To get started, there are one of two options:
Your first option is to upload your sketch or spec sheet(s) of the piece(s) you want created. From there, the manufacturers will turn your ideas into a CAD. Once completed, CAM will be utilized to develop a wax prototype. This piece will then be implemented and used in the casting stage.
The second option is to send us a physical copy of your piece(s) to which we’ll ship directly to our manufacturers. As per the first option, the manufacturers will use your copy to develop a mold for the casting stage.
CAD (computer aided design) is used to develop a 3D rendering of your sketch or spec sheet. It allows the manufacturers to see the design at every angle, and to map out where the prongs should be placed (if applicable). This process can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 week.
CAM (computer aided manufacturing) uses the design from the previous step and combines it with a software program and machinery to create a physical wax prototype of your piece.
Step 1: After submitting your drawings or spec sheets, your piece will be designed into a CAD and then created with CAM.
Note: this is the process if you only supply us with sketches or spec sheets. If you send us a physical copy of your piece(s), this step doesn’t apply to you.
Step 2: From there, a sprue will be placed onto your wax prototype. The sprue will act as a support system, as well as a pathway for the wax to melt out of the mold and for the melted metal to go into the mold during the casting stage.
Step 3: Once the wax model has the sprue attached, the piece will be weighed. The weight of this piece will determine the amount of metal used for casting.
Step 4: The investment powder will be mixed into a viscous consistency. To ensure that there are no air pockets, the investment will be placed into a vacuum machine.
Step 5: From there, your wax piece will be attached to a base and placed into a cylinder-shaped flask. The investment will be poured into this flask. To guarantee that there were no air pockets formed during the pouring process, the flask will be placed into the vacuum machine.
Step 6: Afterwards, the flask will be taken out to sit undisturbed. This will allow the investment to harden.
Step 7: Once the investment has hardened, the flask will go into the kiln. This is where the burnout process occurs. The burnout process is where the wax melts to create a hollow mold, which will be replaced by the melted material in the next step.
Step 8: When the creation of the hollow mold is finished, the molten material will be poured in to take the shape of the mold.
Step 9: Once that’s completed, the cooling process will begin.
Step 10: After the metal is cooled, the flask will be placed into a tub of water to dissolve the investment and loosen the piece.
Step 11: Your piece will emerge and will be polished + adjusted as need be.
Step 12: Voilà! Your piece is done.
There are two methods to stone setting.
The first method is wet setting. This occurs prior to the casting stage. The prongs are carved out of the wax piece and are shaved down to fit the stone(s). Wet setting is the faster alternative method of the two.
The second method is hand setting, and occurs after the casting stage. The metal piece is taken and shaved down in order to create the prongs. While this method is more accurate, it’s expensive and a lot more work.
The manufacturers will hand polish all of the metal. During this time, they will add any additional engravings to your piece. Once completed, they’ll analyze the piece to ensure the production and finished product were successful.