I thought it would be easier and less expensive, lol. In the long run it might, but... for now, I think i'll stick with printing.What would you be forming in the mold?
This is my process for making a fiberglass body or carbon fiber body:
1. 3d print the shape which generally costs me about $44 in PLA filament.
2. Mount to a piece of wood and to each other with BSI CA Glue.
3. Sanding plastic, then Primer, body filler, and sanding till its perfect.
4. Mold release wax and PVA
5. Gelcoat (without wax)
6. Fiberglass (chopped strand mat) + fiberglass resin
8. Pull mold from positive and begin cleanup, touchups, sanding and polishing.
9. Wax mold and apply PVA.
10. Layup for carbon fiber or fiberglass to produce final product.
11. Pull from mold and repeat steps mentioned in step #8
Rough cost estimates:
$18 body filler
$15 sand paper
$60 Fiberglass chopped strand mat and resin
$x mold release wax and pva
$x carbon fiber twill
$x epoxy resin
I have found that it is extremely labor intensive and not an ideal "thing" for mass selling but maybe you will have a better time with it than I have.
I also invested in vacuum bagging materials which only caused more problems and lost money.
There are ways to go direct from the print to a mold. My printer isn't dialed in the best and I need the part to be ultra smooth for the body.I thought it would be easier and less expensive, lol. In the long run it might, but... for now, I think i'll stick with printing.
I was planning on using petg or something maybe carbon fiber to make the mold, and pla to fill it. I'm not making bodies though.
Thanks for the info though! It'll be nice if I ever do make molds.