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Best material - rigid enough to form - reusable

 
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sreph45
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Joined: 03 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Best material - rigid enough to form - reusable Reply with quote

looking for inexpensive material that can be shaped, then vacuum formed without the shape changing, and can then be reused... or so inexpensive that it doesn't matter if it's wasted... can clay be frozen then vacuum formed? thawed and then reused?

The application is to quickly create custom molds for chocolate/soap/wax..for some local fundraisers

the only solution I can come up with so far is polymer clay, form it, bake it for 20 minutes and discard it

sorry if this is too 'newbie' or already covered somewhere..

Awesome forum, by the way..

thanks
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jdougn
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Best material - rigid enough to form - reusable Reply with quote

sreph45 wrote:
looking for inexpensive material that can be shaped, then vacuum formed without the shape changing, and can then be reused... or so inexpensive that it doesn't matter if it's wasted... can clay be frozen then vacuum formed? thawed and then reused?

The application is to quickly create custom molds for chocolate/soap/wax..for some local fundraisers

the only solution I can come up with so far is polymer clay, form it, bake it for 20 minutes and discard it

sorry if this is too 'newbie' or already covered somewhere..

Awesome forum, by the way..

thanks


Interesting idea. What type of vacuum system & plastic are you using? Also, how much detail is involved in the mold?

The polymer clay may be a really good option. My first thought on frozen clay is that it would immediately melt and lose detail when the hot plastic hit it. It may also be an idea to make the original shape with clay then use hydrostone (like plaster of paris but stronger) to create a mold for vac forming.

Others will probably offer good suggestions too.

DougN
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sreph45
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Best material - rigid enough to form - reusable Reply with quote

Quote:
Interesting idea. What type of vacuum system & plastic are you using? Also, how much detail is involved in the mold?


I'll be using a homemade system, almost like this one from tk560


Plastic is HDPE

Detail, not any more than you'd find on a standard candy bar...1/4" to 2" letters. I'm not sure how much surface detail can be picked up by the plastic, having never tried it. I'd be happy with basic shapes and letters

I really like the idea using clay and the hydrostone
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jdougn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Best material - rigid enough to form - reusable Reply with quote

sreph45 wrote:
I'll be using a homemade system, almost like this one from tk560
Plastic is HDPE

Detail, not any more than you'd find on a standard candy bar...1/4" to 2" letters. I'm not sure how much surface detail can be picked up by the plastic, having never tried it. I'd be happy with basic shapes and letters

I really like the idea using clay and the hydrostone


Give it a shot and see how it goes! Let us know your results too. The ABS that I use will actually pick up coarse wood grain on the mold side. Of course, YMMV.
DougN
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stormtrooperguy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mostly use HIPS and find that every detail is picked up.

If I form over a stack of MDF that was glued and clamped, I get the seams in my pull.
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sreph45
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know that much about the different plastics, for what I'm doing, it has to be food safe... I'm hoping the HDPE picks up subtle details OK.

I just thought of something... I could use one of the computer controlled cutting machine (Silhouette HD, Cricut) to cut layers of chip board or stencil material or 110 card stock...

Do you think the HDPE would pick up the detail of letter and shapes cut out of about 2-3 pieces of 110 lb cardstock or chipboard, stacked on top of each other?

I'm anxious to try it... I got my plastic today... USPlastics is awesome, I ordered 8 sheets, and they only charged $16 for shipping and I got it two days from checkout, can't beat that
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jdougn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sreph45 wrote:
.....Do you think the HDPE would pick up the detail of letter and shapes cut out of about 2-3 pieces of 110 lb cardstock or chipboard, stacked on top of each other?........


How thick would 2-3 layers of 110lb card stock be? If you're getting good pulls I think it'll easily pick-up that detail. If not, just add a few more layers of card stock.
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sreph45
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdougn wrote:
How thick would 2-3 layers of 110lb card stock be? If you're getting good pulls I think it'll easily pick-up that detail. If not, just add a few more layers of card stock.


4 sheets are almost 1/16" (about 1.5 mm)
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