Instructables

Casting with molds made with papercraft models

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Picture of Casting with molds made with papercraft models

You dont't have to use paper. Cardboard, plastic sheets, even metal would work.

Any cast starts with a mold. You need something to pour your material into, be it concrete, plaster, resin, wax, whatever. You can user everyday objects like bowls, packaging or make molds from existing objects.

But what if you want cast something completely different? Something you can't make casts of?

Paper to the rescue. Everyone has some lying around, has scissors and glue. And paper can take pretty much any form you want.
It does have it's limitations though. It's not waterproof and will lose it's strength when getting wet. So before you can use it as a mold, you'll have to make it waterproof. I'll just use spraypaint. Also it's strength is limited. So making huge casts doesn't work. The "Venus de Milo" is 36cm (14 inch) high - and it worked out just fine.

Paper is great to work with, it's easy to cut, fold and glue. But if you want to make more than one cast of your mold you might want to try sheets of plastic. While it is a lot harder to work with it is reusable. You can make many casts with the same mold over and over.

Here are two different routes I took

 
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Step 1: The "gothic" Vase

This is the last one I made and it's the one I documented best.

It's a cast made from David Huffmans "Hexagonal column with cusps". I took the blueprint from the following paper by Erik and Martin Demain and Duks Koschitz.

There is a tutorial on youtube on how to fold it:

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poofrabbit3 months ago

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

krummrey (author)  poofrabbit3 months ago

Thanks, I'd love to try them out in concrete... Let's see what the judges think about that :D

krummrey (author)  krummrey3 months ago

First prize! A whole range of concrete in different colors. AWESOME!!!
Can't wait to see how they'll ship the stuff, kinda heavy :D

This is an awesome project. I especially like the use of curvature in the gothic vase.

zipacz5 months ago

Thank You. This instructable motivated me to try rotocasting for the first time in my life (I am not that much of an artist).

Just because of my curiosity: How many faces does Your Venus have? And did You simplified it somehow specifically? I have seen Your instructable about 3D model simplifying, but I am curious about this one. I tried few moves in meshlab and I am not able to have such a beautiful outcome as You have.

krummrey (author)  zipacz5 months ago
I can't say how many faces the venus has. It is one of the things that I've misplace or deleted on my cluttered computer.
Try again and again. It is trial and error for me too. I just keep modifying the settings until I'm satisfied.
Good luck with your first rotocast!
MeltemiX5 months ago

Great work! Really inspiring! So much so that I want to do a life-sized version of Venus de Milo. Do you think this is doable? I know you said you can enlarge your settings for a larger model but one that is life-sized...how would that work?

Thank you, in advance...

krummrey (author)  MeltemiX5 months ago
If you want it "just in paper" shouldn't be a problem. Use card stock. Haven't tried it that big, but I would assume that it should work.
Casting it, I doubt it. You would need a lot of material with a lot of weight. I doubt that a life-sized cast with cardboard or the plastic sheets would work. You'd have to use metal sheets I guess.
newb krummrey5 months ago

I used Krummrey's other ible to design and build this, and really if worst comes to worst you can use PVC pipe to build a skeleton to support the weight. This one didn't really need it since it's still small (only 3 feet at the top of antlers) but I did have to use it to keep the legs spaced correctly.

Also, Krummrey you never stop stunning me lol, it seems like every 'ible you do just gets cooler and cooler.

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krummrey (author)  newb5 months ago

That is amazing!!! And it looks HUGE. I'm stunned by how many people have built the deer and moose. And even more amazed by those who took it further and have made their own designs.

Thanks for the compliments. I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here. Picking up what others have done before.

PAWZ5 months ago

The Venus De Milo one is terrific!

spunk5 months ago

Nice work!

I never heard of this Acrystal material before. Where did you purchase it? The site you linked to doesn't seem to sell to private persons... The material looks extremely interesting and versatile :) (do you know by chance if it is food safe?)

And another question: Maybe I'm just blind, but I don't realize what's the third route you mention in step1...

krummrey (author)  spunk5 months ago

If you'll having trouble finding it I can put a test-pack on ebay or etsy. I'm trying to get the distributor to sponsor a few packs... ;)

Opps, no you're not blind. I had planned to show how I made the other vases. Truth is, I'm having trouble finding the pictures. Below is what I have.

2014-05-08 22.58.33.jpg2014-05-08 22.58.49.jpg
spunk krummrey5 months ago

Thanks for your offer! I realized there's a shop in berlin selling acrystal, so I may stop by there at one of my visits.

