• Study your maths, Kids....Key to the Universe!

    Jumping into the next learning curve in making molds of the things I have been printing.

    I chose two pins I designed for my first molds. Bear with me as I don't know how this blog post will lay out so I am givijng you the overall of what I did just in case I can't caption the photos.

    I measured them and traced out their shape, trying to find the area of the mold box. Once that's done I glue them to Faom-cor board (Did you know that molten glue is really effing hot? My fingers know) Now I use more Foam-cor to make walls of the mold box for the pins. I use rubber bands to hold them around the pin and glue them to the bottom then I wrapped blue painter's tape around them just in case. Taking each box I spray them both with a mold release spray (a good idea if you want to do this right, sorry no pic again).

    Now comes the measuring of the silcone for the mold, this stuff can be measurd by volume so you could just eyeball it if you want to, but I wanted to try and save material so I weighed it out on a digital scale after using a handy claculator on the Smooth-on website. Once I poured in both parts of the silicone I mixed it thoroughly with a wooden tongue depressor until the color was uniform, and poured it into the mold (I couldn't get a pic of me pouring because it was too awkward to do, sorry) I poured it high up turning it into a thin stream and starting in a corner and letting it find it's own level as it covered the pins, until I filled it to about a half n inch above the pin. Now the waiting game, since this type takes six hours to solidify.

    Coming back and poking it we find it solid and I start pulling the walls of the box off and then slowly peel the mold off of the pin. Not too bad, but my glue skills need some work as you can see the silicone crept under the pin a bit, but this can be cleaned up with a xacto knife and tweezers. Once I've got the molds all clean and pretty you can see the detail in reverse, pretty good, way to go Me!

    Now it's time to cast, using a liquid plastic that also comes in two parts. Unlike the silicone this stuff is really fast in curing time, and it gets hot while it does. So we take our molds and spray them again with the mold release and then measure out our parts of the plastic. I overpoured on both of them just because I figured I could clean them up if I had to.

    As you can see pretty quickly a white area forms as the chemical reaction happens, which spreads out from the thickest area to the thinnest. In about 25 min. the plastic is completely white and after a few more mintues it is solid and can be removed. I slowly bent the mold all the way around it until it all popped out and there you have it, with a bit of extra plastic removal you have a resin copy of your 3D print!

    Next up is the two part mold which is for all those complicated pieces I've made, and I am sure more learning curve shenanigans!

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