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Casting custom Heatsinks, What Metal to Use?

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I wanted to try my hand at casting and pooring some custom heatsinks.
Obviously some metals are a lot easier to work with than others. I am looking for something is affordable, has a low melting point, and will work well as a heatsink for my 1.8w lasers.

Any recommendations?
 

Pontiacg5

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Aluminum, melts fairly easily and casts well.

Most custom laser sinks are machined from bar stock though, not cast.
 

qumefox

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Aluminum would probably be your best bet, though to be honest, unless your heatsink design has something special about it that would cut down on machine time to finish it by casting, then your not really saving any time by doing it instead of just machining it out of stock.
 

Benm

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The problem with casting is that you will probably need to still drill a hole that fits the laser module. As it is, there are plenty of heatsinks available that only need an aixiz-sized hole to make them useable, so i think casting your own could be a wasted effort.
 

scopeguy20

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I am working on casting them in Sterling Silver, it's not real cheap, but is a bit better for heat transfer than say, brass or aluminum... mine w/b cast, and the lens thread and diode seat will be cut after casting & will cost between $25 and $35 but will be worth it inho. -Glenn
 
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I've been wanting to try casting. I could pump out sinks so fast with casting. If i could just cast them the right length and diameter, with "almost" the right size hole, then i could just send the 12mm reamer through the center, add a set screw, polish it and be done.
 
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Casting looks like a fun idea regardless if it might take a little more work.
Can take care of all your soda cans or any junk aluminum you got laying around. lol

I have a good bit of stuff to start myself " i hope"
But i have been looking at small lathes for a while instead.
 

Pontiacg5

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I've been wanting to try casting. I could pump out sinks so fast with casting. If i could just cast them the right length and diameter, with "almost" the right size hole, then i could just send the 12mm reamer through the center, add a set screw, polish it and be done.

You know, I could probably put some bar stock on my automatic bandsaw and cut it to length for you.

Or, better yet, you could just come over to my shop and "borrow" the saw :crackup:
 

scopeguy20

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Aside from Diamond, & Gold, there are few better heat transmitters than Silver and it casts very well... ;) -Glenn
 

HIMNL9

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^ no problem, just find a diamond rod big enough, and i will work it for you ..... :p

(just kidding :p :D)
 

Cyparagon

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Gold is somewhere between aluminum and copper in terms of thermal conductivity. Even with a conductivity of ∞, your diode will still have a duty cycle because few people think about transferring that heat to air. I'd much rather have finned aluminum than a solid block of copper.
 
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I'm going to do aluminum. I tried copper, but melted the pot out from underneath it lol. It was a really nice thick pot, guess it was some kind of aluminum alloy. Honestly didn't think it would melt first.

It has been a lot of fun, it is certainly a skill worth learning and carries a lot of nostalgia with it.
 




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