casting a bee?

Hi Paige,
Can you give me any tips or ideas on how to make a mold from a real bee that can be used many times to cast a number of bees?
Any help and advice would be much appreciated.

Paige Russell2 months ago

Hi Dean,

Hmm, this is definitely a fun, but very tricky project you're proposing.

The fragility and thinness of the wings and legs would make it very difficult to make a mold from a real bee.

Not only would you need to figure out a way secure and suspend the bee, its wings, and all its legs in place well enough to pour mold material over it, you would also need to add small pieces of wire (as air holes) to the tips of each leg and wing for there to be any hope of a casting material flowing into such small spaces.

Maybe if you brushed on a thin coat of resin all over the bee, including the legs and wings, you could beef them up enough to allow the casting material to flow in? If you do this and figure out a way to attach the above mentioned air hole wires, then try to make the tiniest flexible cut one part mold ever made. :)

I would say if you have a large magnifying glass, good lighting, good eyesight and loads of patience you should try it despite my misgivings. I love being proven wrong!

If you succeed, send me a photo and I'll send you an instructables T shirt!!

May the mold making force be with you.


DeanT42 (author)  Paige Russell1 month ago
Cheers for the ideas. It has been done as a one off mould to produce a bee in solid gold but I've lost the book that tells you how! Thanks again. D
jongscx1 month ago

If I may, disassembling the bee into its parts and creating a tray of multiple legs, torsos, wings, etc., casting those in multiples, then reassembling completed bees afterwards may be the better approach. I would cite the construction of table-top game pieces for game such as Warhammer for this method.

Another way would be to encase the bee in a soluble mold material, burn out the original with a very strong acid or intense heat, pour in your casting material, then dissolve the mold with the proper solvent. This is obviously just a single-use mold and destroys the original. This is similar to how fossilized dinosaur bones are formed.

DeanT42 (author)  jongscx1 month ago
Thankyou also for your ideas. I'm sure I'll figure it out. Been thinking about scanning the largest bee I can then try to produce a mould using a 3d printer.