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what materials can be molded and have a semi hardfinsih? Answered

I want to create 3d mold. sort of like how to use a clay. but i want a near to hard finish, may be a bit "acrylicy" or "plasticy".

the point is something sturdy.

FYI: other than epoxy... its ok for me if the material start out as liquid or something clayish-like material

P.s. if possible.... cheap...

can any one recommend something?



I havnt tried this, but styrofoam can be dissolved in acetone to produce styrene putty.

the fumes from this will be nasty. Do it outdoors with a fan. And organics respirator. Iirc this produces cyanide gas.


2 years ago

I, sadly, have lost the youtube demo that one man had that mentioned a fabric, or sheet of some kind that he used to modify a custom mask, or model, that was sandable and paintable in making his one of a kind. I keep looking to find it agin, thought I had it bookmarked. Sorry. But it was not a poly clay and didn't need baking, and it wasn't an air clay or paper mache. I'm trying to find the OOAK website he probably puts his great creations on.

You need a material called (variously) Polymorph or Friendly Plastic.

It softens in hot water, so that it can be moulded by hand, just like a clay, then it sets as it cools.

It's available from craft, hobby and "Maker" stores, either online or in the real world, and it features quite a bit here on instructables.

i like the material. I'll keep an eye on that. but other than Polymorph, do u have other recommendation?

I'm from the Philippines. not so sure if we have that here.. and if order from another country... well.. "cheaper" sub..?

ok ok, but tnx. Its just tru you i learned polymorph....tnx again.

It depends how hard or soft you want it. There are hundreds of options available to you.

There is polymer clays, like Fimo, Sculpey, Duro. These are clays that need to be baked, end result is fairly tough and rigid for the regular type but there is also many varieties, like flexible, eraser, glow in the dark, etc. It's cheap and easy and bakes in your oven. It's in all the art and craft stores here in North America, I'd imagine there is some available near you too, just might be a different name brand.

There is silicone. Used for caulking in bathrooms. You can get it at home stores, where ever you get bathroom fixtures and tiles and stuff like that.

There are plumbers epoxy putties. Found in the same area as the silicone. They're used to secure plumbing fixtures and stop leaks. There's lots to choose from, they all have different properties, most should be close to what you're after.

There are sculpting epoxy putties. Found online mainly but also in art and hobby stores. Aves Apoxy, MagicSculpt, Green Stuff, Milliput, ProCreate...um...Tamiya has one but I forget it's name exactly, but I'd think that would be available locally at the model shops.

Then there's all kinds of air dry clays at the art stores or any big box store with an arts and craft section. Das is the only one I can think of at the moment, but there are dozens of them, they've got cellulose and clay and plastic/oil based varieties. I mention them last as they tend to be porous, less smooth, at least in the varieties I've used in the past. So I'm not sure if it would suit your needs but if you gave it a good coat of acrylic paint and heat set it, the surface could be as smooth and plasticy as you could possibly want.

If you have an art supply store near by, I'm sure they'd have something in your price range available if you talk to the staff and let them know what you need.

They've also got lots of 2 part mold making products at art stores (designed to do exactly what you want to do), but they tend to be more expensive

tnx ! i've tried the silicone substance. (if we're talking about the same thing. you mean the sealant?) i tried it, i have other use for it cause it has a flexible finish. or strechy...

I'm curious about that sculpting epoxy. i'm familiar with epoxy. but not that... I'll keep an eye out for that.

thanks again!

Yeah, that's the stuff I meant. You can mix it with sand or micro-glass beads or something like that, to make it stronger, less flexible. Depending how you make the mold will determine how the surface comes out. Like if you just form clumps of it into the desired shape, it will be a bumpy surface but if you pour the mixture, brush, spread the mixture on top of something to form the mold, the surface should be as smooth as the object you're covering. Similar to how cement works. If the surface is not smooth, you can do a thin layer of just silicone over the top and smooth it out. Over a solid frame, it should hold its shape.

Sculpting putties are just like plumbers putties, the difference is they are generally a little smother texture and they tend to stay soft and workable a little longer, up to an hour, where as plumbers is usually only workable for 5 to 15 minutes.

HEY!!! i like the idea of adding solid stuff.. kinda like a composite mixture. haven't tot of that. nice! hmm... dont have sand though... i doubt soil will work.but i'lltry that experiment... wonder if it would be stronger with paper machae den i'll do d mixture... but thats a briliant idea. thanks!