Mould Design Community, what if…???
Hi everyone! I’m absolutely excited with the idea, it’s a great one and with a big set of tools to go on but I just find a “weak point” about all this stuff when we pretend to recycle and reuse the plastic on Dave’s machines… MOULDS!
There is nothing to do with an extruder machine without a mould… so I’m wondering how can it be fixed and it is not a simple matter.
The first “pain point” is about mould design. It is not only a matter of shape but also a question of architecture as the final product should be “nice and useful (durable)” so I want to invite everyone on a discussion about “design inteligence”. My point of view is that the “designers knowledge” should be implemented on the project and maybe to create a “Plastic’s Design Market” where any producer could buy or borrow a plastic mould design to made.
On the other hand, once there’s a mould to be made, we should talk about aluminium recycling for greensand casting or CNC milling; so there’s a need about aluminium casting techics, technical knowledge and technical skills to provide.. but also CNC machines building, stepper motors control and CNC software for mould designs making.
I think that it could be great if we find the way to merge design knowledge, mould design libraries and a mould makers list to give this project a “ready to go” state.
About mould casting, I would like to advice about how useful and efficient could be a “mould makers network”, as it is needed various requirements to produce quality moulds for long lasting use and production such as machinery, knowledge, space, and so on… maybe to arrange a regional clustering could be a must in order to maximize start-up speed and reduce production expenses to someone’s project.
Do you want to join the discussion?
Thank’s for your attention 🙂
Edit, Moved to PreciousPlastic forum
One aspect that I do not believe has been considered is that many people involved in some way or other within the open source community are usually very willing to help each other out. Many individuals became aware of the open source model due to computer software such as Linux. The open source concept has expanded into other sectors – one being the project by Precious Plastic.
While much collaboration is found within open source software development, open source projects do need to network more closely together. Open source software uses the modular design concept – so why not adapt it to plastic moulding?
Various 3D open source software applications have been developed and some individuals have become experts at using the software. Others having an engineering interest have developed LinuxCNC while others have converted machines to be controlled by the software. There exists an entire open source community out there that include experts in 2D drawing, 3D modeling, CNC machining and finally those involved in this project. (Note that the info within certain 3D modeling software can be converted to g-code which a CNC reads as instructions).
I am convinced that the resources for metal moulds lies within the open source community. Many individuals who have benefited from open source projects have a desire to give something back to the community. For example, the open source Hydroponic Automation Platform Initiative (HAPI) uses the open source Raspberry Pi miniature computing platform and also the open-source electronic prototyping platform Arduino. The HAPI project compliments my initiative in Africa which has been the development of a highly adaptable modular hydroponic system which if all goes to plan will be released as an open source system during 2017.
An engineering shop usually has very expensive capital equipment hence high recovery costs based on time. Furthermore, the people working for such a company are usually highly paid. In contrast, an enthusiast that has converted a milling machine or lathe to CNC and has it at home using open source methods should be supportive of a different open source project that converts plastic waste. The same applies to an open source graphic artist. By understanding the motivating force behind the open source model and embracing it yourself, you not only receive, but give back to the community.
As a last point – different open source projects can be viewed as modular components that can be arranged together for a common objective. By networking and consolidating the resources of different open source projects to ensure ultimate success (e.g. the greater availability of more resilient moulds) will mean more waste plastic being turned into useful items.
I intend to mass produce a specific design of a piece of plastic. I have looked on Internet around the whole country to find the best way for a fast prototype. It seems that all professionals are using silicon, which they frame later with a wood or metal frame to accept pressure. They charge a lot to do just that.
Look at that video, it shows how easy it seems to be, to DIY those molds
I am now convinced and I am looking in the market for the best silicon casting material available in my country (France)
Lots of people here are talking about how, in industry, the normal way to make a mould is to CNC a block of aluminium but how CNC machines aren’t that commonplace especially in the third world.
I’d strongly recommend a visit to http://www.homofaciens.de/
Norbert Heinz has an ongoing project aiming to provide education in machine building using everyday materials and simple tools. His CNC Machine V3 has a lot of potential and could me the answer to mould making problems.
Hi everyone, I finally could make it to the latest replies since I started reading yesterday 🙂
You guys had a lot of ideas and experiments about mold making, using alternative materials and processes. It was very instructive for me, so thank you all 🙂
One thing I was thinking about and might look easy to make… Some small size aluminium molds for injection or extrusion can be duplicated and regrouped into one larger mold. it implies some additional tinkering and redesigning how mold parts would fit together, but if done this can allow to mold many pieces at once.
Is it possible to produce much wider molds (perpendicular to injection/extrusion nozzle) to produce many pieces at once using a runner and gate system, just the way many small Lego bricks are manufactured in one mold ? (see pictures)
Are there any technical limitations for the v3 PP machines to perform with such molds ? maybe the larger mold surface will cool the injected/extruded plastic before it spreads to the farthest regions from the center…
@davehakkens any clues about this ?
after reading all the posts by everyone and it has been going on for over a year has anybody seen the 3d printed solution to this thread.???
Also we need a place where we can do instructional videos on “how to” make moulds just like @davehakkens has done to bring all this together.
@plastikfantastik WOW! That’s really exciting stuff – so we can use recycled plastics to extrude 3D printer filament to 3D print prototype products and then the moulds themselves!
Sorry, stating the obvious perhaps but this brings a whole new dimension to the table, doesn’t it!
So now we just have to come up with the product… something that everyone needs, everywhere in the world. Then create the component parts and the moulds. What’s to stop people in different countries printing different parts of a more complex item? And having assembly points in different countries!
