Re: Model brake component size comparison to prototype

Dennis Storzek

Well, we certainly have agreement here, don't we? Over the years I heard anywhere from "don't worry about it" to 7% shrinkage from pattern to investment cast part, although I dismiss both ends of that range. It does point out that investment casting is still somewhat of a 'black art' as far as the short runs typical in our hobby.

And some firms ARE using styrene as the burn-out material, although it typically isn't very hard and doesn't contain much colorant. Injection molded styrene also has a shrinkage factor, appx. 1/2%, which has to be added to the metal shrink factor.

I've only ever done one investment cast project; I wanted some bracket grabs that were more robust than the typical styrene parts, so back when Intermountain was still molding parts here in the US, I bought a hundred detail sprues from their PS-1, clipped the runner with the grabs out of them, and sent them out as investment masters. I was warned about the potential for ash to plug the long narrow cavity, and indeed, the reject rate was someplace around 20%, but the properly filled parts were nice.

Of course, the nicely molded acetal parts from Kadee have made that no longer worth doing.

Dennis Storzek

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