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 Post subject: Plastics
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:59 am
Location: Glastonbury, CT (USA)
Hi guys, i've been puzzle modding for a while now and I think i'm ready to upgrade to the next step and start working with plastics and molds. How hard is it to make molds and the cast your pieces? Also, since I dont have a gas mask, would it be safe to do this outside with a weak dust mask?

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Last edited by Scott Bedard on Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:48 am 
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It really depends on the plastic. Some you could probably get away with no mask at all, as long as you were well ventilated.

You should look into an earlier post (i'm too lazy to right now) that shows Tony Fishers? Golden cube and how it was cast from master pieces to finished project with lots of pictures. That should help you alot.

Hope that helps.

-adam-

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:05 pm 
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viewtopic.php?p=28127&highlight=#28127

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:45 pm 
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As stated in that thread I would strongly advise people not to copy my methods. There are far better ways mentioned on this forum. I would suggest doing a search.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:24 am 
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I myself have had some good experiences with casting pieces, but you have to have suitable materials, and those aren't cheap. Good if you plan on making a lot of puzzles with lots of identicle pieces.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:33 am 
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I am acualy hoping to make mostly out-of-production puzzles. Octahedron, Square One, and so on. But I also want to make customs like Mental Blocks, Cuboctahedrons, and stuff like that. As for my cuboids I think i'll stick to making those like i do now.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:49 pm 
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Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Huh. What a coincidence. I didn't even notice this post before putting up my auction.

As I said to you in the private PM, two part polyurethane is almost odorless and generally doesn't outgas toxic fumes as it cures. A well ventilated room should be sufficient for most work although with long term exposure some sort of protection is always advisable.

Go for a clear resin base if at all possible, something with a "shore hardness" of about 70D-85D. This will yield a puzzle that has a very "plastic" feel to it. The puzzle pieces will be durable and stand up well to wear. It will also be easier to tint the pieces black when you use a liquid tint. Stay away from pigment paste, which is a bit more finicky to use.


I can't give you any product recommendations exactly, but as I said before, http://www.conap.com has clear Conathane resin in various hardnesses and working times. Another alternative is the Smooth-Cast clear resin from http://www.smooth-on.com. I think Smooth-on has the more accessible page for the hobbyist.

Good luck on your endeavor.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:39 pm 
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From smooth-on, what rubber would you recommend for making a fairly durrable mold?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Jin, i was wondering if you had any common materials to compare the hardness of resins to. Do you know any material that has a similar hardness to 70D? 85D? Is 70 cutting it close on the hardness. I have surely seen more resins with hardnesses of 70 than 80. Will the difference be very drastic. :(


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:38 am 
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I seriously don't think you'll notice the difference between 70 and 80 shore D hardness unless you're casting very thin parts. For puzzle pieces I think the difference will be negligible.

There are others who have more experience with casting urethanes (like Mr. Gigaminx, for example) so maybe one of them can chime in with their experiences.

I used 85 shore hardness urethane for my mini mental block, by the way. And that is very hard. Doesn't feel like there is any give to the plastic and I could easily imagine that a less hard urethane could have been just as suitable for puzzle making.

As for mold material, I used a 30? Shore A hardness polyurethane. From what I understand Silicone seems to be the preferred molding material. Again I'd wait for someone else to chime in.

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