Holiday crafts are fun any shape they take, and nothing says holiday crafts like making your own chocolate molds with the help of an Othermill!
This intermediate-level tutorial will walk you through making simple snowflake-shaped chocolate molds on your Othermill, using Otherplan's built-in .svg file support and some prepared .svg files. Before embarking on this project, it helps to have a few Othermill projects under your belt so you're familiar with how to set up the machine and software. Also for this project, we'll be superimposing .svg plans over each other in Otherplan, so it's key to pay special, meticulous attention to your settings and plan placement, otherwise your mold could go haywire.
Once you've gotten the basics down from this project, you'll be able to experiment with making your own custom molds and will undoubtedly proceed to knock the very socks off any recipient of your largesse.
The .svg files you need are attached to each relevant step.
We generated the snowflake images using the superlative Snowflake Generator, originally written by Windell Oskay of Evil Mad Scientist Labs and ported to the web by Paul Kaplan.
This step includes setting up your machine and importing a file that will clear a space off the top of your wax block and leave a ridge around the edge to hold silicone. This operation, known as facing, will create a solid bottom for your mold.
Now you're ready to cut! Double check everything you just did, and once you're sure things are lined up correctly, click on the "Start Cutting" button.
The machine should come to life and start hollowing out the first part of your mold.
The .svg file attached to this step cuts out the detail of your snowflake mold pattern. We're cutting ChocolateSnowflakeDetail.svg first and ChocolateSnowflakePedestal.svg second, in the next step. This clears a layer away from the top and allows the tool to be able to reach where it needs to reach.
It's very important that these two files line up properly in Otherplan, which is why we're importing them both before we cut.
Download the .svg file attached to this step and import it into Otherplan. It will render as 4 lovely snowflake designs on the wax.
In the imported plan window where your file settings are, click on the "Placement" button. Next to "Align to Material," click "Center." The plan should snap to the center of the material in Otherplan. (Is this all sounding familiar?)
Just below that, deselect the "Cutout" button.
Below that, under "Tool To Use," select 1/32'' and 1/16'' end mill, and delete the 1/8'' end mill, which appears by default.
Finally, set your engraving cut depth to .03'' (0.762 mm).
Don't cut anything yet! We're going to set up the second part of the mold first.
Now that you have the snowflake detail set up, set up the pedestal file so it lines up with the detail file.
In the imported plan panel where your file's settings are, click on the "Placement" button.
Next to "Align to Material," click "Center." The plan should snap to the center of the material in Otherplan.
Just below that, deselect the "Cutout" button.
Below that, under "Tool To Use," select 1/16'' end mill.
Below that, click "Advanced" to yet again open Advanced Settings. On the first line, "Invert," select "Yes, within Cutout."
Now set the engraving cut depth to .12'' (3.048 mm).
The detail and pedestal .svg files should align with each other perfectly. The outline circles should look like one circle when both plans are visible and should not overlap in any way. You can make extra sure by zooming in close to the circles. If both plans are visible and aligned properly, you'll only see one circle.
If they don't align, click on the "Placement" button for each file and make sure the numbers for plan origin match.
Once everything is exactly as it should be, go to the ChocolateSnowflakeDetail.svg window, and click on "Start Cutting."
Now that your wax positive is cut, it's time to make the silicone negative that you'll then fill with chocolate.
Once the mold has set, peel it off the wax. Give it a wash in warm soapy water and dry well. You're now ready to pour your chocolate!
Once the chocolate is solid, take it out of the fridge and gently peel the mold away from the chocolate. You should end up with lovely coin-sized decorative chocolate pieces.
If you want to get fancy, you can use two different types of chocolate for each part of the coin, or dye white chocolate with food coloring to make a bunch of different color combinations.
If you make this project, show us your chocolate! Or if you you have questions, contact us at email@example.com. We're here to help!