Donna; If all ten pieces were made from the RTV mold, which should
be the first step then any imperfections, Tool lines or artifacts
will show up in the resulting castings, as far as entrapped air
bubbles, that's a bad casting pure and simple, same with the
distorted waxes. I have been getting waxes done from two sources, one
source CAN do a decent job when they feel like it, The other source
is sending me wax patterns that are almost perfection, First let me
say that I don't like to use RTV molds for production runs.
I would rather cast one or two pieces from the RTV mold then Finish
them Remold them into Vulcanized Silicone and get a wax pattern that
when cast requires Very little clean-up.
My main concern is that RTV molds do not last near as long as
Vulcanized Rubber or Silicone, then there is the trade off of the wax
looking as though it had been polished and buffed (silicone) or the
mold lasting For many many years. I've been using Castaldo High
strength Silicone for the past 7 or 8 years, and the molds are still
I have a few made from Castaldo Econo-sil that are a bit older than
that, and they are still serviceable, But they haven't had the use
that the High strength molds have. I have used the No Shrink Pink,
and it's OK I'm not exceptionally crazy about it, the molds that I've
done with it are at least 12 to 15 years old But they don't have the
finish quality that the silicone molds do.
And I have several hundred Natural Rubber molds , most are Castaldo
White label since I don't do a lot of rings, some of these molds
have had over a thousand pieces run through them.
Yes there will be a SLIGHT shrinkage to deal with I guesstimate
about 4 to 8 percent, a lot of this is dependant on the quality of
the CAM wax, which gets back to your other question about Jewelsmith
and it's horrifying cost.
I think if you can afford it, the software is one of if not the
best. As far as the cost of their mill, I think it's a bit too steep,
It's very good equipment, but WOW I don't think that it will do much
that any other good mill will.
And for around 3,000 dollars you can get a very good closed loop
milling machine with Servo motors instead of stepper motors, that
will run Jewelsmith quite well.
You still need a Cam program AND THERE AGAIN Delcam has one of the
best with Mill Wizard.
There is a relatively new program I've been trying to find out about
from a French Company Vision Numeric, called 3Design>jewel. I've
been trying to get a price from them for the past week but I guess
they don't want any American Currency, either that or they are on one
of those Long holidays I keep hearing about.
From what I've been able to find out it is Very much like ArtCam
Jewelsmith, and I think (ok insert funny joke here) it's about half
This puts it in the same price rage as Jewelcad and JewelSpace 3D.
But Neither of these are as easy to operate as ArtCam Jewelsmith.
I've heard that it is by far the best and most intuitive program on