Foundry in a Box

Metal Casting at the Wanger Family Fab Lab MSI Chicago

The Foundry in a Box system is a relatively safe way to melt metals for varoius types of molds that can be made in a Fab Lab. Proper safety gear needs to be worn based on the temperature of the metal you are casting. All parts of your body need to be covered. Simply think of how the molten metal will shoot around if you drop a crucible of it, you want to keep that metal from touching any part of you body.

  1. Tin and Tin Alloys: Full Face Shield and full leathers, hat recommended
  2. Zinc Alloys ZA-2 to ZA-8: Full Face Shield with Hat and full leathers
  3. ZA-12 and Aluminum Alloys: Aluminized safety clothing, full coverage including full coverage head hood

To buy your own Foundry in a Box see this page. The system is actually assembled by Professors Trent True students at Kent State University.

Alloys you can melt in the system:

  1. Level 1: 232C (450F) melting point:Tin Cut Wire or Popcorn easy to melt small pieces.
  2. Level 2: 241-343C (466-650F) Lead Free Pewter harder to melt ingots
  3. Level 3: 377-432C (710-810F) ZA / Zamak Alloy Ingots harder to melt ingots
  4. Level 4: 510-593C (950F-1,100F) Zamack ZA-27 Ingots
  5. Level 5: 787C (1450F) Aluminum 319,356, or 413, Alloy Ingots. You can also melt recycled or scrap castings. These alloys are hard to find in small ingots, but if you can get ingots they result in higher quality castings of a know alloy composition.

Possible suppliers of Aluminum Ingots for tiny foundries:

Small Foundry Supply Alloys
Belmont Aluminum alloys
Atlas Metal Sales Art Casting Aluminum Alloys

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