Lost PLA Casting John Wick gold coin – from 3D printer to solid bronze

(Phone rings) Da! – That VegOilGuy is making another video.
– And I want my pencil back! John Wick 3… yes! But I haven’t seen it
yet, so don’t tell me. I love John Wick, so when one of my viewers
requested a John Wick Gold Coin, I leapt at the chance to cast one with the Lost PLA Technique.
I began with Fusion 360 creating something that looks the part. It’s not exact, so
don’t get picky about the details. I knew that the biggest hurdle I had here was in
printing the coin, so I made allowances for that.
It also gave me an opportunity to experiment with print depths. To give the coin a 3D quality,
I worked in layers. Each layer on this side is just 0.2mm deep.
There was a little more detail on this side, so the layers are 0.1mm deep. So I had my
doubts that anything would print. The coin is 50mm or 2 inches in diameter which
is large, but I’ve seen commemorative coins about that size. Bigger would have looked
daft and smaller would have hidden the detail. All in all I was pleased with the coins. Printer
lines were obvious along with a few annoying snot lines, but the Lion looked good. What
I’d planned on being whiskers looked more like an open mouth, so I decided to go with
that. The Lady wasn’t quite as clear, but at just 0.1mm depth between layers, it was
still pretty good. There’s too much for me to try and clean
up here, so I just used the very tip of a file to very lightly scrub away any obvious
imperfections. But that was it… no other clean up.
The prints aren’t too bad. It’s just a standard home printer, a Creality CR10S, so
perfection isn’t possible at this scale. I bonded the two halves of the coin with positioning
wax. I literally smeared it on, putting a very thin layer on each one.
I then used a little sprue wax to fill the join and lightly sanded this smooth.
I decided to do away with the sprue of my printed sprue base, so I just cut this off.
In last week’s video I mentioned that where I had thick castings, I would try to use Risers.
As this coin would be around 6mm or ¼ inch thick, I felt risers would be needed.
At its simplest, a riser is merely a thicker section before a thinner one, so I decided
to use this wax sprue for this purpose. I can’t make my mind up if it looks like
the coin’s going scuba diving, or whether I’m modelling a new Starship Enterprise.
Either way, I was hopeful the coin would have ample feed and resist shrinkage.
Up until this point, things had been going surprisingly smoothly, so don’t blink or
you’ll miss the terrifying bit. Yes, the crucible fell showering thousand
degree puddles of fire everywhere. The reason for this slip is these grooves
on the crucible. I hadn’t noticed previously that these wear away. Look at the crucible
that fell – there’s virtually no groove, so there was nothing for the tongs to grip.
So please be more vigilant about these grooves than I was – and wear safety gear.
In a mad scramble I hopped between the red hot puddles and placed the flask back in the
oven whilst I put out fires, collected the spilled bronze, cleaned it and melted it again.
So about an hour later, still flustered, it’s hardly surprising that I forgot to focus the
camera properly. Now once a flask is out of the oven, it cools
quickly and the plaster can begin to crack. So as my flask had been out, in and out again,
I wasn’t hopeful. But thankfully it didn’t look too bad.
The risers seemed to have done their job. There’s no sign of shrinkage, though perhaps
it wouldn’t have shrunk anyway. So is it perfect? No. There are imperfections.
There always were with the 3D print and the crucible escapade may have taken its toll,
but by and large I was happy. Not bad for home casting with largely home made equipment.
I hope you enjoyed this one guys. Take care and thanks for watching.

90 thoughts on “Lost PLA Casting John Wick gold coin – from 3D printer to solid bronze

  1. Wow number 1. Should try another nozzle. Smaller than .04 for that kind of detail a .02 should do the trick. But it worked out really good. Great work

  2. I still think it turned out really well (nearly no quality loss from the print to the cast at least).
    I know it would take significantly longer, but if you printed the coin vertically you can get a lot more detail in the text. (similar to printing a lithophane)
    Also good to see you didn't accidentally hurt yourself!