Yeah the whole idea is to be able to send your printer file to anyone in the world and they could start making it. ( if they have the machine and extruder of course)
here is the link for what the idea is based on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTju-EH22uY&t=777s and this is why I’m so excited at the possibilities of this.
look at this article
I’d like to get help with a clipboard, rule, and pencil case to help kids with school supplies. Household items would be cool too.
Ok this topic got me exited… I don’t have a shredder, i don’t have any of the machines but I have my kitchen hoven (wich will do the job).
So next week i’m gonna try to remake a iPhone case in HDPE based on a cheap silicon mold. I ll make a video to document my experience.
If anyone as some advice feel free to share it (I already look up on youtube).
Keep you updated. 😉
I think this is a fantastic idea. Mold/Mould making is the bottleneck in this whole process. You have the machines, now what? I’d love to be able to produce small pots for planting tree seedlings (similar to Cone-Tainers), but to make a lot, relatively efficiently, I need an aluminum mold, and they seem to be incredibly expensive. It seems like it might be possible to create one by hand, but creating an accurate aluminum mold by hand would probably be extremely difficult. Instead finding people with milling machines who would be willing to collaborate would be amazing!
I’ve not heard of cone-trainers before, but a quick google gives this approx an inch diameter by 4-6″ tall?
Apart from the making of the mould, which looks like it would not be too hard for a competent machinist, there’s the question as to whether the injection machine could actually produce this, thin walls require a lot of pressure and quick injection of the plastic (see the problems Jerry had with the phone cover for a good example of what’s possible). Also as these cone trainers cost less than $0.10 each and it would take a reasonable time to mould each one, with possibly some cleanup/finishing also required, I’d have to ask if it’s really worth the effort involved to produce them yourself (other than the obvious environmental benefits).
waiting for it to dry i might wait 24h to be sure that it’s fully dry then i’ll post un update. I compressed it to be sure that the silicon goes all around the case.
Edit : after thought i should have put some all around first then place the case in the middle. anyway i will see
I work also with silicon mold.
But never didn’t them myself
It’s the first time ever for me but i felt like it was worse it to give it a try
Hi. I’ve read through the forum as the subject interests me. I’m a professor at a design school. I focus on process and production and i teach techniques of woodworking, digital fabrication, moldmaking, and plastics. In one of my classes we work with Precious Plastics. Currently we’re investigating the what do you make with the machines and how do you make it. You’ve gotta make something to make something. I think that version 3 of has begun to address this question.
There are various techniques and materials from cutting edge technology to traditional approaches that can be achieved and implemented. The questions are what is appropriate to the situation. There will never be a one size fits all solution. There is the question of what is available and what can be afforded. There are the basics of what will and won’t work are wether a material is an insulator or not, how well does it disperse heat and can it be cooled. Similarly to how plaster works for ceramic molds because it permits the evaporation of water allowing the clay to dry out and harden. The mold material needs to be appropriate to the required results.
Aluminum is an industry standard. It’s versatile. It can be cast, formed, machined, etc. Wood is used traditionally in glassblowing. It works but not as precision as aluminum. I’m investigating many different directions with my class and personally looking at the use of SLA printers to make “inserts” that can go into aluminum “mother molds” for use. This white paper from Formlabs describes the process. I’m looking at it as an alternative to machined aluminum.
I’ve been investigating this process specifically.
@dbougas here is the mold.
First learning is to not use old leather case and more of a plastic case. It disintegrated itself into the silicon.
The result is quite impressive the mold looks great and very precise, looks strong enough not to bend when pressing the HDPE into it.
My question right now is should i remove the (rounded) edges as i fell like the HDPE won’t flow into the sides and make the rounded finish edges at the end.
What do you think ??
Learning number 2 : next time I ll try with iPhone SE case as there is way less rounded edges 😝
Hello It’s been long time since I haven’t follow up on this.
So the main reason it’s that is has been a fail for multiple reasons, I ll try to explain my tests so you can learn from it.
The silicon molding went perfect I clean it up after it dried with a blade.
So i my first 2 or 3 attempts to pull plastic into it every I failed because the mold was to cold so every time I would push some plastic into the mold the plastic would get lower in temperature and get harder so it would not fill the mold.
At the end i decided to put the mold into the hoven but the mold wasn’t supporting the high temperature and bubble would create in the mold deforming the mold.
So to conclude story is to be continued….
I’ll try again with silicon with a higher temperature resistance to melt the plastic directly into the mold will se how it goes
and output products : they are both PS Cristal, translucent (sourced as single-use transparent cuttlery) and black (sourced as single use black platter)
Originally i went out in search for a descent size heat sink for a mould similar to http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/molds-from-the-scrapyard/ but unable to find one the size i wanted at a few scrap yards, i headed to the local aluminum store to buy new =( .. at the store i found a bin full of off cuts for cheap, so i picked up a few different i beams and a few flat pieces ($15USD’ish)
Back at home i easily cut the aluminum down to size with a saw, and with a few welders clamps ($2USD each) i had myself a mould to make small beams..
if you have any questions check out my forum post..
I wanna play! My aim is to take coke cans and make mold sets, depending on the mold needs various pre-made bricks will be machined to desired specs.
We did some coke can plastic melting test. The results described in our topic here.
If you just scroll to Weekly update number 11 you’ll see the result for just taking a can and filling it with PP and placing in an oven. This could definitely be machined to meet the product design specs (and also cheap and easy to make)
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