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Throughout our lives, we use synthetic materials for almost everything. We go by each day without thinking about them or how they were made. While yes, their impact on the environment is an issue, modern technological advancements have helped us to adopt more eco-friendly production methods for these synthetic products. Not only does this help improve the sustainability of these products, but their toxicity levels as well. One of these amazing synthetic materials is Silicone – a wonder product, with almost limitless uses, both for commercial and home or craft use. We use silicone adhesives, sealants, insulators, and of course, to create silicone molds (which are available as silicone mold kits, or resin mold kits, for resin casting). This article will delve into the world of mold-making kits and resin casting. Read on to find out which are the best silicone mold kits for your project!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Silicone Rubber and How Does One Use it?
- 2 What Is the Best Silicone Mold Kit Available?
- 3 Understanding Silicone Mold Kit Hardness Grades
- 4 How to Create a Resin Mold
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Silicone Rubber and How Does One Use it?
Obviously, this is quite a broad question. In a sense, it is like asking one to describe how wood or water is used. There are just way too many ways one can use silicone rubber to explain it all in one article. But, if someone has never seen or heard of silicone, you may find it easier to explain the substance to them and give them a pretty decent idea of what it is and how to use it. Here is some interesting history on this wonderful synthetic substance.
Silicone was discovered in 1842 by a man named Jöns Jackob Berzelius. His discovery was made possible because he was experimenting with chlorine solutions. Since that day, humanity has found a plethora of ways to use silicone! Being such a flexible substance that is also quite durable and even somewhat heat-resistant and also airtight, means that silicone will not cause damage to the surfaces it comes in contact with.
Silicone can be used in electronic applications as well as plumbing!
In your home, you will find silicone everywhere! Inside the kitchen, you likely own a pair of silicone oven gloves, baking trays, cupcake molds, basters, containers, and even an egg flipper! When it comes to your car, silicone was used to insulate exposed wires, create gasket sets, and even seal off oil containers. It is also often used to create trim on a vehicle or for the grip on a screwdriver – and then even used to make the container in which your tools are stored inside!
Believe it or not, but, Silicone rubber is even used in the textile and clothing industry. Take for example tee shirts with silicone rubber 3D prints on them, or, shoe soles and even pull strings, zip pull-ring sheaths, and retainers. Other uses are on hairbrushes, retainers, hair tie-backs, and even jewelry like bracelets or earrings.
Our article today, however, is all about one of the biggest uses there is for silicone: Silicone mold kits and resin mold kits. Both of these mold-making kits are available in large and smaller-scale resin casting production. These silicone mold kits can be used to create extremely intricate products (both decorative or practical use items).
One can purchase a silicone mold kit from most supply stores or online from amazon. You can then use these amazing resin mold kits to recreate items inside your home in the form of resin casting. Not only do silicone mold-making kits allow you to recreate items, but they are affordable in comparison to 3D printing.
Read on to learn about the best silicone mold kit for you, and how to use your mold-making kit at home!
What Is the Best Silicone Mold Kit Available?
Luckily, silicone mold kits are something people of all skill levels can use as it is quite a straightforward and simple material to work with. Just like in any industry, most silicone mold kits claim to be the best ones on the market. But, not all products are the same. Have a look at what some of the truly best silicone mold kits really are, complete with lists of advantages and disadvantages for each to help make your purchase easier and simpler.
Our Favorite for Overall Use: ALUMILITE Amazing Mold Putty Kit
Our favorite silicone mold kit for overall use has to be this mold putty kit from Alumilite. Why is this kit the best silicone mold kit money can buy? Well, that is easy to answer! This awesome silicone mold kit is very highly resistant to heat and tearing or abrasion. It is morph resistant and even safe to put inside your dishwasher! This silicone mold-making kit is platinum-based to make sure it lasts longer than the rest as well as being reinforced for multiple, if not countless uses.
If you are looking for the best silicone mold kit around, this is the product you want to use, especially if your DIY project is time-sensitive – The Alumilite Amazing Mold Putty Kit will provide you with a sturdy and durable mold in record time! What sets this resin mold kit apart from the rest is its special formula, which cures into your object’s negative form in a whopping 30-minutes! What is more is, the mold is usable immediately thereafter. The best part of these amazing silicone mold-making kits?
You can use them for so much more than just resin, they are FA approved which means you can even make food products and you will not run into any toxicity issues. If you are wanting to make containers for food or fun molds for chocolates or jelly, this product is the one to go for. You could even use it to make candles, soaps, or for more DIY-type projects involving concrete or plaster. If you do plan on using this silicone mold kit for a denser substance, it is recommended to allow it to cure for 24 hours to ensure there will not be any warping or breakage of any kind.