  3. Hi Geoff, I was watching in amazement as you were printing in 0.2 and then
    0.1 mm layers and thinking that you were really pushing the limits of possibility today. Then you dropped the crucible! Oh boy that must have been a heart ♥ starting moment as molten metal splashed around. It sure gave me a start! Somehow you pulled a winner out of your hat 🎩 with this episode and the coin came out well. It sort of has the worn look of an old coin already. Glad that you weren't hurt. Mark

  4. Hello VegOilGuy
    For such a detailed piece, you can't use a FDM printer. But if you could have access to a SLA/DLP one (buy it or make someone else print it), you could achieve wonders !
    I'm pretty sure a viewer has a SLA/DLP printer and would send you a print !

  5. Very Nice Geoff! I printed mine about the same size and the details came out fine on my ender 3 pro, I printed mine vertically with supports and used the "Magic Numbers" from the video by CHEP = https://youtu.be/WIkT8asT90A and the settings to reduce stringing from his other video = https://youtu.be/GXSqZ68UdsE

  6. I'm amazed the crucible didn't shatter into a thousand pieecs!! Please, replace this asap! (And make a sand pit to contain any potential future spills, I've had too for mine, apparently the floor is flammable here haha)

  7. Have you thought about getting a resin printer? You can get a decent one from monoprice for $200. Also do you plan on showing how you make molds for casting wax duplicates? You showed a small example on your vacuum casting vid. I'd love to see your technique.

  8. For the best results you should print it on the edge of the coin it give you better resolution and use a .02 nozzle

  9. The finished coin at the end reminded me of the £1 slugs you could get from the guy behind the pub. A bag of a hundred for £10
    Great video but I think my buttocks will be clenched all day when when you drop the crucible.

  10. Oh man 🤦🏻‍♂️. I bet you moved like bloody lightning when that Crucible dropped I know I would’ve. Well that’s it we’ve all had a little mishaps Adam then me now you but I think it’s Adam’s turn for the next one😉. Groovy coin matey 👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻😁🍻🍻🍻

  11. great vid Geoff. That coin turned out great, despite 3D print & crucible dropping. Put a steel cap on bottom of chamber to raise crucible up, & you can grab crucible by bottom lip. Worked for me

  12. Did I watch three movies because a guy who is literally called after the oil you put in vapes told me so?
    Damm right I did.
    Was it good? Damm right it was.
    The coin is not the exact thing but it is pretty believable.
    Now time to purchase a “service“.

  13. Glad that you mentioned the worn out groove on the crucible (Just got a similar furnace). Also print ironing options in cura might be a thing for you, as it kind of smoothes the top layers of the print. Keep up the inspiring work of yours.

  14. Cool coin! Gotta love John Wick 👍🏻 to bad about the crucible. I know the feeling of spilling metal everywhere haha 😆

  15. It's both a scuba diving coin, and a new Starship Enterprise! 😀
    That groove wearing away was imminent.
    When pouring with that crucible in the future, I would suggest taking the crucible out, putting it down, and readjusting the tongs to go under the bottom of the entire rim.
    I like this coin very much!
    Turned out great! Looks antiqued without trying too hard! 😀
    Thanx again Geoff!

  16. Great work. You are really into lost wax/pla casting =). Still I do think a mould like this would be optimal for green sand cast. With good petrobond you can get great results (you can see single layers of the print etc.). The only great difficulty is… everything has to be tapered, otherwise there is no way for a good release from the green sand.

  17. You are telling us to take care? You be more careful. We want more videos of metal melting, not garage melting. Perhaps a round file to re-establish a groove on your crucible would be prudent.

  18. you might want to view this https://www.fleur-de-coin.com/articles/modern-minting In particular they make a large coin (5*, ie easily printable) then use a pantograph to reduce its size… Im sure you could directly transfer the large coin to a wax blank for casting.

  19. Wow, that drop was a sure heart stopper. At least it was a smaller crucible and not one filled with a ton of molten lava. The coin turned out great, the Master of Plaster, strikes again. 👍👍👍

  20. The cast looks almost perfect considering the issues in the printed coin. I guess you have found the limitations of your printer.

  21. I can't decided. Between those little miniature guys or this coin which one is my absolute favorite. Keep up the awesome work.

  22. Try printing the coin vertically. And but in half. You have way more resolution (0.1mm vs 0.48 width of nossel).

  23. Wow, I hope you had your brown pants on when that crucible slipped and fell. That coin was definitely the start of a new starship (maybe something for a future video).

    Nice to see you pushing the limits of your equipment and getting interesting results.

