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Thread: Mould making and Casting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
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    Mould making and Casting

    Some new developments for us this year is that we have taken new premises about 2km from us , mostly for storage - its 1800 sq ft with a mezzanine floor. Importing a whole years stock has hurt me in a few ways , room in my factory/workshop is at a huge premium as there are towers of boxes , stacks of acrylic and so on making it difficult and dangerous to navigate there , apart from that , the dent in my cash flow is only now starting to unravel. I am going to store excess stock there , maybe a vehicle or 2 (I collect american muscle) but more importantly , the small industrial unit we are renting has a huge extractor into one of its "rooms".
    I have always wanted to expand and develop my limited moulding and casting setup , which was mickey mouse. The extractor is perfect , it will allow us to cast using cheaper polyester resins and use other stuff we couldnt cos of inadequate ventilation.

    In terms of using silicon/rubber rubber moulds , one can cast using polyester , polyurethanes , epoxies , clear casting resin and low melting point metals like pewter and lead and zinc etc. You can simulate bronze , copper , brass and pewter by mixing metal powders with the resin , thus making something that looks and feels like metal (cold casting)
    I have been on 2 weekend courses re mould making and casting and am now all fired up and ready to go , we have bought vacuum machines (for degassing) , scales , mixing and dosing machinery , have made large casting tables and heat chambers (to accelerate curing etc).
    I have tons of products I would like to make , and one can basically use ANYTHING as a master , clay , plastics , acrylic , wood , mechanical wood , wax etc . With a laser , a cnc machine and some hand carving , the range of items and products one can make is limitless.

    I plan to use mostly products from smooth-on (www.smooth-on.com ) , I don't really wanna use the cheaper chinese stuff , even tho the smooth on stuff is more , it WORKS!!!
    Lots of videos of casting on their site. The total one would need to start out moulding on a semi decent production basis is about $2000 , but you could start off at much less , $200 for enough stuff to "give it a bash"
    I intend to cast custom awards , figurines , trophy fittings , resin and acrylic jewellery , badges , car badges , car lens replacements , faux bronze/metal plaques , make my own marbelised , custom and wood bases out of resin , do embedments , make various household items etc.
    As I progress with this , I will post some pic's of what we are doing/making.
    Watch this space!!!
    Rodney Gold, Toker Bros trophies, Cape Town , South Africa :
    Roland 2300 rotary . 3 x ISEL's ..1m x 500mm CnC .
    Tekcel 1200x2400 router , 900 x 600 60w Shenui laser , 1200 x 800 80w Reci tube Shenhui Laser
    6 x longtai lasers 400x600 60w , 1 x longtai 20w fiber
    2x Gravo manual engravers , Roland 540 large format printer/cutter. CLTT setup
    1600mm hot and cold laminator , 3x Dopag resin dispensers , sandblasting setup, acid etcher

  2. #2
    Really very good asset to have in an award making field, we just 3 months old to start with and expecting a lot to learn....
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    "If you think you can or you cannot - you're right" HENRY FORD

  3. #3
    Wow, Rod, that is so ambitious and exciting! I'd love to see pix of what you develop... with your design skills, I'll bet the trophy parts alone will be outstandingly cool and unique.

    Keep us posted for sure!

    ~ dee
    Epilog Mini 18/25w & 35w, Mac and Vaio, Corel x3, typical art toys, airbrush... I'm a Laserhead, my husband is a Neanderthal - go figure

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  4. #4
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    Subscribing...
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  5. #5
    Lots and lots of pictures please.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Sunny Palm Harbor Florida
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    Hi Rodney,
    Welcome to my world. We started making plugs and molds years ago. Our first was our R/C Airplane Scale pilot busts and we grew like crazy. Everything from proto-types, parts , r/c airplanes to medical vending equipment. Between the fiberglass work, chopper system, cnc router and the laser, our days are full from morn to night being a family owned and operated small business.

    A very handy tool is the DAVID Software/scanner. Lots of fun for creating the plug for your molds.

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Cheers,
    Vicki
    JR Laser Solutions

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    3,922
    Well, considering I'm a newbie at this , any tips or hints will be real welcome We getting the keys to the premises today and have a big degasser on the way , plan to make a real start at the end of next week. Only issue with me is the origination of sclupture type artwork , we have a tame sculptor who will do work for us , http://www.harryjohnson.net/ but his sculptures are not the "smooth" quality we desire - so I will have to see what we can do in house..
    I have realised a laser by itself is really not a tool that can generate big income , however if you use it with some ingenuity , you can have a range of products that DO generate moolah..
    Rodney Gold, Toker Bros trophies, Cape Town , South Africa :
    Roland 2300 rotary . 3 x ISEL's ..1m x 500mm CnC .
    Tekcel 1200x2400 router , 900 x 600 60w Shenui laser , 1200 x 800 80w Reci tube Shenhui Laser
    6 x longtai lasers 400x600 60w , 1 x longtai 20w fiber
    2x Gravo manual engravers , Roland 540 large format printer/cutter. CLTT setup
    1600mm hot and cold laminator , 3x Dopag resin dispensers , sandblasting setup, acid etcher

  8. #8
    Sounds great and exciting - I'll stay tuned
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