CIREX is known for making products using the lost wax method, in which the 3D wax models are characteristic to the method. CIREX can create a prototype by printing wax models. This technique produces a model in which two types of wax are used. One specific type of wax is used for the 3D model, and another type of wax is used for the support. Supports are necessary to produce a model.
More information on the wax used in this process can be found here:
When printing the product, the printing machine accurately deposits minute wax droplets in the correct shape upon the building platform. After ‘printing’ each layer of wax needs to solidify. Once a layer has solidified, it is smoothed out by milling. This is necessary, as the printed wax droplets could otherwise create an uneven layer that would prevent subsequent layers from being printed accurately. This process is repeated until the entire model is printed.
The wax used for the supports is oil soluble. After these supports have been dissolved, the final wax model remains. This model can then pass through the standard CIREX process. As the wax printing technique is extremely accurate, uses special waxes, and takes a relatively long time, it is relatively expensive. It is therefore mainly suitable for small prototypes containing many details.
Read more about the technique that uses WAX here:
- Low surface roughness
- High dimensional accuracy
- Fist-sized or smaller 3D model
- Relatively low costs of start-up process, as improvements to the design are quick and easy to implement
- Suitable for small numbers of prototypes