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Factory Visit: Lake Geneva, WI

12:49PM, 4/14/16

The Loop Bottle Opener is manufactured in Lake Geneva, WI by Wisconsin Precision Casting. The process, known as lost wax casting or investment casting, provides a high level of detail and consistency with each part that is cast. 

 

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The process starts with the CNC (Computer Numeric Control) fabrication of an aluminum mold (the "tool") which is based on detailed design specifications provided by Field in collaboration with Oscar Diaz. For each Loop bottle opener being manufactured, a wax positive must be produced. The tool allows for precise and identical wax copies of the bottle opener to be made through the injection of hot wax into the mold.

 

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Each wax part is then added to a sprue, otherwise referred to as the "tree."

 

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The tree is dipped into a fused silica slurry by hand or machine. Multiple coats are applied, with a dried stucco added in between each coat, to create a hard and durable ceramic mold.

 

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Once the silica mold is dried, the wax is completely burned out in a pressurized steam vessel, leaving the an empty shell.

 

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The ceramic molds are fired to 1800°F.

 

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A specific alloy of stainless steel is heated to 3000°F and poured into the mold.

 

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Once the metal has cooled, the shell is removed with high pressure water. After a rough cut to remove the parts from the sprue, the final process is grinding the "gate" off of each piece with a CNC sander.

 

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Once the Loop has been cast and ground off the tree, small modifications such as flattening or straightening are made by hand.

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