In order to have your design reproduced efficiently and flawlessly, these 4 steps must be taken:
- MODEL: The object we create your mold from. It can be made of a variety of materials, we typically use plaster because it is rigid and can be tooled and polished.
- MASTER MOLD: The original plaster mold of your model.
- MOTHER MOLD: A rubber mold of your master mold, used to produce the working mold.
- WORKING MOLD: Plaster molds used in the clay production process.
By using traditional clay forming methods (wheel thrown or hand built) and plaster lathe turning. We can create your models from sketches or blue prints ranging from tableware, industrial design, architectural design, sculptures, to customized glass casting applications and art installations.
Because of our understanding of what mold design works best in a production setting, the models we construct for slip-casting or RAM pressing are specifically designed to work well in a production atmosphere. This increases efficiency and overall quality of the product.
Our models can be designed to compensate for shrinkage in a specific clay body or can be used for molds in glass and metal applications. Many of the tools used in this process have been customized to our specific needs in order to produce a flawless working model.
Mudshark studios offers custom plaster molds designed for either slip casting or RAM pressing. These molds are made from your own model, or a prototype we have designed. Depending on your design and production needs, Mudshark Studios will determine what the best production method is. This will determine whether a RAM die, or a slip casting mold will be made.
A slip casting master mold is made of plaster and will look exactly like the working molds (If you do not require multiple molds, then the master mold becomes your working mold).This master mold will only be used to make the rubber mother mold. Each rubber mother mold is an individual mold of each mold part that makes up the master mold. The rubber mother mold is made from a very strong and rigid two part pourable polyurethane rubber.
These rubber mother molds will produce your working molds at a much lower cost than the original master mold, as well as the ability to increase production capacity.RAM master molds are made from plaster as well, but are limited to two parts. Once the RAM masters have been made rubber mother molds are then produced. These rubber molds will then produce the working RAM mold. A RAM working mold can typically produce up to 1000 pressing before replacement is needed.
Once Mudshark Studios has created your models and molds, we can begin the manufacturing process. The slip casting process allows for the manufacturing of complex designs which cannot be produced by using a RAM press. The slip casting process begins by pouring slip into the working molds and then dumping it out, leaving a thin shell of clay. Once the clay is dry enough the mold is taken apart and the clay object is extracted. Slip casting molds are rotated once daily, limiting the production output to the quantity of working molds. If increased output is needed, then more working molds can be added. Depending on the amount of detail in the mold, slip casting working molds typically can cast 50-100 units per mold before signs of wear begin to show.
RAM pressing is done by using a large 60 ton hydraulic press. A predetermined amount of clay is placed in the press and is squeezed between the two mold parts, air is then moved through mold to help release the object. The Ram press can help increase production without the need of multiple working molds, as required in the slip casting process.
GLASS SLUMP MOLDS
Mudshark studios offers Custom glass molds designed specifically for slumping glass. These glass slumping molds often have a wide base and sloping sides in order to provide a stationary platform. Mudshark studios can create the model for your glass slumping mold using your blueprint or sketch.
Once the model is complete and meets your specifications, a plaster slip-casting mold will be made directly from your model. Using this plaster slip-casting mold, we will cast your ceramic glass slump mold.
Using your own, custom designed glass slumping mold will give you the opportunity to create new and exciting products. Here are a few examples of custom glass slumping molds and the processes used to make them.