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Thread: project Sulaco

  1. #11

    project Sulaco

    WOW hot day, wish i was outside but needs must, i simply haft to get these flanges fixed. The flanges on the corners were not exactly symetrical so i had the idea to raise the whole section and build a fake box on top of them to the exact shape i wanted, once drawn up and measured the gluing was easy, BUT they are only attached by there ends until i can get the side pieces put together

    Attached the flange sides, the beauty of this is you dont need to havean exact shape, you use the join to guide your cut

    Finished with all flange sides added ready for first coat, as i am using plasticard for the main construction i am using a VERY thick application of satin PlastiKote clear over a matt black, not for the final finish but to provide me with a hard shell to work on top of

    Whilst i wait for my joints to dry ive taken some spare time to make the replacement NZXT logo and AMD logo

    AMD logo done, a lot less tricky then i expected

    NZXT logo almost sorted, most of the letters turned out fine although i am on the 16th letter X

    All letters finished with a little plinth to place on

    DONE yay!!!!

    And yes those letters are 13mm high

    Time to start working on the mould for the window surround, i willl be using a master blank to provide the shape for the finished surround, and will be casting the mould from silicone RTV

    or a lubricated alu box (setting resin can get up to 80C and will melt plastic)

    Final produce till be cast in Polyester resin

    Render of the Bezel i wil be making, caution will be the key here as the polyester resin can be brittle in the cross section i will be working in


  2. #12

    project Sulaco

    BIG update today

    With a huge influx of materials and some glorious free time ive managed to start on the blank to be made in to a mould for my resin window bezel, main blank fabrication is from 3mm plasticard, and wil be all hand cut and filed to prep for moulding, all joints will be made with polycement, it is quick cheap and effective for this material

    Once marked out i can start to score the lines to create a guide path for the scalpel

    All lines nice and deeply scored, the depth of each cut is now approx 2.5mm deep, the component can be snapped free after this point

    And behold the first piece of the mould blank, the most critical piece as this wil govern the placement of the rest of the structure and any reinforcing needed

    Cutting out the "rails" that i will split to make the sides and reinforcing butresses

    First few sides and supports added, due to the pressure of 24hours immersed in a very dense liquid such as Silicone this needs to be very strong to prevent warping f the flat surfaces

    Construction continues

    And now finialy, my new camera, say god bye to dodgy phone camera pics

    MY new Fuji all singing all dancing camera.. if this was any smarter it wold be a professor as Cambridge

    New Arrivals

    Hmmm i wonder what they could be, i shall use my jedi powers to detect the cargo... I predict the one on the right are fuel rods and the one on the left is a very angry Chinhilla

    Damn i was wrong....


    Yes the sweets did come with it, weird

    Lets take a closer look...

    Silicone RTV (Liquid silicone component)

    Catalyst component

    For this brand the mix is 1/10 catalyst to silicone, most have a ratio of 1/5 for the "salmon" catalysts. This is a clear catalyst mix better suited to exposure to Polyester resin

    Class is shore A (20), i very resiliant silicone mix with high thermal resistance and strength, not as elastic as some classes its tearing ratio is 400% elongation

    And now the cathodes....

    Whats in the box

    yle="text-align:center;">4 UV CCFLs

    2 twin inverters

    On/off rocker switches and cable bundle (ugly and will be replaced and sleeved)

    Assorted sticky bits

    UUUUU purdy (chair not included)

    Finishing the mould, had a good bit of time to work today so ive finished the blank and set up the mould walls to retain the Silicone RTV

    My two best friends polycement and a scalpel

    Blank finished with all the reinforcing in place, and poly is set

    Lets break out the sander.... MORE POWER!!!!

    After some brief but interesting sanding where my pet Staffordshire Bull terier tried to eat the mouse sander i finialy got the edges nice and crisp and the bottom level all ready to glue to the sheet that will form the base of my mould

    Crisp, clean.... and erm.... dusty

    Brushed off the dust and debris and glued the blank to the mould floor

    Lots of spare plasticard cut in to strips to form the mould wall

    Mould all done all ready for the RTV to go in

    Time to mould

    Everything you need to make the mould

    Pictured above, all the things you need to finish one single part mould

    • Spatula
    • Silicone RTV
    • Catalyst
    • BlankMould boxMixing vessel.... (my wife's fave cake tin)Rice

    As this is not a regular shape mould it is hard to work out the volume do you dont over or under mix a quantity of silicone

    Fill your mould with rice until you have the blank covered to a depth that you feel you want for mould

    Pour off the spare rice and empty the mould in to your mixing vessel, then mark the level the rice comes to as your "max fill" level

    Although you may think that another approach would be to weight the rice for maximum accuracy but DONT, Silicone RTV is far more dense that rice and you will not get the same volume

