Mold for vacuum former

Just wanted to share a little vacuum form project I’m working on. I’m going to use the prints to pour an aluminum resin plug.

It would probably be better to print this in high temp and fill the inside with aluminum resin but this should work for now. A full print in high temp would be cost prohibitive but a shell would work really well with resin poured inside.

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Did you print holes for the vacuum to pass through or are you going to drill them after pouring the plug?

I’m going to add the holes after It’s best to add them where needed based on trial pulls. I may start with a few that I know are needed and go from there.

Here is the rough mold without any clean up work. It’s actually really good as is because I printed the shell vertically.

The horrible phone picture doesn’t do the finish justice.

Looks good. If the resin is beefy enough and the heat isn’t too prolonged the form should hold up.
Not sure how the High Temp resin would compare to Smooth-On’s Task 18 resin but that would require making a mold of the printed part then making a casting of it with the Task 18.

I been thinking of trying the High Temp resin for some of my parts I use in my vulcanizer, so far the clear has been holding up but I need to let the mold cool down before parting or the parts are too fragile. Wish they had smaller bottles to test out.

I used Alumilite (local Michigan company). Even with a post cure the aluminum resin’s don’t have the temperature resistance of the new high temp resin (275F for Alumilite vac 50). The Smooth-On resin has a lower temperature if I remember (at least the aluminum filled).

The aluminum epoxy is used in vac forming because it conducts heat well. It’s also extremely rigid and machines well.

The new high temp material is good for much higher temperatures but may not conduct heat well. I’m thinking about printing the outside of the mold and filling the hollow inner cavity with aluminum resin to get the heat conduction back up. Aluminum resin is much cheaper than printer resin by volume.