Rapid Proto-typing

Questions about Making Your Own Lures

Rapid Proto-typing

Postby rocko » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:10 pm

With all of the threads and discussion on shrinking molds and 3-D printers, I thought I would chime in on the process I have been using to make rapid prototypes using silicone caulk. It is by no means a replacement for RTV silicone, as it harder to get good detail, and is “futzie” to work with, but works very well to produce a quick mold of your ideas to try out. Most of the process I gleamed from Taxidermy web-sites, where they make molds for their work. The basics are that silicone caulk will harden if you add acrylic paint to it, and has the same basic properties of the RTV in applications.

• 100% Silicone Caulk (Brand doesn’t really matter, I prefer white color)
• Liquid Acrylic Paint (any color but white)
• Plastic knife
• Soap Solution (I use “Fantastik”, but dish soap and water will do)

Utilize the same general concepts for 1 and 2 piece molds as outlined in numerous videos and forums. Start by squirting a small glob of silicone on a plastic plate and add a small squirt of acrylic paint to it. No specific formula, but a golf ball size glob works with about a pea size amount of paint. A little more paint is better than less. Add a little coat of soap to the knife and mix thoroughly until the color of the caulk is evenly distributed. Now, spread a thin layer around your model making sure you press down on it to ensure a good spread. Here is where the soap on the knife is handy as the mixture is thick and buttery. Squirt a bit of soap solution on the silicone and it will enable you to spread it without making a big mess. When the first coat is complete, allow it to dry for 4-6 hours and you should be ready for the next coat. Now you can put on a thicker layer and form the mold. The nice thing is you really don’t need a mold box as you can form it pretty well with the knife and soap solution. The stuff is pretty thick and doesn’t run. The silicone caulk will stick to the silicone caulk, much like RTV, so the layers adhere to each other very well. You might want to consider wiping off any of the soap solution before adding the second coat. I have made both one and two piece molds with the stuff, and while difficult to work with, after a few you get the hang of it.
I also use the caulk for other applications. You can make a nice plug for your RTV pour holes by adding a small batch into the hole and working it in and smoothing out the top. Just add some Vaseline first, as the caulk will stick to RTV. I also use it to fix a torn RTV mold by adding a small amount to the tear and adding bit to the outside.

Go to Wallymart and find the cheapest tube of 100% silicone caulk you can find. Go to the craft department and buy the cheapest tube of liquid acrylic paint and you should not have spent 10 dollars and you can likely make at least a couple of typical molds. Once you dial in your new bait design, then invest in the RTV for a production mold that will provide better detail and ease of use. It works for both plastisol and resin applicatons.

Hope this helps, it works for me. Mike, I am not trying to take away any goop sales, just giving folks an option to consider so they can ultimately make a better final product.

Good luck!
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