Week 6: Molding and Casting

Molding and casting is fun, I wish I had started earlier.

I tried to make cuff links from the bismuth tin alloy. I still haven't had the exposure necessary to attain fluency in any modeling softwares, so creating the design on Rhino took an embarrassingly long time.

Two problems with my design: at first, I didn't have a base beneath the cuff link halves so when I went to put the stl into fabmodules, it couldn't generate a toolpath that accurately reflected height and instead would have cut the same layer over and over.

The other problem was that I forgot that to create a cast for the full object I need the mirror image as well. I only realized my mistake when I tried unsuccessfully to fit two of the same oomoo molds together, and the shame and lack of time prevented me from making the other half. I ended up just casting one of the halves pressed against the back of the other mold. My final product is thus half of what I intended. I'll just carry around a mirror whenever I wear them to achieve the full effect.

The resolution on the wax model -- and thus all the subsequent iterations of the cuff links -- is rough because I was impatient and set the cut depth on the mill to be 1.6 mm. At least I believe that's what this issue was. I never bothered to correct it because I kind of liked the texture and didn't have the time.

UPDATE: The cause for the striations in the initial wax model in fact had to do with the default settings in fab modules; using 1000 DPI, 90% offset overlap, and 1.1 path error tolerance should eliminate this issue. Neil was able to figure this out and has since adjusted the default settings.