Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cockatoo skull casting

The upper beak of parrots is hinged while the lower one has a sliding pivot from a short arm joined to the skull. Both are connected by a complex process of the palate and the result gives these birds an incredibly dexterous beak, capable of doing a lot of damage with great co-ordination.

To do a lost wax casting like this is very painstaking - a rubber mold cannot be made of the whole thing because it couldn't be removed. So the skull is trepanned and dissected, very thin sections are built up and molds made of the components. The whole is then easily assembled from the resulting injected wax parts and investment cast.

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