A year of resin casting - Visualpixel

A year of resin casting

Today marks 1 years since I picked up resin and silicone for the first time in an attempt to make my own Gameboy Color buttons.

Let me share with you my "journey" in the world of moulding and casting resin. I'd like to also add that I'm by no means a professional and some of the tips and tricks I'll share might not work for you or the equipment you have. But as always, feel free to contact me here or over on my instagram, I'm always happy to answer any questions you may have. With that being said, let's jump back to the beginning.

 It all started when I saw this awesome video by esotericsean.

So I went ahead and bought some clay, silicone and resin. I 3D printed a box to hold my silicone, stuck my GBC button set with some clay on paperboard and hot glued my 3D printed box to the paperboard.

I was ready to pour the silicone on top of the GBC buttons making sure I was pouring in a very thin stream as I didn't have a pressure pot or vacuum chamber and wanted to avoid any air bubbles.

12 hours later here's what I had, a very messy mould but it had worked! I could see absolutely every single detail from the GBC button imprinted on the silicone mould. 

I didn't wait a second longer and went ahead and poured the second half on top, making sure to add a mould release before pouring to avoid having the silicone from the bottom half fuse with the new silicone. I also glued some toothpicks to each buttons as vents. Those vents will allow me to inject the resin later on and let the air out.

Next thing I know, I have my 2 part mould and I'm injecting resin into it. I didn't have any dye at the time so I used food colouring (which I later on found out will change colour quite rapidly) 

Here's the first result :

Granted I had a few air bubbles, but they were all on the underside of the buttons and basically not visible when they were inside a build. So I carried on like that for a few months. Getting more and more comfortable with resin and working with dyes too now.

 

At one point I even started mixing 2 resin dyes together to see what kind of result I could get.

Unfortunately I was still consistently having to bin a set or 2 every batch due to air bubbles and not using a pressure pot or a vacuum chamber. So I did the next best thing and started casting in 2 pours. 

I would pour a very thin layer of resin inside the top half of my mould. This would insure that I have no air bubbles. I'd lit it sit for a few hours before closing the mould with the bottom half and injecting the rest as usual. This would guarantee that I'd have no air bubbles on the top of each button and meant I could also work on some very nice patterns.

 

I eventually caved and bought a pressure pot about 1 month ago and I've now started working on bigger and better moulds.

And that's it. Basically don't give up, find workarounds and be patient!

I'm still not sure what I'm doing with this "blog" I guess I might share updates, news and everything about my store and what I'm doing behind the scene.

 

Resin Epoxy safety concerns

Epoxy products are a complex blend of chemicals specially selected to give each system its desired characteristics. As with any chemical, poor handling or misuse can be potentially hazardous to health. Risks can be minimized by using simple precautions, appropriate care, and control. It is essential, then, that those who handle epoxies be properly trained to understand the hazards, take precautions to avoid them and work safely.
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