Making a 3D Printed mold is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I’ve always been intimidated by the industrial packaging of mold-making material and the steep learning curve involved in its use.
After watching this awesome video by designer Carmelo Nazario, I decided the process was easy enough to try on my own. I used a 3D model of a grumpy frog designed by Cindy Raggo as my jumping off point, and designed a two-part 3D printed mold around it.
The mold has two holes drilled in the base; one to pour the material, and one to allow air bubbles to escape. I used Ecoflex 00-20 silicone rubber material to make the model, due to its high level of stretchiness. I didn’t use any dye, which is why the model appears completely colorless and difficult to photograph.
I used a hot glue gun to weld the two pieces of the mold together to prevent any rubber from escaping, then poured the rubber into the pour hole. Once full, I tapped the sides and rocked it back and forth to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape.
Removing the frog is pretty straight-forward; just break the mold open and pull it out. Here’s a video showing how I did it.
The final frog was super adorable, and super stretchy. Ecoflex 00-20 is slightly softer than human skin, so it feels very rubbery to the touch.
If you’re interested in making molds and making copies of things, this is a fun way to do it! Be sure to check out Carmelo’s awesome video as a great way to get started!