Here is a great way to make custom cake molds using 3D Printing and Silicone Plastique by Make your Own Molds.You really don't need to be professional cake artist/decorator to make awesome themed cakes, or if you are one this is great skill to add to your arsenal.
In my case, I am making a Star Wars themed cake. As part of the process I started by using existing 3D files, and cut them appropriately using a 3D design tool and created molds using Silicone Plastique, which is an easy to use mold making compound which has a work time of 10 to 15 mins, and the best part is that its a food safe material.
I am using foundant aka the magic mix to create pieces to place on the cake, but you can also use gum paste or candy melts.
Follow the steps outlined in the instructable to get an idea of how to make your own custom molds for cakes, or if you are looking at making a Star Wars themed cake , download the STL files and then 3D print them to make your molds.
Step 1: Preparing the Batter for the Cake
Start of by creating the base of the cake, an day before the party. For the base of the cake here are the ingredients used -
- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 table spoons of of baking soda
- 1 can of condensed milk
- 3/4 cup of melted butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat the whole mixture till it is consistent, and add water to the mixture if required.
Step 2: Baking
Start your oven and bring it up to 300 degree.
Now grease a baking pan with butter/oil and pour the batter in the pan, put the pan in the oven for about 30-40 mins. Check the oven in about 25 mins and use a toothpick or the point edge of a knife to check on the cake.
If you prefer you can either take a break while the base bakes or move on to the next step, to make the icing.
Step 3: Making the Icing
This step is optional if you plan on decorating the base with foundant. In my case since my friend, who bakes awesome cakes makes a simple but killer icing mix. Which meant I had to use the icing on the cake , instead of using foundant. As part of the icing , start of by using whip cream and mix fine sugar, and then add the secret ingredients called vanilla essence into it, you just need a small teaspoon. And then beat it all together till it is consistent.
Now using your butter knife apply the icing to the cake.
Step 4: 3D Printing
Design and 3D print files that you may want to mold.In my case, since I am making star wars themed cake I downloaded files of thingiverse.com, or you can also scan existing things/figurine using software like 123D catch, If you are looking for a step by step, on how to scan and prepare an STL file, you can follow the instructable that I wrote about a year back called - Custom Wax Candles - using 3D printed Molds.
Once you have your STL file ready, add it to you favorite 3D printing software to cut it in a way that is it easy for mold making, in my case I used 123D design and place a cube at the end of the STL file and used the subtract function as shown in the picture above.
Add the STL file to slicing software and slice the file for 3D printing, a suggestion here is to keep a smaller layer thickness - at-least of 0.2mm. This will increase the time of your print, but will give you a smoother finish on your mold.
Here are the link to the original files and their creators
A suggestion here, when downloading files check licence associate with the design.
Step 5: Preparing Two Part Silicone Plastique
Now once you done with all your 3D printing, mix equal part of the blue and white part of Silicone Plastique. It is a good idea to weigh the part 1 and part 2 if you have a digital scale handy.
Mix the two part using hands till the color is consistent.
Note, you have about 10-15 mins to work with the mold mix , so prepare the smaller quantities in batches for each 3D printed part.
For more info and tips an trick using Silicone Plastique check out - Make your Own Molds website
Step 6: Creating Molds From 3D Printed Parts
Now since time is of the essence here and you have 10-15 mins to apply the mold mix to your 3D printed part, start by taking a small quantity and cover the areas of the 3D printed part that have a lot of detail. And then cover the rest of the area as shown in the picture.
The curing time is about an hour , but I would leave it for at-least a couple of hours just to be safe.
Step 7: Check If the Mold Is Dry Enough
Now to check if the mold is cured , press your finger nail against it, and it should not leave a mark. Once your mold is dry, remove the 3D printed part carefully from the mold.
Another awesome thing about silicone plastique molds is that they are dish washer safe, which means you should run them dish washer or just wash them with water before adding foundant.
Step 8: Adding Fondant to the Molds
Now add the foundant to the molds, a tip here is to start of with little foundant and add it to part with the lot of detail.
Since I just had white and green foundant , I use icing color to make yellow foundant for Storm Tropper and black for Darth wader head and the letter which is part of the next below.
Let the foundant dry over night before proceeding to the next step.
Step 9: Adding Fondant to the Cake
The next morning, cut through and remove the access fondant using a knife and needle tool.
And it is now time to decorate the cake! Get the cake out of the refrigerator and add the foundant pieces to the cake as shown in the picture above.
A suggestion here if you using icing as part of your base instead of foundant, is to place the foundant piece just a few hours before the cake is presented to your guests, as the foundant will start to loose color into the icing.
Step 10: Create Wording for the Cake
If you plan on adding lettering to the cake, you can easily create letter using your favorite font in you 3D designing tool and then give an offset to letter, before extruding the letter to at least 10mm.
In my case, since I wanted to keep the lettering close to the Star Wars font I used the Star Wars svg image posted on wikimedia and then extrude it using 123D design. Attached are the STL files, just in case your would like to replicate star wars logo.
Roll some foundant on piece of warping food foil or butter paper and press the letters.Then remove the access foundant from around the letters. Remove the 3D printed letter and let the foundant dry overnight. Remove the plastic from the bottom and then add it to the cake.