Accurate enough to produce moulds?

Discussion in 'Technologies and Hardware' started by Nastrazzurro, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Nastrazzurro
    Nastrazzurro New Member
    I am considering producing dinosaur model kits together with a ZBrush expert. I have no experience with 3D printing at all.

    My first thought was that 3D printing could be used to print a model dinosaur, and then silicone moulds would be produced from that in the usual way: you first have to cover up one side of your physical model with clay. The result is half of a dinosaur sticking out of a clay background. Let's call this the 'mother mould'. Normally you pour silicone rubber over it to produce one half of the 'real mould'. After the rubber has set, you turn it over, remove the clay, and in essence you now have a new 'mother mould' for the other side. Pour rubber over it to get the new 'real mould'. The two halves of the 'real mould' can be used to produce models. I hope this is clear without illustrations...

    I thought that part of the process could be skipped. I propose to model the two 'mother moulds' directly in ZBrush, and then to get them printed in 3D. With that it would be very easy to produce 'real moulds' (and if these ever wear out, new ones could be made).

    Would this work? Is 3D printing accurate enough for the resulting mother moulds to fit together precisely enough?
  2. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    First, currently there is no material that would work like silicone moulds, so you better print the model then make traditional moulds, and it would not be cheap anyways. And second you will want to improve the prints before doing the moulds, the polygon limit, the printer settings and the materials are still not up to the level of what you can get by hand. So print the dino base, then get ready to work with putties until the surface is perfect.