So you’ve played around with resin long enough that you want to try making your own molds. Cool. When it comes to making a resin mold, here’s where you have to start:
You need a model.
Let me repeat it.
You need a model.
I get many email requests for help with a custom mold only to find out the resin crafter doesn’t have a model. For you to make a mold of something, you must have a template to mold. You cannot carve out silicone or create a shape in the silicone without a template.
So how do you get a model for making a resin mold?
Almost anything can serve as a model. Here are a few examples of suitable materials for models:
Other resin castings
⚠️ IMPORTANT: Be sure you are not violating any copyright laws. While it’s one thing to mold and recast someone else’s design for your own personal use, it’s another thing to recast something and sell it to others. If you are unsure if your model is legal for you to use, then don’t resell anything.
What happens if you have an idea for making a resin mold but don’t have a model?
You must create your own. How do you do that?
Here are a few ways:
1. Let’s say you want to make a paperweight that measures two inches square by 1 inch tall. Look for a woodworker that will cut, sand, and polish a wood piece that can serve as the template for your mold.
2. Have a more complicated design? Find someone experienced in CAD/CAM work that can create a wax prototype for you. Wax models are great templates for silicone molds.
3. Good with a computer? There are companies that let you upload a design that can be printed as a three-dimensional object. In fact, 3D printing is so popular now, you might have local options. Print it in something like plastic to easily allow it to become the model for your next mold.
Now you have a model. What’s next at making the resin mold?
1. Build or secure an appropriate mold container for your piece. Empty plastic food containers are an excellent choice for a mold box. They are inexpensive and generally very flexible. If you build a mold box, make sure all sides are leakproof.
2. If your model is porous (wood, for example), seal it before using it with a mold-making material. Otherwise, the mold material may sticks, making it impossible to demold later.
3. Before pouring in the mold material, cover your model with a light coat of a release agent.
Uh, this pouring silicone looks really hard. Is there something else I can try for making a resin mold?
Yes! Two-part silicone mold putty is easy to use and can also make great molds. This shows how easy it is to use the putty.
Want to learn more about the basics of epoxy resin?
Then you’ll want to grab the ebook I wrote especially for resin beginners. In a couple of hours, you’ll go from confused to confident with resin. It’s the book I wish I had when I started. Buy now and get a download link in minutes.
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