Introduction: Memory Phone

Dr. Martin Cooper invented the Cell phone with the first mobile model in 1973. This brick set forth the revolution of mobile communication through multiple generations. Today, the mobile device is as slim as a flask. This is a digital molding a casting project that re-appropriates the archive of cellular phones for contemporary functions.

Step 1: Digital Modeling

Model the phone as a stereolithographic file using dimensioned patent drawings. In order to create a two part mold, boolean the inverse of the phone to create two halves with no overhangs or overlaps. Place a pour spout wide enough for casting material to be poured into the mold while allowing enough room for air to escape. For this project I only placed 1 inlet, however it can be advantageous to place two, one for liquid and the other for air. Second, make sure you create registry marks so the two halves can be placed together precisely so no unnecessary offset occurs during casting.

This digital model will be the positive to be cast over for the negative mold in a later step.

Step 2: CNC Milling

G_CODE: Bring the digital stereolithography or STL file into VizCam or another CAD CAM software to prepare the G-Code to control the router function on a computer numerical control (CNC) router. For this mold, I used a 1/4" ball nose end-mill with a 25% step over and 25% step down and a linear milling path as it produced the desired outcome with the least amount of travel distance. Other models may be better milled with a contour path.

MATERIAL and ZEROING: 2 inch rigid insulation provides a hard and malleable material with a decent depth that most Milling Beds are set up for. In this case the 2" foam was placed on a Techno 3 Axis 4'x8' Mill bed. The milling of the first positive took 12 minutes and the resolution was as desired with no overlaps or omitted geometry. All details were resolved.

Step 3: Reynolds OOMOO 25 Mold

Seal the foam mold with gesso and spray with a release or simply coat with a dish soap so that the silicon negative will release from the foam positive. Mix 1:1 parts A and B Reynolds OOMOO 25 into a cup thuroughly and pour a consistent layer over the entire mold. This silicon layer will allow all sorts of materials to be cast into the form of the phone, both hard and soft do to the flexibility of the silicon.

Step 4: Plaster Backing Encasement

Mix plaster of Paris and pour to fill the remaining mold in order to create a rigid backing to hold the Silicon in place.

Step 5: Mold Complete

Isn't that awesome!

Step 6: Material Casting

Experiment with Positive Casts. For this I used Plaster, Stone, Expandable foam, and other, inexpensive materials. Silicon or Resin are great options, but these can be expensive, or toxic and require specific facilities and ventilated environments.

Step 7: Expandable Foam

The expandable foam filled all the nooks and crevices resulting in an exploding mushroom of material through the top of the mold. It was fast and fun.

Step 8: Memory Phones

Make your collection today!

Step 9: Maybe Its the New Building Material

Memory Phones and Retro-Bricks. More time and more material may result in an aggregate of smart bricks communicating with one another, or outward toward the passersby. Until the next episode.