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Making a Poured Silicone Mold

First, gather your tools. You’ll need the following:

  • Paper cup or similar container to hold the mold — something you’ll be able to cut or tear open to get at the mold.
  • Wide popsicle sticks
  • Cheap small paint brush
  • Two cups, for mixing the silicone
  • Two containers twice the size of your mixing cups
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Krylon Crystal Clear (gloss)
  • Mold Release (we used Eject It)
  • latex gloves (optional)

 


Choose your silicone.

If your molds don’t need to be food safe, try Smooth-On’s Dragon Skin Fast, which cures pretty fast. For molds that will come into contact with food, use Smooth-Sil 940. Keep in mind that Smooth-Sil 940 takes 24 hours to cure, and that you’ll need an accurate scale — the measurements are determined by weight rather than volume.

Make your 3D print.

Print the 3D object you want to create a mold of. Make sure to keep in mind the amount of silicone you want to use when you size the model. This is your “positive.” You’re going to use the silicone to make a “negative” so you can make new positives — out of chocolate!

Use Krylon Crystal Clear spray (gloss) to coat your model.

Make sure you’re in a well ventilated space, or, better yet, go outside — you don’t want to inhale too much Krylon. Spray your model with the Krylon. This will seal the gaps between layers on your object.

Wait for the acrylic to dry — about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, if your mold doesn’t need to be food safe, you can also spray your model and container with a mold release.

Heat up your glue gun.

You will need the hot glue gun soon, so it’s a good idea to start heating it up now.

Mix the silicone according to the instructions.

Before you mix your silicone, make sure you know how long it’s going to take to set. And if you haven’t read the rest of the instructions, do that now. Once you’ve mixed the silicone, you’ll have to get the rest of the process done pretty quickly. Whatever silicone you’re using will come with instructions explaining how to mix it. Usually there are two different parts that need to be mixed together. The parts need to be mixed completely. After they’re mixed well, pour the mixture into a second cup to get rid of any unmixed traces clinging to the side of the first cup.

Use a disposable paint brush to cover the surface of your 3D model.

Using a paint brush to make sure the silicone gets into any nooks and crannies will help the mold to capture the details of your model. If there are any larger openings that you need to fill up, use the hot glue gun to do that now.

Use the hot glue gun to stick your model to the bottom of a paper cup.

Tack the corners of the bottom of the model to your cup, container or box with hot glue. Try to center the model as well as you can.

Pour the silicone into the cup.

Silicone sets quickly, so don’t let it sit around — begin pouring as soon as you can. Once you’re pouring, though, pour slowly, and from some distance above the container — this will help reduce bubbles in the silicone. Try to pour it so the silicone enters the cup towards the side. The pour is similar to how you would pour olive oil while making mayonnaise, if that helps. Use your popsicle stick to scrape the sides of the pouring container — you don’t want to waste any silicone. When you’re done, tap the side of the container to get rid of bubbles.

Let the mold set for the cure time.

The cure time will vary with the type of silicone. For the non-food safe silicone, it might be as little as 75 minutes, while the food safe kind needs 24 hours — so be sure to make your molds in advance.

Release the mold.

Use a razor blade or x-acto knife to cut a slit around the silicone block. This will allow you to remove the 3D print. A jagged edge is okay, and will actually help prevent leaks later. You may need to gently separate the sides from each other as you cut.

Wash the mold with soap and water.

Now all you need to do is wash the mold well — then you’re done!

 


Making a Silicone Putty Mold

Silicone putty is simple, fast and FDA approved for food.

Select a food-grade silicone putty.

We’ve experimented with Silicone Plastique and Amazing Mold Putty, and both worked great.

Measure a ball of equal volume of each compound.

Both kinds of putty work by mixing together equal volumes of a “Part A” compound and a “Part B” compound. Quickly blend equal amounts of Part A and Part B together in your hand until the color is uniform.

Apply the putty to your print.

If you’re using Silicone Plastique, take some of the mixed putty and coat your 3D print with a thin layer of it. Then use the rest of the putty to form a mold around the covered object. If you’re using Amazing Mold Putty, you can just encase the 3D print in the blended putty right away — just be sure to leave an opening at the bottom.

Let the mold set for the cure time.

For the Silicone Plastique, this will be about an hour. For Amazing Mold Putty, it’s more like 20 minutes. Check the instructions on the putty to make sure you know how long to leave it.

Release the mold.

Use a razor blade or x-acto knife to cut a slit around the silicone block. This will allow you to remove the 3D print. A jagged edge is okay, and will actually help prevent leaks later. You may need to gently separate the sides from each other as you cut.

Wash the mold with soap and water.

Now all you need to do is wash the mold well — then you’re done!

 


Tempering Chocolate

Gather your tools:

  • Good chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • Tempering thermometer
  • Spoon
  • Double boiler

 

These are the steps we followed, but if you’re interested in tempering chocolate, you can check out Cooking For Engineers to get more detail about the process, and to learn some of the science behind it.

Break the chocolate into small pieces.

Place a double boiler on the stove

The double boiler should have about an inch of water in the bottom.

Melt most of the chocolate.

When the melted chocolate reaches 105°F, remove it from the heat.

Add a piece of unmelted chocolate.

You can add up to 2oz, but keep it in small pieces.

Stir the chocolate until it enters the tempering range.

The tempering range is about 88-90°F — and 86-88 for milk chocolate and 80-82 for white chocolate.

Maintain the temperature.

Keep the chocolate in the tempering range until you are ready to use it.

 


Making Chocolate from a Mold

Fasten the two halves of your mold together.

You can use a rubber band, a dab of hot glue, or a paper cup the same size as the one you made the mold in.

Pour the chocolate into the mold.

Pour from some distance above the mold — this will help eliminate bubbles. When the mold is filled with chocolate, gently tap the sides. That will help clear out bubbles, too.

Put the mold aside to harden.

You can just leave it out at room temperature, but it will set faster if you refrigerate it.

Now, just wait for the chocolate to set.

When it’s done, gently pry it from the mold. Repeat the process as many times as you like, and enjoy your homemade molded chocolates!

4 Comments so far

  • Bill
    August 21, 2012 at 7:46 am
     

    Where are the photos of the finished chocolates?
    The one in the hand does not look very good. What is it?

     
  • Christina Durta
    April 24, 2013 at 7:50 am
     

    Please see my blog post: Can you make chocolate molds with a 3d printer? http://thechocolatemoldfactory.blogspot.com/2013/04/can-you-make-chocolate-molds-with-3d.html

    I am really hoping some 3d printer manufacturer will come up with a solution to some of the problems with making chocolate molds with 3d printers. The most important issue being surface finish, which is why the chocolates produced in the picture above did not turn out that well.

     
  • Joel
    February 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm
     

    Are you able to make a negative form out of the plastic from the 3D printer and pour the chocolate into that and use that as a mold?

     
  • Fiona Matthews
    March 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm
     

    Thats great.. i have 4 little ones under the age of 5 and i currently homeschool the lot of them..
    So anything that both keeps them interested, is cheap and fun to do and keep them interested for an afternoon is a winner in my book!

    Fiona

     
 

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