometimes innovation is best achieved by integrating high- and low-tech methods.

I'm working on a project that requires a complex aluminum part that would be difficult to create by milling, so I am instead creating it with a traditional foundry process called the "lost wax method." I drew the original part on the computer with a CAD program, then created a 3-D print and brought it to the Sculpture Lab. I poured plaster around it to create a mold, burned out the plastic and poured aluminum in to fill the mold. This approach enabled me to achieve a result that otherwise would have been outrageously expensive or labor intensive.

How did you get started?

I've has been working with 3-D printers for years, but this is the first time I've created a metal part from one of my prints.

What's next?

I plan to create several more parts with the "lost wax method."