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View Full Version : Custom Blowmolds. How expensive?



szaske
01-13-2014, 05:29 AM
I'm just exploring my options for 2014. How expensive would it be to have custom blowmolds made? I'd like to have some Christmas Tree blowmolds made for some small mega trees. My idea is to build a wireframe skeleton, attach the pixels to it, and then cover the whole thing with custom blowmold cover. I'm just wondering if someone else has done this before.

-=Steve

TED
01-18-2014, 07:54 AM
I've never heard of anyone having it done. It costs thousands of dollars to create a mold for making a blowmold so I don't think it's very practical. I think that maybe in a few years when 3D printers get a lot cheaper (and bigger hopefully) we may be able to print up whatever type of "blowmolds" we want. They won't technically be blowmolds but should be cool anyway!

I do like your idea. What if you just covered it with some thick white plastic sheeting?

TED

Robo
01-18-2014, 10:15 AM
Sounds similar to the desktop pixel tree but on a larger scale.

jchuchla
01-18-2014, 12:55 PM
In the corporate event arena we accomplish what you're trying to do with a spandex like material. It's not rigid plastic. Buy to would glow like a blowmold


-- Jon Chuchla --

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james70818
01-18-2014, 01:10 PM
While the actual blow mold would be way to expensive upwards of $20k, you could make a vacuum form table for fairly cheap. If you've seen Mythbusters, you have most likely seen Adam make stuff with it. You would still need to make a plug for the item you want to make but it could be done.

Poly-Styrene is a common sheet of plastic you can use and it is fairly cheap. You can use ABS and PVC but they can release some pretty nasty stuff when heated.

arw01
01-18-2014, 01:25 PM
That's a great idea on the vacumn thought. If you had access to a large say 4x4 cnc router table with a fairly deep z axis, you could stack a few pieces of polystyrene foam (does not compress) that you pick up from lowes or homedepot (those blue or pink rigid foam sheets) and have the router make the form. Then use the vacumn press and wala, you have a front side.

Alan

james70818
01-18-2014, 01:50 PM
That's a great idea on the vacumn thought. If you had access to a large say 4x4 cnc router table with a fairly deep z axis, you could stack a few pieces of polystyrene foam (does not compress) that you pick up from lowes or homedepot (those blue or pink rigid foam sheets) and have the router make the form. Then use the vacumn press and wala, you have a front side.

Alan

Like one of these?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/aikdxov0dscq1rq/Photo%20Apr%2012%2C%209%2046%2015%20PM.jpg

Sorry, just had to. This is when I was building it, I have since added 2" riser blocks to increase my Z to just over 8".

arw01
01-18-2014, 04:51 PM
That's the ticket, sounds like a new project. That all 80/20 extrusions? On my list someday to make one, considered buying a desktop laser too when the wife was actually into finishing scrapbooks. Make your own die cuts etc..

derekbackus
01-18-2014, 08:11 PM
That's a great idea on the vacumn thought. If you had access to a large say 4x4 cnc router table with a fairly deep z axis, you could stack a few pieces of polystyrene foam (does not compress) that you pick up from lowes or homedepot (those blue or pink rigid foam sheets) and have the router make the form. Then use the vacumn press and wala, you have a front side.

Have you done this? I would think the heat of the sheet would melt the foam when it came in contact with it -- or compress it. We make molds in our model shop, but we use MDF. If you have used polystyrene, I'll try that next time -- cheap and easy!

Another thought, you could carve (by hand) the blue or pink foam and cover it with fiberglass and carve out the foam. Kind of a PITA, but it would work. Make sure you use epoxy resin...

jchuchla
01-18-2014, 08:13 PM
This is completely unexperienced, but I wouldn't think the softened plastic would be hot enough to melt the foam. We're not talking temps that high. 200 degrees or so? And its not hot that long. I'd think the two would equalize temps rather quickly.


-- Jon Chuchla --

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arw01
01-19-2014, 02:27 AM
I have not played with warm or hot molding. Anything you would use more than once I would do in the mdf too.

Alan