I handmade this prototype mold out of MDF. MDF is quite effective for flat, or simple 3D molded foam. It is very easy to work with and can be easily glued. It is good for perhaps 100 parts. MDF does not work well at higher pressures, but does stand up to fairly high temperatures.
Collaborated with David Mydans, shown here with the first sample.
Experimenting with the brand new 1500 ton press. Concept testing for 3D Molded back panels. Concept proved valid, but we quickly learned that MDF is not strong enough for this kind of molding. This prototype mold was only good for about 5 parts.
This was another proof of concept design. This part was created in less than 2 hours from concept to finished parts.
This prototype mold was created using Rigid PVC, which is cheap and commonly available in China in sheets up to 25mm thick. Rigid PVC is easy to work with and easy to laminate and glue. It can withstand extreme pressure in molding. The only drawback is that because Rigid PVC is a thermoformable plastic you need to allow 10 to 15 minutes for the mold to cool down after each impression. Otherwise Rigid PVC is probably good for up to 500 parts.
Collaborated with Fabio Carminati in the Youngone Molded Foam Factory to create a molded leather and canvas watch case. First prototype mold was created in a few hours, and the first sample was finished the same day.
Collaborated with several designers from Decathlon to create the 3D rendering and the molds to make all the prototypes.
This was the first fully 3D prototype mold that we made. It was made out of a local hardwood, and if you look closely you can see that each side is made from just two pieces of solid wood. The mold was very rough, but you can see that it yielded a reasonable part for a first prototype. The rough shape was cut by CNC and then all the detail and finishing was done by hand. We also tried making a mold out of laminated Rigid PVC, but were unhappy with the results. The second prototype mold was cut from soft steel. We found that we could make a soft steel mold for only a few hundred dollars more than the wood mold and the soft steel is good to go for production. The only drawback with the steel was the weight. It would take 4 men to load the prototype mold into the press. All production molds were aluminum.