But I keep my fingers crossed for the sponsoring as well ;)

Hope you'll find the other missing pics - these look awesome!

krummrey (author)  spunk5 months ago

Yes I bought a batch from modulor in Berlin too.

http://www.modulor.de/Formen-Abformen-Giessen/Gips...

Still hoping that the distributor answers...

cabbageman5 months ago

how did u get the moose desine i love this idea

krummrey (author)  cabbageman5 months ago

There are plenty of animals on http://thingiverse.com/ That's where I got the "raw" data from. Turning it into a paper model is described in the tutorial with the deer.

JeDi RuLeS5 months ago

Awesome work...

I was a little curious on how you came up with the inner hole (cavity) for putting the flowers. Did you drill it up after casting??

krummrey (author)  JeDi RuLeS5 months ago

No I didn't drill a hole. I used a technique called rotocasting. Usually you have a rig that will rotate the mold. Here is a video of a DIY version:


You can rotate your mold by hand if the casting material solidifies fast enough. That's what I do. Turn it around and around so that the casting material covers all parts of the mold. And then keep turning and turning until the material os hard enough that it doesn't drip anymore.
The fastest I've tried was plaster which took about a minute to harden to a point where it wouldn't drip anymore. Almost too quick.
I've bought a resin-plaster that took about 4 minutes.
The Acrystal takes the longest but solidifies at a pretty stable rate.
I haven't tried other materials yet.

MeltemiX5 months ago

Not sure where my comment went.

dswaim5 months ago

Fantastic! very beautiful work, thank you for sharing.

foobear5 months ago

one million percent nifty, thank you

DaveB135 months ago

Super beautiful objects, thanks for doing this Ible. I have only just briefly scanned your article, will have to read it later. At a home center, or online, look for information on cement patching compounds and cement anchoring compounds, I think they will have the short setting times you need for rotocasting, I don't have any hands-on experience with the materials. You absolutely should look into the wide range of products from Smooth-On. Be sure to read & understand the Shore Hardness scaleS & information on pourability and working times. They have several videos on youtube also. The cost of Smooth-On materials is likely to be more than the cement products. You may want to make simple modeks just for learning the working properties of the less expensive materials. It occurs to me there is property of your mold fabrication technique that will be easy to take advantage of. There are inexpensive small electronic scales that weigh to a resolution of 1/10 gram ( about 1/300 ounce ) up ti a limit of 1 Lb. Weigh a known number of square inches of your material, compare the weight of your model to acess surface area, then multiply by desired thickness to determine quantity of material you need to mix for your casting.

krummrey (author)  DaveB135 months ago

Thanks for your input on cement. I have to dig deeper into that. Our local hardware store has just a limited selection of cement. also only in bags of 25kg minimum - not exactly a testing batch ;)
Smooth-On has a ton of interesting materials. I wish I was back in school and had the time to try them all out.

do you think it's possible to laminate the paper with a water proof glue say rubber cement and light muslin or gauze for you laminate and then it would be stronger and maybe get a few more casts out of it????

krummrey (author)  daxxvondrachen5 months ago

I guess that would work. But laminating the paper will take some time. I'd probably switch over to using a plastic sheet then. I had a lot of success reusing them.

FireCGun5 months ago

really nice. Did the concert distorted the shape in any way because of its wight.

krummrey (author)  FireCGun5 months ago

All the molds had only very little distortions. Office paper would be to light, but card stock worked surprisingly well. The plastic is very strong.

I wouldn't try to cast anything that has very little tolerances. It's not a replacement for a CNC-machine ;)

andrea biffi5 months ago

beautiful art

So cool. Next free weekend I have I'm doing this. Thanks!

doodlecraft5 months ago

Wow, these are super impressive! I love the juxtaposition of concrete and intricate shapes! Super super cool--this I need to try! :)

I liked that you included extra step for documenting your failure , which actually is very helping. Awesome work :)

krummrey (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya5 months ago

I find it intimidating sometimes to see all these great projects. It seems that everybody else makes no mistakes and creates all these awesome projects.

The truth is that I have many failures. It is part of the process. I think it is essential to cope with it. Don't be disappointed if your first (or even second and third) try doesn't work out. Keep on trying.

I would be happy just to have my works shared for the world to see.
krummrey (author)  Derek Scott Customs5 months ago

That's pretty much what my wife told me too.
So I changed the license to

CC BY-NC-SA

sabu.dawdy5 months ago
this is beautiful
krummrey (author)  sabu.dawdy5 months ago

Thank you. Please vote for me in the contests... ;)

CobyUnger5 months ago

Wow! Great work.

krummrey (author)  CobyUnger5 months ago

Thanky you. It's comments like this, that motivate me to write tutorials here.

watchmeflyy5 months ago

Amazing!

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