A quick guide on how I had made my Dominators from the show Psycho-Pass. The master was made from layers of laser-cut 1/8" MDF with the top layer containing the etched detailing. Most of the difficulty was the molding and casting technique since I wanted to be able to produce these quickly and accurately.
Materials and tools:
1/8" MDF sheet
1/16" Acrylic sheet
Smooth-On Mold Star 15
Smooth-On SmoothCast 300
3/4" Buttonhead screws
Krylon black primer and black satin spray paint
Equipment used at TechShop San Jose:
Makerbot Replicator 2
Epilog Helix Laser Cutter
Standing belt sander
This Instrucatable contains pictures from several different attempts at getting everything perfect, so some of the steps' pictures are inconsistent with the previous. However, the methods are all the same.
Step 1: Draft
First step was to create a vectored image for the laser cutter. Each half of the prop was made from 4 layers of 1/8" MDF, with each layer having it's own specific layer in Illustrator. Scale was achieved by setting the grip size to about the size of one of my airsoft guns, i.e. eyeballing it.
Step 2: Prep
After cleaning up the cut pieces and gluing them together, I did the beveling and some other smaller detail work with Apoxie Sculpt, then primed with some filler primer to even out the texture. Sanded with 600, 1000, 2000 then buffed.
Step 3: Mold
Masters were nailed to a piece of wood, and build a mold wall out of foamboard. I was testing different silicone for each half, the pink is Mold Max 30, while the green is Mold Star 15. The Mold Star has a higher tear resistance and seems like a better silicone for something with this kind of small detail.
Step 4: Cast
I wanted to create a cavity in each half to make room for lights, battery pack and switches. To accomplish this I needed to create a silicone plug to lay across the mold while I pour in resin. First I had to pour in a little bit of resin to create a base layer, this was with Smooth-Cast 300. Second was to wall off the sections where the batteries and switch would be placed inside, then pour in more resin up to the desired thickness. The amount of resin you leave within the mold will be the size and thickness of each cast.
Next, you need something to suspend the plug over the mold so the cavity is consistent every pull. I had about 100000000 of these popsicle sticks for mixing and used them as support for the plug. Once the bridges are in place, it's time to pour. Hit the entire mold with some mold release, then pour in silicone. When the silicone has begun to cure (tacky but not sticky), brush on a bit more silicone onto the sticks so they don't rip out of the mold.
Step 5: Clean-up
After pulling a cast from the mold, it's time for clean-up. As a raw piece, it's pretty messy, so I take it to the belt sander for a few passes to even the inside edge so it can sit flat against the other half. The holes for the lights, the barrel and the slot for the trigger are bored out with a Dremel cutting bit.
Step 6: Paint
After cleaning up it is time to paint. I swear by Krylon paints, and for this I use 2 coats of Black Primer with light sanding between coats, followed by 3 coats of Satin Black, then let everything cure for a day or so.
Then it's installing the 3mm LED stuff. I ended up laser cutting little brackets for the LEDs to set into and glued them into one half of the cast. The whole thing is powered by two AA batteries and has a simple ON/OFF switch attached at the back of the grip.
Step 7: Little Bits
Up next is a trip to the 3D Printer for the grip pieces and the Sibyl System emblem.
The grips are then cleaned up, while the trigger was made from 3 pieces of 1/16" acrylic then beveled with some Apoxie Sculpt. Parts are molded, then cast in Smooth-Cast 300 with some black pigment added.
Step 8: Finished!
After everything is done, it's put together with a few buttonhead screws.
Participated in the
Epilog Challenge V