    Place your mixing vessel on some weighing scales and make sure you zero the reading... pour in the Silicone to the fill line.... make a note of the weight

    As this is a 1-10 mix catalyst you need 1/10 (BY WEIGHT) so from the note you made on the scales work out a tenth and pour in the catalyst until you reach that weight

    NOTE - The catalyst that comes with this brand of RTV is clear, i have tinted it with silicone dye for photographic use and to better illustrate a good mixture

    And now we are ready to pour, do it slowly and try to avoid moving the pour stream around to much in the early stage as you will trap air bubbles

    Pouring done, let it settle and check after an hour to see if the surface if free of bubbles, if it is not pop them, remember this will become the bottom of the finished mould and must be perfectly flat

  3. #13

    project Sulaco

    Time to demould

    One of the good ways to see if your silicone is ready to remove from the mould is to look at the surface it will lok tight and will have lost most of the shine it had as a liquid

    Another popular but less scientific method would be "prod it a bit"

    As with most materials set with a catalyst the thicker areas set first so to be 100% sure that it has set pull away one side of the mould to release the seal if its to soft push the side back and wait another 3 hours

    Start taking the sides off our mold, NEVER try to take it out like a jelly mould, the suction from the material will more then likely destroy your blank and mould block before it becomes free

    Starting at one edge peel the mould off the blank, this way you break the suction as you go


    Little bit of flashing around the mould edges, very easy to trim off

  4. #14

    project Sulaco

    Curious to see the final product on this, and i love how detailed your getting with the actual process of making the molds. Excellent work so far and will definitely fall back on this mod if I ever decide to use silicone to make molds, lol.

  5. #15

    project Sulaco

    Curious to see the final product on this, and i love how detailed your getting with the actual process of making the molds. Excellent work so far and will definitely fall back on this mod if I ever decide to use silicone to make molds, lol.
    This is the first propper log ive done, so i am on a very steep learning curve as to presentation. Thankfully ive got a great friend a d mod expert coaching me with the presentation

    RTV moulding especialy if you haft to make lots of items all the same it very easy and cost effective, the if you dont count the initial cost (IE but all resin supplies in specialy) and just focus on the cost of the material per produced item its aounnd 30p

    Any questions n the process ile be happy to answer

  6. #16

    project Sulaco

    This cracks me up. Here I was available to offer you advice.... and I'm the one learning new techniques.

    Thanks for the tutorials! And it looks like you are going amazingly fast.

  7. #17

    project Sulaco

    This cracks me up. Here I was available to offer you advice.... and I'm the one learning new techniques.

    Thanks for the tutorials! And it looks like you are going amazingly fast.
    Some is backlog catch up, this actuialy reflects about a week.... from here on posts are real time. sort of "what i did today" kinda deal

  8. #18

    project Sulaco

    Time to do the casting

    What do we have
    • Resin
    • Catalyst
    • MouldMixing bowlMixing device

    Raw polyester resin

    Catalyst added

    Mixed, note the darker tone now, its an effect of the mix forming chemical bonds changing the structure, some of you will know this as "curing"

    this is a 100/1 mix ratio, resin to catalyst, but i am rounding up to the nearest gram, in this case 170g resin needs 2g catalyst, i weighed the amounts out before i started to save myself some time

    Sorry no pics of the pouring, the fumes liberated by the pour can mess up fine lenzes

    Pouring done

    As this is a one part mould you are going to get sunken and risen areas due to surface tension, so you may want to spread the top surface outside the confined ot the moulds sides to break that for a true smooth finish, this only applies to one part moulds where you are filling fight up to the top surface


    When cured you will notice its changed to a rather green tone and has some lateral shrinkage

    You will also be able to make out some hairlike marks in the surface, this is part of the curing process, where 2 curing areas meet they form this boundry line just like a continent

    A few of the finished items, on a block of alu to help dissipate the heat, as the resin whilst curing can get up to 80c

    All 4 parts cast, time to get the mouse sander out

    Here we see the mouse sander in its natural habitat, about to pounce on this basking bezel piece

    10 mins and a lot of swearing later (sanded my finger)

    30mins more and even more swearing (to annoy the neighbours)

    Ready to do the fine sanding ready to box up doe painting later

  9. #19

    project Sulaco

    I wonder why you didn't just cut those pieces with something simple like... jigsaw. Seems like alot of work to mold what appears to be a simple cut. I don't mean to sound negative, just curious why you chose this route.

  10. #20

    project Sulaco

    When i say limited tools i really mean it, apart from a dremel and a drill im hand tool only, this is super low budget... and its a very enjoyable process

    So its largely a case of "how do i do this" and then work round it

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