SOLARPUNK GIGAMOLD - PART 2: SMALL MOLD PROTOTYPING

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The first set of tests to run is to see what kind of objects we can pull out of a flexible open back mold (the simplest possible mold design).

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The part design as well as the mold itself was quickly generated in a 3D modeling software.

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Multiple variants of flexible open-back molds were made.

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Parts were casted in a cement hydrostone fiber composite to speed up demold time from over 24 hours to under 15 minutes. This way, we could go through dozens of iterations per mold per day.

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Deep cavities could be achieved via this flexible single-piece mold paradigm.

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Extremely thin yet strong walls could be achieved by adding 1-3% fiber by weight to create a GFRC mix slurry with 9000 psi compression strength that's also resistant to minor drops.

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Since the molds were so productive, we ended up with shelves full of parts by the end of the day!

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The next logical set of tests to run was to see if we could create multipart molds out of hard yet thin shells in PETG or ABS. This was a key test that could make or break our grand vision because TPU could not overhang cleanly & was also not dimensionally stable unless printed kind of thick. A thin yet strong shell was the only realistic path forward to creating a house-sized mold that's light, cost-effective, & also super fast to print.

TO BE CONTINUED...