Thanks for the review/info. I agree that it sounds like a
really useful machine, but I think it's expensive for most. It
sounds like a huge benefit for casting things like palladium, etc.
I'm not sure how many cast and work in palladium but that's not
really important I suppose." "One thing that caught my eye was your
mention of consumables. Are you saying that you have to buy your
supplies from the maker of the casting machine? Is there something
special about the consumables? "
I think you misunderstood my post - you can't cast palladium in
anything less than an inert atmosphere. You can, however, cast
palladium white golds and other materials with results superior, in
my opinion, to that obtained by using vacuum casting or other
centrifugal casters (please see Jim Binnion's comment to this effect)
in a small studio environment.
As far as consumables, others have mentioned this as well - they have
wax rings you must use, as well as provide optional investments and
moldmaking materials - not mandatory, but damn helpful, and actually
less costly than20 some of the other options. Again, this harkens
back to the "system" theory.
As far as expensive, it depends - the only way to get ahead is to do
the best work you can - this goes for casting as well as any other
thing you do. The castings from the ti-research machine are superior
to those that I have obtained from the vacuum and centrifugal casters
that add up to only a bit less in price, and take up a lot more space
- and don't have some of the safety features the ti-research machine
does. Don't forget - to cast centrifugally, you still need to be able
to de-gas the investment, which necessitates the vacuum pump set-up,
as well as have mold making capabilities. With the ti-research
machine, the water vacuum and mixing bowl will provide this at a
lower cost than purchase of a vacuum casting machine, as well as less
maintenance, and take up MUCH less space. With careful shopping for a
reasonable kiln and wax injector, you can set up a casting studio
with the ti-research machine for not much more than the cost of your
typical casting set-up as suggested by some of the Orchidians earlier
on in the posts. My though is when the best solution (IMHO) is
available for only a bit more, I have never been disappointed by
getting a better tool, IF it allows me better results. My customers
depend on me for this
But, a budget is a budget, and if it is too expensive to justify,
then a vacuum casting setup will allow you to cast most materials,
perhaps perfectly adequately for your needs. Perhaps try taking a
local casting class at a center for the arts to see if it will work
for you - it may be money wisely invested, just to be sure.
And always keep in mind the number of fabulous contract casters out
there - they are a fantastic solution to the problem of what to buy,
or the problem of not wanting to spend the big chunk of money on
casting equipment of any type. For not too much, you can get waxes
cast, molds made and productions run.
I'm a tool geek, and wanted to have casting in house for singles and
one of production runs, and had the money to invest in casting
equipment, so I bought what I believed to be the best solution based
on the versatility of the machine, and have not been disappointed.
Chris Ploof Studio