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Thread: Tips to creating a mold?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Tips to creating a mold?

    I searched, I promise.

    I'm looking to build my own body, with my own design. Right now, I think its just a pipe dream, but who knows. What I would like to do is find a material to build the body out of, to make a plug with. I could do wireform, and fiberglass over that, but I dont think I would achieve the results I want. I looked into a large block of foam, but that was 1500 bucks, plus I have to get it home. Its not unreasonable, but I'm trying to find something a little more cost effective.

    Anyone have some ideas they would like to share?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Re: Tips to creating a mold?

    Well, here is one way to do it.

    You can buy the two part foam that you mix and pour into a mold to create blocks that you can use to carve out your body. Check with Aircraft Spruce for that, or google two part foam.

    Here is a web site that shows how this builder did his body.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ArashB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Re: Tips to creating a mold?

    Im doing a custom design myself and am looking to CNC mill my panels out in foam very soon. Im in need of advice too so maybe other can help also.

    First whats important to me is having a durable yet flexible bumper like most bumpers which are made of polyurethane. You can imagine how many idiots are out there that will crush your fiberglass bumper when parked on the street.
    So to achieve this maybe a fiberglass plug mold needs to be created from a foam bumper lets say, and after filled in with some kind of polyurethane liquid that would harden? to create the bumpers. Its usually made by expensive injection methods but i wonder is anyone know a simple DIY home method.

    Second, would be the panels/body, where I read one should cover the foam panels/design in plaster or some kind of roofing hardening material so that when you go to make your plug molds over top, the resin wont melt it.
    Once you make an outside plug mold also weave in a wooden support or kind of brace so that it wont flex or change dimensions... When making the brace also account for the fact that you need to release the finished car panels at the end and that is not easy unless you make your mold plug and braces in sections. So for a bumper which needs to be one piece and has curves at different points, you may need to cut your mold plug in half and then reattach it with bolts to later unbolt when the finished car panels are dry/cured for the release.

    Now rather then making fiberglass mold plugs, Ive been wondering about plastic forming and what member here think.
    This video shows how simple it is.
    I would like to make a large brick oven (could double for a bbq too) in my backyard and put a large plastic sheet inside, heat it until its slopping, then pull it out on to a short table setup to suck the plastic over panels as large as a hood.
    I think this would be an ideal setup where one can make panels in seconds over coated foam designs and even reinforce, say fenders and doors with a few layers of fiberglass dumped in the inside for more strength.

    I really like the plastic idea because I loath working with fiberglass (hazards, smell, curing time) and the plastic will have a different texture/sheen to feel and paint. What do you guys think, worth the extra effort?

    edit - there is also a fibreglass vacuum moulding method that look really clean, just that it seem like a lot of work for one custom piece.
    Follow my designs on Facebook fan pages.

  4. #4

    Re: Tips to creating a mold?

    wow that sounds like a nice project.

    could you perhaps use wood for the bulk (inside) and some foam on the outside... wich you could sand into the desired shape. the foam sounds like the most expensive part.
    i dont know the english word... but use plywood used for pooring concrete. it handles great and is cheaper than normal plywood.

    if you want to use a cnc mill... i hope you've got one of those machines laying around, cause the hourly rates are astronomical i'd think.and a 5 axis one is a bit harder to find.

    vacuumforming is a bit trickier that you'd think. there goes some knowhow into the molds. the air needs to escape between the plasic and mold. the plastic tends to crease. temperature and speed... the molds could be build out of mdf i'd think, which is easily sanded down. buying epoxy in bulk is the easiest and cheapest way i think

    cheap is my middle name. i am currently building a full metal jacket A110 inspired car, wich upto now has costed less than 200 euro

  5. #5

    Re: Tips to creating a mold?

    This is actually a topic I've been pondering myself for quite a while.

    Unfortunately, while there are DIY 3-axis CNC machine kits out there, no 5-axis DIY kit exists, as far as I can tell. Not to mention, no kit large enough to carve a full size body out of foam.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Re: Tips to creating a mold?

    this might be of interest

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