There are several resins which can be used for casting which include polyurethane resin, polyester resin, and epoxy resin. While the former two have many uses and tend to be cheaper, epoxy resin is the one which offers the greatest degree of durability.
Epoxy resin is used for many products such as adhesives, coatings, varnishes, and sealants. When in liquid form, its properties also allow it to be poured into molds, and the resultant items that are cast are extremely robust, tough and durable.
While some of these include components for aircraft and boats, epoxy resins can also be used to make more down-to-earth products such as jewelry and decorative items. In order to make any of them, molds need to be created, and you are about to find out how to make them.
If you are unfamiliar with epoxy resin, then you might be wondering why you would want to make a mold for it in the first place. There can be many reasons, but the main ones are as follows:
For the first two scenarios, it is possible that you will already have created a mold for the original item, and you would therefore simply use this to replace or replicate it. Alternatively, if no mold exists, you will need to create a new mold by using an identical item to the one you wish to replicate.
With the third scenario where we are creating a brand new item, it should be obvious that a completely new mold will need to be created.
Here is a ten step process to make a simple mold for an epoxy resin item using the following items and 'ingredients.'
At this point, you can use the mold with epoxy resin to recreate the original item. Before removing epoxy resin from the mold ensure that it has hardened first.
Creating a mold for epoxy resin for an item or component that doesn't exist yet is the more difficult of the two. The material from which the mold will be made is no different but creating the shape within the mold from which the epoxy resin item is going to be cast, will take more work.
Ideally you need to create a replica of the item you want to make using another material. The use of machinery might be required such as cutting lathes or mills, or if you have access to the latest technology a 3D printer might be the answer.
At the other end of the scale, there is good old-fashioned hand crafting to create one template item from which the mold can be formed using the ten step process outlined above.