prepping for making a mold of a printed item

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by LincolnK, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    I want to cast some of my ideas in Silver, and I know that silver will be an option here soon. But, until then, I am thinking of making a silicon mold from a model printed by SW.

    It is going to be pretty small, and I would like it to have good detail, so i am thinking of using the clear detail material. Will I have to coat it with something to make it so the liquid silicone won't seep into the model?

    Has anyone here tried to do this yet?

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. bitstoatoms
    bitstoatoms Member
    Hold off Novaking,

    Silver is JUST around the corner....
    no problem with the silicon exept the doesn't stick with anytning exept sometimes the wood or glass. But to make a good mold, and if you don't have vacuum machine....make a little skin before to make your bubbles out and after finich it.

  4. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks for the info, Sophie.

    Dr. Scott, I want to cast some bronze figures as well as do a run of about 50 silver pieces. I think that It will not be cost effective to produce large runs via SW.

    Believe me, I am loving what SW can do, but it is not practical for manufacturing everything especially when factoring in the markup needed to make a profit. I feel that the costs and the time it takes to get the pieces keep it mostly useful in the prototyping stage for what I do.

    Also, I am running a business, and can not "hold off" on my business. Even if SW offered silver today, it would be about a month before I got my first piece, and then if it worked, It would be another month before I got a big batch to start selling. That would mean that I would not have them in time to sell for the Christmas season.
  5. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    Hi Linc,
    I was wondering, do you have a casting shop in house or are you planning to out source the service? If you are located in the US I can suggest a few companies who specialize in precious metal and/or small objects. Expect that any of these companies will want to make the molds themselves. This is not to make extra $$ but rather so the molds will better fit into their production methods. Generally they will do a better job of it and the cost is minimal. If you want them to cast a single wax model to produce a metal master expect to pay a premium. Once a metal master is produced and finished to your liking then a mold (usually vulcanized rubber) will be made. Liquid silicone based molds produce better initial tolerances than vulcanized rubber but have a lower useful production life.

    You should also realize that it will be impossible to make molds from some 3dp shapes. A double Moebius ring, forget about it! This is the real beauty and value of 3dp, it allows shapes that are impractical or impossible to produce any other way.

  6. ibec
    ibec New Member
  7. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Hi Glen,

    I out source the service. I have a place already, but am always interested in comparing quality and price with other places.

    I do live in the U.S., so please let me know more about what companies you suggest.

  8. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    Hi Linc,
    sorry to take so long getting back to you. One of the better known jewelry casters is the Billanti Co. They are located in NYC. Another company I used to deal with was, the Irving Lang Co. also from NYC. Both do excellent work, expect to pay top dollar for all services rendered. Just understand they tend to give priority to established hi volume customers.

    Another choice would be "Sandretto's" They are located in Pittsburgh and can be reached at : <>. Tom Sandretto is the owner. They do impeccable work. Because they are somewhat out of the mainstream this would be my first choice for quality, technical expertise and service.

  9. LincolnK
    LincolnK New Member
    Thanks for the info!

  10. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    sent you a "PM", comments on Sandretto.