The easiest way to get into casting without high temperature equipment is to use Zinc Aluminum Alloys (ZA). These can be melted right in a pot on a stove (430C !). No furnaces needed.
Moreover, ZA Alloys are 30% stronger than aluminum, while melting at a temperature 330C lower. This is almost magical in terms of access to metals with tensile strength significantly greater than aluminum. This makes ZA alloy (61 ksi) slightly stronger than mild steel (58 ksi) in tensile strength.
Range of Options
- MIG casting
- Investmenet MIG casting - steel + stainless steel
- aluminum MIG castign - low temp metals
- Standard 3D printing with metal-embedded filament and sintering
- ZA alloys on the stovetop + 3D printed molds - automated system for on-demand parts.
- WAAM - wire arc additive manufacturing in steel, aluminum; MIG and TIG
- MIM pellet 3D printing filament production
- High temperature printing chamber (PEEK, PP, PE, etc)
- Universal Axis Mill and Screw Machine
- Metal dribble 3D printing - melted metal pool with low temperature alloys? Too experimental, may be excessive
- Ceramic paste printing + firing. The more flexible version of a potter's wheel.
- CEB press as aluminum can baler for recycling, 4x6x12 aluminum bricks
- Small induction furnace, 3kW, for copper and brass?
- Small induction furnace for softening and forging?
- Glass 3D printing from recycled powder + induction heater element
- Induction furnace cement plant from gravel, 3kW.
- Sintering oven
- Oxyhydrogen cutting infrastructure
- Lance oxygen production
- 3D printed flameware