Loading... Please wait...

Blog - molding expertise

The 5 Levels of Mold Making Expertise

Posted by

Mold making and casting is a craft and skill that requires practice to become better. Like learning to play music or sewing, there are certain skills that are easier than others. Here we look at the different skills and try to separate them into levels of proficiency.

Level 1: Simple Relief Sculpture Mold Making

A basic shape with no undercuts. Short sides so you can push in a casting material or it’s a simple pour.
Examples: one side of a button, a cookie shape, a pendant, or a stamp. This also includes large molds like concrete stamp pads or stepping stones.

Skills : Melting/using Reusable Molding Materials. Creating mold box (if used, ImPRESSive Putty doesn’t need a mold box). Understanding molding process. Creative design and use of casting materials. Almost anyone can do these types of molds and it’s a great way to explore mold making in classrooms.
Lots of our fast video examples are level 1 molds:

Examples include:
Custom soap molds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krKXXJU1EwU
Polymer Clay push mold decals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgYkmw4VFwo
Polymer clay leaf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkbhtzgcbGw
Lace in fondant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2TTTRFbz6g
Button molds with ImPRESSive Putty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ARvikSofI0
Soft bait fishing lures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mty4PVtJ1g
Restoring frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2D6R0Lw22k


Level 2: Basic Undercuts with a flat bottom Mold making

Relief sculptures with undercuts that can still be removed by pushing out the shapes. Examples include
Chess piece, some figurines, many sculpture pieces.
Skills: Level 1 skills and a little more confidence to push and pull on the molds to get the castings out.
Big chocolate gnome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEtlj8YtcCo
ImPRESSive Putty Building Renovation project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVjs3W5Ls4A
Resin Casting of Toy Stone Wall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urk8DqbJ1Ns

Level 3: Intermediate mold maker

Cut Block Molds and brush on molds would fit in with the intermediate mold maker.
Skills include: figuring out where to cut the mold to create a parting line, planning how you will get your part out of the mold. Here’s some video examples:
Big Plaster Duck is Level 3 because of the duck bill and head, but it’s still pretty simple with the a single pour mold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_x2TM943yY
Cut blog chocolate figurine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xGWrGZX4Ic
Resin Casting Action Hero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKqjLlvqKyo
Chocolate high heel shoe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3q90i0VW2o
This is a big concrete dog, but the basics are the same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkR9t7Os6l8

Here’s a brush on mold (now I’d just press on ImPRESSive Putty to do this)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFR2eJymfDQ

Level 4: Advanced mold maker

Two Part Molds, deep undercuts, multiple parts, thin walls. The skills needed include creating parting lines, and designing sprues.

Combining ImPRESSive Putty and ComposiMold for a Thin Walled boat hull plug: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2qgP_kN3Os

Two part mold action figure: https://youtu.be/rtxgSLUYwIg


Just the size of the chocolate horse’s head makes it a challenge: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt1RqjF1MIk

Level 5: Master Molder

Some things, no matter how simple the mold making material is to use is complex. It will take thinking, expertise, and experimenting to make the complex molds. We endlessly are asked how to make a 3 part casting of a giant (or microscopic) dragon with wings and horns with movable arms, head, and legs, plus the rider carrying swords, a backpack, and hallo. Our response typically is to start simple and expand your skills by moving to more complex. Because ComposiMold is re-usable, start with the dragon’s head or the sword and work up to the more complicated. You will make mistakes, and you will need to experiment. And that’s why ComposiMold exists. So you can learn, experiment, and create as you like.

Here’s some examples of some pretty complex parts. Each individual piece of a Lego person that can be used to make an entirely new usable Lego person. Full moving Lego person: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQtudWSxVUQ (3 full length parts going through the entire process)
Making a hollow/movable parts Shopkin’s Toy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kkJ0BqfjGI

The casting materials you use are somewhat immaterial of your molding level. You can use epoxy resin or plaster or chocolate for simple molds or complex mold making. Exceptions for ComposiMold include using ComposiMold for the lost wax process or high temperature sugars in ImPRESSive Putty.

While in many cases the casting material doesn’t matter, some molds ARE more complex because of the materials being molded or cast. For example, isomalt is challenging to work without practice. See it being used with the Food Safe ImPRESSive Putty here: https://youtu.be/5QJ_ePYpoaA
And higher temperature waxes can be a challenge with ComposiMold (but not an issue with ImPRESSive Putty) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6787iFpAdM

And Bath Bombs are challenging, not because of the mold making but because the bath bomb mixture cannot have a lot of water in it, but it does need some: https://youtu.be/-f2ZwXe0bwg
Jell-O or Gummies can be a challenge initially typically when the gelatin mixture is poured too hot. So by letting it cool, the process becomes very simple. Here’s a gummy Lego example: https://youtu.be/HA6U5u56y1I

When making the mold, you can sometimes run into challenges that are more complex includimg the molding of low melt polymer clays like Plasticine or molding frozen object. This requires the ComposiMold to be poured after it has cooled a bit and keeping the objects cold.

Which level are you?

So what molds have you made? Are you an intermediate mold maker? Advanced?

We’d like to add on these descriptions, so any thoughts and suggestions from you would be helpful. We’ll be updating the information in our blog (http://composimoldstore.com/blog/) as well as our Learn to Mold section of our website. http://composimoldstore.com/learn

Thank you and keep making awesome!

ComposiMold Reusable Molding Materials



 
Why ComposiMold for Mold Making? Because it works