There are a lot of ways to do this, some less expensive than others, I suppose. I use a food safe rubber, which makes for a reusable and multi-purpose mold… you could use it to cast gummy candy, chocolate, or really just about anything, and it’s super durable.
The process involves creating a blank that you will create a mold out of, which I guess could also be 3D printed, but milling it is way cheaper and faster. Either way, for anyone who just wants a 3D model to start from, I have the 100 most popular boy/girl names available on my website to download for free. ( chopbangbuzz.com ).
Also should you be inclined, check out the video I made of the process, it’s pretty quick and fun
Okay so, for the story in pictures, here are the steps:
Obviously first you need the blank of what you intend to make a mold out of. This one was designed in Fusion 360:
I machined everything out of HDPE. You could use just about any plastic/wood/other though. I would avoid rubber, since it might bond with the rubber used to create the mold (seen in later steps):
Another shot of the machining:
Okay! So you’ve got your blank(s), you’ll need a box that you will pour rubber into and cover the blanks. You want this box as small as you can get away with… so maybe 1/2" to 1" of space around the parts should be sufficient. You can go as big as you want, but it’ll waste a lot of rubber:
Since I was making the box from foamcore (You could use acrylic, cardboard, even plastic food storage containers), i locked it all together with hot glue, which also prevents leaks:
Hot glue works to hold down the blanks too… you don’t want them moving around or floating when you pour the rubber. However, if you have double sided tape it would be better for this (The glue has more thickness so holds the part up slightly higher and rubber could creep under)
Everything glued down, looks good… notice the sticks, those are just there to reserve that space for sticks after pouring chocolate (you’ll understand later):
Just pour the rubber in! Start form the lowest point and pour into it, so the rubber fills upward rather than pouring over the top and having it run down over everything. That way you minimize air bubbles. Also, if you have a vacuum chamber, you can use it to pull any microscopic bubbles our of the rubber before this step. If you don’t have a vacuum chamber, just pour from up higher in a thin stream and it should be fine.
The pour is complete, now just let it cure for a while.
Break away the box, and you’re left with your mold! Now the fun can start!
Gently melt down some chocolate/candy
Pour it into the mold…
Put the sticks in if you’ll be using sticks.
Once the chocolate hardens (you can speed it up with a refrigerator/freezer), gently peel away the mold. It’s rubber so you can be relatively aggressive without harming it.
In this instance my mold makes 4 at a time. Imagine having to do 30 of these and only doing one at a time! It’s best to set this up for batches like I did.
Here’s wha one looks like, in white chocolate:
And of course, the whole purpose of this, was a baby shower! Here it is on the table waiting for guests.
Hope this was helpful to some people. Let me know if I can clarify anything. As I mentioned, 3D files of a TON of names are all pre-made in STEP format for anyone that wants them at chopbangbuzz.com
More projects coming soon!