Experimentation With Plaster Mold Consistencies

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Introduction: Experimentation With Plaster Mold Consistencies

I did this at TechShop Menlo Park. http://www.techshop.com

S
ince I do a lot of metal casting and therefore make a lot of plaster investment molds, I wanted to come up with a formula that works best to have consistent quality results with my castings. So I did several tests. If anyone has suggestions and advice, please do share.

Step 1: Test One

Using a scale we measured 7 parts water to 10 parts plaster following a formula we found on line. We added baby powder for talk (8 percent of the weight of plaster) also as suggested online. We mixed with a drill and a mixing attachment. The formula was looking way thin and came out with a lot of bubbles. 

Step 2: Investment

We decided to use a hand as a direct investment. The hand was dipped in oil first to make sure it will come out of the mold once set.

Step 3: Outcome

The plaster started to solidify and get warm, so the hand was pulled out. The mold was crackly and crumbly.We were not thrilled with the results especially after the long hand claustrophobia session.

Step 4: Take Two

This time we measured out almost two parts plaster to one part water and mixed gradually adding plaster to the water to minimize bubbling. We used no talk this time.

Step 5: Better Results

This time the mold came out way better. Now it will be cured for many days to make sure there is absolutely no moisture in it before we pour molten aluminum in it to make a hand casting.

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    5 Comments

    Hi, does it melts whenu add the molten metal?

    1 reply

    It doesn't but it will crack if the mold is not fully cured/dried for several days.

    WARNING!!! DO NOT use plaster to lifecast like this! The only safe way to cast using plaster is plaster bandages. Using pop and submerging body parts in it is a serious health risk! People have lost hands and fingers or suffered sever burns!!!
    e.g. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/oct/12/girl-loses-fingers-school-art

    I think you scared when the cast started to warm up, but you should not remove your hand before it sets. The heat in these cases never reaches high values.

    talk? i think its talc ;)