  24. Would have loved to hear what exactly was uttered when that crucible slipped. 🤔 . Luckily for us, V.O.G. has a voiceover on his video.

  25. Phew, glad you dodged the puddles AND got the cast done. How did you clean up the spilled bronzal? I’m assuming it’s not as simple as wiping it up with a shop towel. : )

  26. I spilled molten copper on my foot once, You never seen a man get his shoes off so quick in your life! I got scars to prove it.

  27. I can only imagine what it felt like to have your heart jump into your throat when that crucible fell. Hope nothing was damaged when it happened. Have you thought about maybe casting a blank coin and maybe trying to engrave directly on the metal, make a wax mold of it and then a plaster mold of the wax? Might be able to get the detail you want.

  28. Bet your ceiling has claw marks on it where you lept to get out of the way of the Liquid Bronze. That's a daily affair for me-I were a Fall Down Suit so as to not get hurt just going to the bathroom. 🙂 Coin looks good.

  29. Wow awesome video. I'm new to Fusion 360 and 3d printing on my Creality Ender 3 (hard to argue with $167US shipped on Ebay). I can't imagine how long it took you just to model the coin. I too am looking forward to watching John Wick 3. I also love The Matrix. I thought it looked like the Enterprise just as you were saying that. I had a spilled crucible once myself. I hadn't noticed my plinth stuck to the bottom. Luckily I was outside and it was relatively uneventful. So glad you weren't hurt, could very easily have been serious.

  30. Try to use a multiple of your leadscrew's instead of 0.1mm, my leadscrew is 8mm per turn so 1/200 turn of the motor is 0.04, if yours is the same, maybe try to go with 0.16 and print 0.08 mm layers I do that for herringbone gears

  31. although i have zero experience with PLA, its possible that fibreglass abrasive pens will work to clear up fine lines and snot trails quite quickly, they clean soldering shite off circuit boards without chewing things up. they may work on the print lines too but dont quote me lol
    nice work with the risers, i see you got to the relevant section in the E manual
    unfortunate with the crucible, your ass will be so tight you wont fart for a week 😀

  32. Loved it. Wow, the accident. Could have been worse!
    Maybe printing higher layer heights would help?
    Looks like the views are going strong!
    Many thanks for sharing!
    Keep'em coming?

  33. outstanding work there fella as usual 🙂 bet there were some choice words flying around when you had the spill :O

  34. If your planning to do more prints, maybe look at using a letter mold using the wax to make the letters yourself. Might take awhile

  35. Nice job! However, you may have omitted a step after the crucible fell. I didn’t hear you mention “I changed my trousers after I pooped when I saw molten metal everywhere. “

  36. use 0,2mm extruder head, layer 0,06mm and place model vertikal with support, quality be better

  37. Great job! Glad you didn't get hurt when you dropped the crucible. That crack about modeling the starship Enterprise made me think, you should cast the starship Enterprise!!

  38. Aw mate, you did it again – awesome coin !! Hope the damage wasn't too severe – could've been nasty. Glad your OK. Cheers 😃👍👍👍

  39. wow, scary dropping molten metal! I said a few other things watching it, but thought I'd keep the stuff G rated here! Glad no major issues!

  40. Enterprise, definitely. 😀 Good work not melting your face off! Certainly glad that didn't go any worse. Thank you, as always, for a top-notch video! 🙂

  41. for future you may want to setting the coin at a 45 or 90 degree angle when printing, that would allow for much finer detail, although you would get more layer lines but for a small item you could use super small layer lines like .5 but up to u all in all it looks decent either way. i have just found it really useful to print high detail small things in a vertical orientation

  42. 😫 He dropped it!
    Meh, no harm done, apparently. What kind of fire extinguisher do you keep to hand? 😉

  43. What'd you use for reference pics? I've been wanting to 3D model and print one as well but was disappointed by what I was able to pull from the films…even in 4K! 🙁 There's much better references for the 'marker' from Chapter 2, since they did that whole intro flyaround of it. 🤔

    Turned out great, all things considered. (Yikes, that crucible drop!😬 Glad you're okay!) If you ever do a follow-up and make even better ones, you should totally use that clip from the second movie of Winston examining a new run of coins and saying "Impeccable!" 😉

  44. Geoff, Thank you for the reminder to check your equipment. So very glad you are not injured.

    Are you selling Wick knock offs yet? I would gladly pay the super painful shipping.

