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Old March 16th, 2014, 08:34 AM   #1
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Default Any one do mold making?

I have been making gauge pods for G8's and am trying to cut the cost down and thought if I could make a mold for it so I could make them faster instead of hand making each one it could help.

So does anyone have any experience here?

First off I need to know if the gauge pod can be made in one piece or if not then I need advice on how to do it. I am not sure I can do it in one piece because of the design, it is not simple.

I will post a picture later when I have one here.

Also need to know what product to use to make it out of. Polyurethane?
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Old March 16th, 2014, 09:59 AM   #2
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Depends on what your going for I guess. Maybe once you post a picture it will be more clear but I have and still do from time to time make molds from fiberglass.

If you already have one made you can "splash" a mold from that and be on your way with out to much hassle
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Old March 16th, 2014, 10:10 AM   #3
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Look into rapid prototype using silicone molds.
IIRC you can melt up the plastic and pour it into the mold opening verses injection machine.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #4
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I've used fiberglass, polyurethane, and bondo all on different occasions.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I've used fiberglass, polyurethane, and bondo all on different occasions.
Lol @ bondo!! All my file handles are made of bondo from my bondo handle mold
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Old March 16th, 2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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There is always 3D printing or an sls machine
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Old March 16th, 2014, 11:09 AM   #7
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vacuum forming?
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Old March 16th, 2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
There is always 3D printing or an sls machine
Problem with 3D printing is there is no economy of scale. If the first part costs you $30 to make, they all cost $30 to make. The only thing that will amortize is the printer itself.

I know a guy down in Alabama that started printing hard to find parts for vintage Fiat Bertones and sort of drifted into building 3d printers. He's just finished his prototype that can print 18"x18"x18" and he can sell it for 1/2 the price of existing printers that size- and still make about a 50% profit.

And no- he's not a redneck. He's originally from North Dakota, but took an engineering job in Huntsville.

Too bad the OP isn't looking for aluminum casting molds- someone else I know over in Greenville makes some good side money casting repop parts for 1950's era toy ride on tractors. I have no idea if he can do plastic molds.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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The only mold I have ever made was on a loaf of bread.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #10
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This is what I am making, I will get pics of it by itself in a little while. It is just the gauge pod, it is separate from the radio trim piece.








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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordbronco View Post
I've used fiberglass, polyurethane, and bondo all on different occasions.
Any recommendations on what Polyurethane to get?

Anything local? I will probably get it online but just for price shopping.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:26 PM   #12
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Benny on here designs molds for Peninsula Plastics in Auburn Hills.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
This is what I am making, I will get pics of it by itself in a little while. It is just the gauge pod, it is separate from the radio trim piece.








Wow! Those look like they could be a factory option, nice job!
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:40 PM   #14
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These are them in primer. My concern is the mold, can it work? The pieces that act as a sunshade can be done separately so that can eliminate that lip. But then how do I keep the void where the gauge goes? Seems complicated to me.







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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:42 PM   #15
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal View Post
Look into rapid prototype using silicone molds.
IIRC you can melt up the plastic and pour it into the mold opening verses injection machine.
This is what I was thinking, using plastic or urethane but the mold is my holdup. I am not sure how to make it, also because of the hole through where the gauge goes.

I would also like to lighten them up a little if possible.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #17
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Those would be hard because of the draft angles to make a hard mold, I would have to be silicone. What are you going to make finished product out of? Best way would be to vacuum cast these because if you use just a two part like 30-30 you are going to have air in them and most likely happen in the detailed areas and end up being more work then they are worth. How many of these are you looking to make? In the last pic if you could clay in between the pod and the dash piece it would make your life a lot simpler. I make a lot of this stuff at work and find it fun. I will help you any way i can.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #18
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Maybe make the area where the gauge goes flat. Then cut the opening out with a dremel so you can put the gauge in. Probably make it a bit easier.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebeaner View Post
Those would be hard because of the draft angles to make a hard mold, I would have to be silicone. What are you going to make finished product out of? Best way would be to vacuum cast these because if you use just a two part like 30-30 you are going to have air in them and most likely happen in the detailed areas and end up being more work then they are worth. How many of these are you looking to make? In the last pic if you could clay in between the pod and the dash piece it would make your life a lot simpler. I make a lot of this stuff at work and find it fun. I will help you any way i can.
I agree on the silicone mold. I was thinking of pouring urethane into the mold but am open to options. I can use my shop vac to vacuum cast them, right lol.

I am not sure of the market on them quite yet, if I can get the price down the market goes up. I have them at $300 shipped for the 3 gauge pod and $275 for the 2 gauge pod. I think if I can get it closer to $200-$225 it would help. People have been interested but no one has sent money yet but they know they are in the prototype stage .
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Old March 16th, 2014, 01:59 PM   #20
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This is the setup that the Australian models have and it is about $750-$850 shipped, it comes with gauges and a few other trim pieces to make it fit. New they are about $1200. I bought one but sold it before I installed it because I was not going to use the gauges that came with it and it was just too much $$$. So I decided to design my own.

There are others making something like mine but they are molded into the trim piece but mine is a separate piece that can be taken off at any time.




Last edited by firehawk; March 16th, 2014 at 02:03 PM.
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