I’m actually working with Dave Hakkens, we would like to make our own aluminum models using a DIY rocket stove. So we could use these models to work with the injection machine.
Melting models by yourself is interesting for two main reasons : First because of the price. It is really expensive to get some CAD machines, or order these pieces from somewhere else whereas aluminum melting is a really cheap way to work, and it seems really easy.
In a second hand, we also would like to have a break with smooth industrial aspects. Making our own models with a rocket stove would allow us to create some textures, patterns, we couldn’t have with CAD process.
So this first post is about the rocket stove building :
I found many different ways to build a rocket stove, to melt aluminum it needs to go at least until 650°C.
These videos are good examples :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCZSR3CFn8U ( Models 2 & 3 )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHD10DjxM1g ( an easier and good model )
It is important to have a good isolation, to keep the heat inside, you can use :
refractory concrete and bricks
a mix between 35% plaster, 35 % sand and 30% water
sand ( we tried, it was all right )
As container you can take a bucket, a gas bottle just be sure that it is in steel and thick enough.
We also put a tube at the bottom of the stove to feed the fire with an hairdryer, it’s really POWERFUL !
It took us around 15 minutes to melt 25 cL of aluminum.