Before you get to work on the final product of your design, it’s in your best interests to make a prototype first, right? Of course. You’ll have a physical sample to test and abuse, plus you can adjust the aesthetics of the design without worrying about the cost. We’ve covered plenty about 3D printing, but what about resin casting?
Resin casting is one easy way to make 3D design prototypes. Quite common before 3D printing and still to this day. Our friend and occasional SolidSmack contributor, Eric Strebel, runs his own industrial design studio and has gladly shared seven tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your resin casting. Let’s countdown with him starting with #7.
Use Reusable Cups
It may sound simple, but reusing old silicone or polypropylene cups helps save money and gives you containers which resin doesn’t stick to. At least one of the cups you use at home is made from one of these materials, so don’t go rushing to the store for something you already have!
Ketchup Pumps Help With Pouring Resin from Jugs
Constantly having to lift a heavy jug to pour resin into a tiny cup can become a waste of time, so Eric suggests buying some cheap ketchup pumps to siphon out the resin. It doesn’t just save a lot of muscle work, but it also makes measuring the amount of resin to be used a lot easier.
Unlike most resin casters, Eric uses syringes to measure the amount of resin before injecting it into the mold. While this method is more accurate, it does leave behind syringes full of resin. By using a hammer to chip out the resin and a homemade air compressor, you can flush out the resin to make your syringes usable again. It does seem a bit crude, but it works!
Use Exercise Weights to Keep Your Molds in Place
Even if you don’t exercise yourself, scrounging your neighbors’ trash cans or asking a fit relative for some exercise weights helps save money when looking for something to hold your molds together while they dry.
Make Your Own Silicone Pad from Excess Silicone
Pour the extra silicone from a previous mold onto a glass table, leave it to cure, and you now have a silicone pad which nothing sticks to! Who said the best things in life aren’t free?
Make Your Own Resin Mixing Sticks
Silicone isn’t the only thing you have a lot of after a resin casting. Not only can you use silicone to make mixing pads, but by crafting a silicone mold to pour excess resin into, you now have an endless supply of resin mixing sticks!
Use A Drip Hammer to Accurately Place Your Resin
More often than not, your mold doesn’t come out exactly how you want. Sometimes it leaves air pockets which turn into tiny craters that need filled. A drip hammer can fix these annoying buggers. Simply dip the tip of a stick in resin and let it fall off to the side to create a hammer-looking tool. The hardened resin can then be dipped into wet resin and can be used to accurately place the droplets onto your mold.
What do you think? These are some great, cost-effective hacks to make the best mold possible. Eric has more tutorials and tips on product design in general, so head to his YouTube channel for more!