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James Kiefer

Member Since: April 29, 2009

Country: United States

A few pictures and videos from creating the aluminum skulls for my arcade cabinet build.

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Details about the MAME cabinet project I am working on.

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Introducing Embedded 3D Models of SparkFun products!

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A 4th of July project to launch fireworks via a button or timed delay.

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  • Fixed! :)

  • Thanks for the compliment but unfortunately these are still just renders! I will start building the cabinet early July.

  • Yeah, if the Pi ends up being too under powered then I will just throw one of my old gaming PC’s in there. The Pi does seem to be promising though here’s a youtube video of someone playing Metal Slug. There’s not really much of a reason to use a Pi other than the fact that I like the look of Retropie and I think there’s more of a “wow” factor if you show someone the inside of the cabinet and it’s just a couple of circuit boards rather than some dusty old pc.

    Thanks for the advice about the width of the control board. How much space do you recommend I have around each stick?

  • Yeah, I actually started with a design that was not quite as deep but I quickly reverted the change because I was having a hard time doing anything that looked good on the sides. There will be much wasted space inside this cabinet.

    The I-PAC is pretty much just a USB Keyboard emulator. It does some fancy stuff like keeping the key configuration between reboots though.

  • I used this design on youtube for my furnace. I still would not want to evacuate any sort of mold in this furnace haha.

    Double shrinkage is a good point and something I had not really thought about until you mentioned it. I definitely noticed some shrinkage with the aluminum pour but honestly did not notice too much with the wax. I suppose it helps greatly that my model was organic and only needed to “look” the right size.

    Good luck with your project!

  • Yeah, that was my original plan but I quickly realized that creating the silicone mold would be good for a few reasons:

    • 3D printing is slow and printing my organic shape at high quality was taking 3-4 hours to complete, it takes me 20-30 minutes to make a wax copy using the silicone mold so it made it less stressful to do the lost casting knowing I could create another copy easily.

    • I really want a kiln but I don’t have one yet. The only oven I have that would be good enough to burn out the PLA is my kitchen oven and I am far more comfortable evacuating some wax than PLA.

    • If I printed in ABS I could do an acetone bath and get smooth edges on the silicone mold. (Which I ended up doing)

    • If I failed at completing the aluminum cast I would be able to make a decent epoxy cast from the silicone in the worst case scenario.

    After doing the silicone mold I am happy I chose this method. The wax is far easier to clean up than the 3D print was so I was able to remove all evidence of it being a cast of a 3D print using just a cotton cloth and my fingers as ‘sandpaper’. It also helped me understand how important it is to create your mold so that it will create pressure and force your molten medium into the cavities.

    My final mold that ended up working was a 50/50 ratio of plaster of paris and regular play sand. I had a large tapered sprue that built up pressure that went into a small gate and then a runner to the bottom of my cast with a riser on top.

  • I am working on a project where I needed to take a 3D print and cast it in aluminum. I created a silicone mold and cast the 3D print to wax and then used the wax copy to create a plaster lost wax mold which I then poured molten aluminum into.

    I am working on creating a blog post about it … I will probably get it posted in the next month or so.

  • EagleUp for the most part. We also have a bunch of scripts and plugins to automate the process.

  • We will be putting links to zip files of each of the available file types shortly. In the meantime, you can get at these files with github.


    We should have atleast an stl of everything. We will usually include STEP/IGES if we have a CAD source file.

  • Pro Mini models are now live!