THE MODEL: The model, sometimes referred to as a pattern, prototype is designed using plaster. Sculptures are usually created using clay (moist) or plastercine (dry). Existing objects can be used as models. Models include wood carvings, paper mache, glass, resin, metal, and so on. Each of the latter materials have their own unique set of problems for molding though. For further information, link onto Product Design.
THE ROUGH MOLD: Sometimes referred to as a waste mold, the rough mold is used simply to make an impression of the model.
THE MASTER: The next step involves constructing a master. A master is a hydro-stone duplicate of the original model. Making a master allows the mold making process to continue without further damage the original model.
THE CASE MOLD: The case mold is the first perfect mold. The sides of this mold have been shaped and sculpted to make the final production mold lighter and efficient. The case mold is an exact mirror of the production mold. The case mold is then used to make the block.
THE BLOCK: The blocks are made using super-hard plaster cements. The blocks are used to reproduce the production molding efficiently and inexpensively. The block could include hard-plaster rails around the block. From the case mold, the final blocks are made. The production molding can now be reproduced inexpensively and perfectly from these blocks.
THE PRODUCTION MOLDS: Sometimes referred to as working or slave molds, the production molds are the culmination of all the above steps. For further information, link onto How to Make Ceramic Products.
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