Artists and businessmen alike have been using molding and casting to replicate their creations for over 6000 years.
According to John Cambell’s book, “Casting,” the oldest surviving casting is a copper frog from 3200 B.C., and sand casting is mentioned in writings as early as 1600 B.C. With advances in chemical compounds and industrial grade plastics becoming more accessible, it’s even easier to mass produce your products.
3D printing has allowed for people to create an entirely new way of producing parts. Unfortunately, 3D printing is still a slow process when it comes to mass production, making molding and casting 3D parts, a great alternative.
I find solace in the process
Molding and casting, especially casting, is controlled chaos. The moment the catalyst is added to the base, a chemical reaction begins and because of science, there’s not much that’s going to stop that. You have to be 100% prepared to go, even before you begin. You need to know how the cast will be handled even before you begin the molding process. Certain casting materials could not only dictate the mold making process but also the mold making material.
Casting has a much higher fail rate than molding. However, if the mold fails, the cast will never even happen. Several environmental elements, as well as methodologies, need to be controlled all at the same time. Once that catalyst hits base there’s no going back. Getting a thorough mix, pouring or injecting, understanding and controlling the flow and pressure all the while having compensated for the environment, can be extremely nerve wracking, especially on materials where the pot life is just seconds.
It’s during that moment that all concentration is on the cast. Everything else ceases to exist. A bond and understanding is created between you and the cast. It’s something to experience. It’s like a mutual respect between you and the material. It agrees to comply with your desire to create a perfect cast and in exchange, it takes a little piece of you with it. You give it life. You start its chemical metamorphosis into the product it will become. I find solace in the process.