Making a Silicone Mold for a Whole Suit

Phauxelate

Active Member
Hello once again! I'm not dead!

Since I've done my first Halo suit, I wanted to do better causing me to have this huge anmbition to 3D print an entire suit of armor. This will take MONTHS of straight up printing, and since this is so time consuming, I thought about making molds of the whole suit so I don't have to keep printing a new piece if one should break.

I've looked at silicone molds, and it looks promising, especially the Smooth On Rebound 25 kit. The only issue, is that it's crazy expensive. The helmet alone would take over $100 USD to cast.

Considering I'll be spending a large amount of money and time on quality prints, this is even more money that will definitely be breaking the bank...

I was wondering if anyone here knows the best, cost effective (not saying cheap, I'm saying not outrageously expensive) way to mold an entire suit of 3D printed armor. It doesn't have to be a silicone mold, but anything that gets the job done (Maybe jury rig some redneck vacuum forming?).

Cheers!
 

crackhead09

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Honestly that is really gonna be the only way to do it. People have tried cheaper alternatives with little success or end up costing more than the actual stuff. You can try vacuum forming youre existing armor and just turn them in to bucks. I don't think a vacuum form pull will make a good mold.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
There's always the method that Melissa Ng (Lumecluster) uses which involves printing a mould jacket that both supports the master at an offset that minimizes amount of silicone used. She does this for smaller parts (gauntlets) but it could definitely be upscaled with practice.
 

Phauxelate

Active Member
There's always the method that Melissa Ng (Lumecluster) uses which involves printing a mould jacket that both supports the master at an offset that minimizes amount of silicone used. She does this for smaller parts (gauntlets) but it could definitely be upscaled with practice.
I'm interested into hearing more about this method. I checked her website, and she says she just uses a "variety of materials" to mold and cast. Do you know what her method is named so I can look it up to find more information?
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I'm interested into hearing more about this method. I checked her website, and she says she just uses a "variety of materials" to mold and cast. Do you know what her method is named so I can look it up to find more information?
I'm not sure if there's a name for the method but she describes it fairly in depth in the Adam Savage's Tested video about the making of the Phoenix Gauntlet. It's effectively the same as doing a brush on mould and then making a mother mould jacket but skipping ahead and prefabricating the mother mould and then adding silicone after. This method is very precise since if you've modeled the jacket and the master part you can figure out the exact volume of silicone that you need to within several millilitres using the volume calculation within most modelling suites and slicer programs.

If your software doesn't have a volume calculator I know Autodesk Meshmixer does. Select your part, Analysis and then Volume is the first or second option. I've used it for estimating resin volumes in other casts and it's almost bang on (+/- less than 5%) for the twenty or so parts I've tried it with.
 

Phauxelate

Active Member
I'm not sure if there's a name for the method but she describes it fairly in depth in the Adam Savage's Tested video about the making of the Phoenix Gauntlet. It's effectively the same as doing a brush on mould and then making a mother mould jacket but skipping ahead and prefabricating the mother mould and then adding silicone after. This method is very precise since if you've modeled the jacket and the master part you can figure out the exact volume of silicone that you need to within several millilitres using the volume calculation within most modelling suites and slicer programs.
Ah, so if I'm understanding this properly, what I'd do is I'd print and finish the 3D model, but I'd also print a jacket for the same exact model that's a bit larger so there's a small gap (she mentions about 8-10mm) between the 3D model and the jacket. That way I'm not making the jacket out of clay, but printing it. Then fill the silicone in the gap between the jacket and the master model to create a really thin silicon mold, rather than painting it on with a brush. This way, I can pre-measure the precise amount of silicon that I'll need to fill in the amount of open volume between the master model and the jacket.

Otherwise the normal glove method would use 2.5 Lb of Rebound 25, which is a big issue for how much it'll cost. Doing it this way, I won't be using nearly as much silicon!

If I'm getting something wrong (or right) let me know!
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Ah, so if I'm understanding this properly, what I'd do is I'd print and finish the 3D model, but I'd also print a jacket for the same exact model that's a bit larger so there's a small gap (she mentions about 8-10mm) between the 3D model and the jacket. That way I'm not making the jacket out of clay, but printing it. Then fill the silicone in the gap between the jacket and the master model to create a really thin silicon mold, rather than painting it on with a brush. This way, I can pre-measure the precise amount of silicon that I'll need to fill in the amount of open volume between the master model and the jacket.

Otherwise the normal glove method would use 2.5 Lb of Rebound 25, which is a big issue for how much it'll cost. Doing it this way, I won't be using nearly as much silicon!

If I'm getting something wrong (or right) let me know!
Bingo
 
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