  45. Hey Geoff! Well that turned out fairly well. Least you didn't burn down your garage, or shop! Have you tried printing with a .2 or .3 nozzle? It takes longer but the CR10 might handle it well? Anyways, another awesome example of your craft. Glad you did get hurt! Pedro

  46. The coin came out nice, glad you had no shrinkage issues. Dropping a crucible is scary stuff, glad you came out uninjured…

  47. Wow, you do some amazing stuff, now all you need to do is print your own notes and your set 🙂 Thank you, it really highlights safety first.

  48. Have you considered a SLA or DLP printer for more detail?
    Don't know how the burnout would work though.
    Great video (glad your ok) Keep up the good work.

  49. Hahaha! Great video Geoff! Personally I'd go with the new series Enterprise! The crucible fall was a bit disturbing… I'm glad you weren't hurt. (Pride aside…)

    I finally finished the wax pattern for my partners surprise piece. I printed your flask/casting tree (terrific design by the way) and mixed, vacuumed poured and vacuumed the flask. I fired up my kiln and burnt out the wax (actually that's an understatement).

    Basically this is where everything turned "tits up". I heated up the metal and went to pour using my own vacuum assisted design. The silicone seal failed, so I abandoned the first pour. Unfortunately, my frustration and impatience got the better of me and I poured the metal too cold while the flask was also too cold. Unbelievably, the main part of the project (basically a pendant) came out ok, but the 'ring'? (where the necklace passes through – my brain isn't functioning properly – too much red wine) didn't form completely.

    I am currently trying to solder/braze a cast loop onto the piece.

    I don't have a video camera, but I took some pics. I'll send them to you after I have finished.

    Here's a spoiler… I hadn't used the kiln before and had no idea how hot it would get. I should have tested it first, but….

    Who'd have thought that it would get hot enough to melt the cast iron muffin tray I was using to catch the wax/ash?! Not just melt it, but it was bubbling in the floor when I opened the kiln door. Now I have to replace the floor in the kiln. Not just that, but the steel flask (about 4mm thick) was almost gone completly!) I should do a video on how NOT to investment cast pieces!

    All the best.

  50. Try antiquing that sucker to make it look like it came out of archaeological dig. You'll hide or otherwise justify the imperfections of the printer.

  51. Really cool. I've also have wanted a Han Solo's Smuggler's coin that he throws at the bartender for the mess…but yet to find what it looks like. You could try a 0.2 nozzle on your printer for finer detail.

  52. I'm glad you weren't harmed in the accident! And the casting looks great.
    Someone else had commented on the improving the printing quality. Actually, just by printing on the edge you should see better result even with your standard 0.4 nozzle. Of course, I would recommend using supports to better stabilize it while printing. The other advantage is that you can print both surfaces of the coin at once. Down side: the round edge of the coin would most likely show some artifacting and also scarring because of the supports.

  53. -Congratulations on the way you saved the pour.
    If you were to carry this coin around amongst your mixed change for a few weeks I´m sure the print imperfections would come to resemble wear and tear even more than they already do.

  54. As mentioned elsewhere, I'd be inclined also to print the coin on edge with a finer nozzle. And also print it in two halves with the diameter on the print bed for each to obviate the need for support. The F360 model can then include radii on the hard edges around the details of the profiled figures etc. using fillets and also can include some radial camber on the coin background, too.

    The comment about the relationship between the z-axis screws and nozzle diameter for min nozzle size selection is interesting .

    I did something similar recently, but a little bigger. I only have 0.4mm nozzles, so the text on mine got compromised as yours did because it wouldn't really slice very well. I didn't make it for casting, though; it was just printed and painted.

    Great content as usual, but please be careful.

  55. Hi VOG aka Geoff! Ram here… I suggest you print the coins on standing position. I do a lot of 3d printing since I work at XYZ printers. And learned that printing the coin on standing position makes the detail stand out more… I can also share you some of my casting work since I'm a part time bladesmith in my own shop during the weekends you can look me up on facebook and maybe we can share some ideas… Lookin forward for your reply

  56. Good job, watching your videos takes me back to when I was casting jewelry. I miss it but I don't have the equipment or the place to make jewelry anymore.

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