3d Printing Objects for Lost Wax Casting

I am preparing for a class as part of the Metal and Glass Symposium of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a gathering of Medieval Reenactment enthusiasts that recreate art or utilitarian tools from some time period between 600-AD and 1600-AD.

Schedule:  September 4th, 7:30pm to 9:30pm hosted by the Metal and Glass Symposium 19848 East Bethel Blvd NE East Bethel MN 55011

7:30-8:00pm Demonstration of 3d printing and lecture about the hardware involved in 3d printing and lost wax casting.

8:00pm-9:00pm 6 Participants will get to 3d model a 2d design onto a simple geometric object.

9:00pm-9:30pm Question and answer. Feel free to ask questions during the class but I might put off complicated explanations until after the class is over.

The hardest part of every design is getting a clear vision of what you want. These instructions are going to show you how to digitally model a coin with some sort of simple 2 dimensional design on its surface.

elizabeth-sixpence white Back pencil-black-and-white-drawing-nTX979LTB

Once you have the black and white image that you want to put on a coin or stamp, open Inkscape. Inkscape is a free Vector Drawing program easily downloaded and installed on Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

In Inkscape open your desired image.

  1. File> Open
  2.  Select the image by clicking on it. If a dotted box and black arrows appear around the image, the image is selected.
  3. Path>Trace Bit Map>Ok There are a lot of buttons that you could play around with here but for the purposes of mapping a black and white image, the default settings are perfect.
  4. Now we just need to save our design as a .svg file. File>Save.

SVG files are known as scaleable vector graphics and 3d modeling software can use them in fun/useful ways.open image inkscape not selected Selected Inkscape Bitmap Inkscape Save


Blender is a free, powerful and complex animation software.  Today we are just going to learn the bare minimum. When you open blender you might have a cube, a camera or a point in the startup file. Feel free to delete these by left clicking on them and hitting the x key. It is not control x, just x and then you will need to confirm that you really want to delete it by left clicking the delete button that appears.

Blender Delete 

  1. You can drag objects around by right clicking them and holding the right click while you move the mouse. If you left click, the object getting dragged will stay at the new location. If you right click, the object getting dragged will return to its original location.
  2. In blender you are looking at a 3 dimensional space on a 2 dimensional screen. Changing your view of the object is a little bit like flying a spaceship or submarine while looking out a wind shield. The scroll wheel on your mouse is forward and backward (or zoom in and zoom out). Clicking down with the scroll wheel while you move the mouse allows you to rotate the direction that you are viewing the object from. Now try holding down the shift key, while clicking down with the scroll wheel and moving your mouse: I am not sure how to describe this third method of moving your windshield other than to compare it to side thrusters on a space ship.

Design a coin in blender

  1. you can import your design in form of an SVG file. File>Import>Scaleable Vector Graphic. Select the desired file and hit Import SVG.
  2. For some reason the SVG file always imports so tiny that it looks like nothing is there. Hit the n key and information about the location, rotation and dimensions of the selected object will appear. Entering X and Y dimensions of 20 will make the design fill a 20mm x 20mm square
  3. A great way to make imported SVG files centered in the axis’s is to transform the origin to the center of its geometry. Object>Transform>Origin to Geometry
  4. Now we need to set the thickness of the SVG design. You will need to click on the curve button and then set the Extr: thickness to half the desired thickness (.5 if you want 1mm thick design).
  5. In order to make the simple cylinder part of our coin select Add>Mesh>Cylinder.
  6. A 2mm diameter and two millimeter cylinder should appear. In the dimensions panel change the x dimensions of the cylinder to 23, the y dimensions of the cylinder to 23 and the z dimensions can remain 2 or maybe you would like a coin that is 3mm thick.
  7. Adjust the placement of design and coin until you like the result by right clicking them and holding the right click while you move the mouse. If you left click, the object getting dragged will stay at the new location. If you right click the object getting dragged will return to its original location. Changing the locations to x=0, y=0 can be a great start.
  8. Once you know that you have everything correctly placed in relation to each other, select the design and the cylinder by right clicking both with while holding down the select button.
  9. You can export this design as a .stl file for 3d printing File>Export>STL
  10. Stl files can be given to someone with a 3d printer and loaded into a gcode generating software like Repetier or Cura
    Blender Import SVGBlender Import SVG2Blender ImportedBlender Imported nBlender ImportedBlender Point of origin  Blender Thickness 2 Blender RotationBlender Origin to Geometry  Blender Add Cylinder2  Blender Add Cylinder3  Blender CoinBlender Coin 2Blender Export

My Company, Pintstein L.L.C. is available to print wax designs within the dimensions of 85mm x 85mm x 95mm.


A startup 3d printing and education company or as I like to call it, a “Mad Scientist Toy Company”. Pintstein will print things out for you, teach you how to design your custom object and, hopefully some day, Pintstein will be able to send a technician out to your house to fix/recalibrate your 3d printer.

More 3d printing classes coming to the twin cities:

  • Blender Basics for 3d Modeling: Accelerate your learning curve with this introductory class! I will be focusing on making sure each student understands 7 commands necessary for good 3d modeling. Blender is free open source software but it is not the most intuitive.
  • Comparative Anatomy of 3d Printers: a show and tell experience. I own three printers with different approaches to “FFF XYZ” designs


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