This project uses 123d design by Autodesk and a CNC router in order to make a pewter casting. In this tutorial, I will be making a keyring to support the refugees in the refugee crisis.
Step 1: Download 123d Design
If you don't have 123d Design by Autodesk on your computer already, you need to make an account at http://www.autodesk.com/ . You will also need to download 123d design at http://www.123dapp.com/design . Select your computer type (PC or Mac) and download the software.
Step 2: Design Your Product's Mould
Open up 123D Design. In order to create a mould, you will need to create a box, and then cut out the design you want to make. You will need to click the "Create shape" button (see image) and make the box the size of the wood piece that you will cut out using the CNC Router. (The image is what my product will look like, not of a mould.)
If you are new to 123d Design, try watching the videos on the website http://www.123dapp.com/howto/design to get an idea. The videos are based on the old version of 123D Design, and so the interface has changed, but the controls are the same. For a more detailed tutorial, watch the videos on the youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOZ-4bac1lqd7s1NK... . (These videos aren't mine) I found it easiest to learn by just exploring, but the videos helped me expand my knowledge.
I created my mould by creating a box and then hollowing out the inside. First, I drew my design on the top of the box using the drawing function, and then I changed the depths of the shape, by using the push/pull function on enclosed spaces so that it was indented into the wooden block. You can only do this if you have a complete shape, which will appear in green.
Remember that your design will be flipped, I forgot this. Also, remember if a design is closer to the top of the mould, it will be deeper than the rest of the mould.
Step 3: Print Your Mould
Use the CNC router to print your mould. You will need to use double sided tape to stick it down.
Step 4: Pour the Pewter Into the Mould
Sandwich your mould and another block of wood together, it is very important that they stay as tight as possible. Melt the pewter, and pour it into the opening.
Unfortunately, the lever that controls the on the machine that I used to melt the pewter broke, so a lot of pewter spilled out on top of the mould. This normally doesn't happen.
Step 5: Remove the Wood From Your Mould
If your project goes well, you might be able to peel your casting out of the mould, but since the machine broke, the wood bonded with pewter for me, so I got a saw and removed the wood by peeling pieces off the pewter.
Step 6: Polish Your Casting
For me, I got a gold tinge to my casting so I got a file and filed down the surface of my casting. This made it a shiny silver colour. You may want to keep this colour, but when i cut off the unwanted parts, it was silver underneath.
Step 7: Add a Hole
You will want to add a hole if you are making a keyring, so you can add the actual keyring. I did this using a drill, with the smallest drill bit I could find, but I struggled to keep the drill still, so a lot of the baltic sea got ruined.
Step 8: Add a Keyring
I aimed to make a keyring so I added a small keyring (thank you Lubna) to my casting.
If you make a casting using my instructions, let me know, I'd love to have a look! :)