Mold Making w/ Artist Madeline Steimle

Whenever I stop by the Design Bank I get to meet new people and learn about exciting projects. A few weeks ago I got to help a student at IUPUI, Mark Spoleder, with a mold making project that combined 3D modeling, printing, and prototyping. Together Mark and I made a mold of a depth gauge cover for a project he is designing. This piece was one of many that would combine to make a tool allowing hikers, campers, and divers to take three dimensional scans of their environment.

Design Bank asked me to assist with mold making because as an artist I have been casting for years and always enjoy a challenge. Casting unique shapes and objects with different materials often takes a new approach and I was happy to find a way to replicate Mark’s design.

We printed several versions of the model, tweaking it, to find the best way of replication. We decided that a one part mold from a pourable urethane rubber would be the best solution. We ordered the rubber, gathered supplies, and met to pour the mold. After allowing the new mold to cure overnight we were able to remove the printed object and have a mold that could be used later for casting with plastic or resin. The flexible nature of the mold and its ability to hold details makes it great for multiple castings.

This project showed us the potential of technical skills and a hands-on approach. Assisting Mark with his prototype we were able to try a few different printing techniques, materials, and envision how different molds would work for each. To learn about this project stayed tuned to the next newsletter!

You can check out some of Madeline's art at her Etsy shop.