Aside from all these wonderful and notable advantages of this product, it is also very reasonably well priced! And, as if you needed more convincing, it is very easy to use in its two-part formula and once your mold has been made, it is very easy and quick to clean, either by hand with some warm soapy water or in your dishwasher. As we said before, this is by far the best silicone mold kit you could purchase, the next two on our list come in close, however!
Our Favorite for Best Finish: LET’S RESIN Silicone Molds Making Kit Translucent
A well-known brand and silicone mold-making kit used by novice and experienced crafters all over, Let’s Resin mold-making kits are of fantastic quality, as are all their other products within the resin and resin mold kits range. Just like the Alumilite product listed above, Let’s Resin also used a formula with a platinum backbone. This ensures top resin mold kit quality with good flexibility which will not break after a few uses. One thing these silicone mold kits have that the Alumilite product does not is the fact that it is basically odorless and nontoxic.
It is also clear, which means you can add color dyes to change the tint, as well as other objects or glitter. The resin and its hardener are used in a 1:1 ratio making it super simple and easy to use. These resin mold kits also ensure a bubble-free finish, which is especially helpful if you do not own a vacuum or pressure chamber on hand.
Others who have used this mold-making kit have described it as re-usable, flexible, and very easy to work with, thanks to the awesome flexibility when de-molding. This is also a child-safe product when considering how food-safe and non-toxic it is.
One of the top and most recognizable brands out there, this is definitely one of the best silicone mold kits on the market. It is very simple to use, it is versatile and it is easy to clean. It is also basically unbreakable and super customizable! You may find that you need a few bottles as it is only available in one volume. Should you have an intricate object you would like to replicate this is the perfect silicone mold-making kit for you, it dries in minutes and is fully set in 12 hours, so there is no long waiting to get your project going.
Our Favorite for Best Value: BBDINO Silicone Mold Making Kit, 30A Platinum Rubber
Although this brand is less well-known, it is still a fantastic silicone mold-making kit option. The resin mold solutions used by BBDINO are of high quality and this is obvious when one looks at the quality of the packaging as well as the materials used within their silicone mold kits. This product should not be a mere afterthought! Using foil wrapping, their containers for both the resin and the hardener promise a longer shelf life. The foil helps keep the product fresh for months once opened, which is a massive plus.
Not only does this product last longer once opened, but it is also very easy and simple to use! Thanks to the low viscosity liquid which runs like melted butter until the two parts have been combined, pouring is easy and accurate.
Once you have mixed the hardener and the resin together, the platinum-backed product forms into a highly flexible and robust mold. You can also rest assured that you will be able to reuse your mold many times without worrying about it warping or breaking. To make this resin mold kit even more appealing, they are also food safe. This means that you can create ice cubes, artisanal chocolates, and even baked goods with them. This mold-making kit is also perfect for children to use!
Understanding Silicone Mold Kit Hardness Grades
As you likely already know, silicone can be both very hard or very soft and flexible. An example of harder silicone is an O-ring, and an example of softer more flexible silicone could be your shoe inner sole. The way this hardness is measured is by using a scale. Every silicone mold kit product will result in its own unique hardness. You will need to select your silicone mold-making kit according to this scale, which will depend on what you wish to use your silicone mold kit for. You should expect a hardness on the shore scale anywhere between 0 to 90. But, how does one determine the level of hardness you will need?
As you can imagine, if you are creating a denser item inside your mold, you should be selecting a resin mold kit that can withstand this material, and therefore, you will require a harder mold. If you use a mold that is too soft and flexible for a heavier product, you will risk your mold breaking, tearing, or losing shape easily. For a better understanding of which shore hardness you will need in your resin mold kit, think of it this way: a shore hardness of 10 is about as softer as a marshmallow would be. A shore hardness of 90 will be as hard and stiff as a human bone.
The latter is of course the stronger option. Make sure you choose the correct hardness for your application, otherwise you risk your silicone mold kit casting coming out incorrectly.
Make sure you read the packaging of your product and read reviews to be certain before you make a purchase.
Using Heat With Silicone Rubber
You might be wondering just how heat-resistant silicone is, and with good reason! While you have likely used and seen silicone rubber used in various applications, you likely are not even aware of how vast its use really is. This includes being used inside machinery and objects that you use every single day! These items rely on their silicone parts to work properly and include things like your motor car, laptop, and cellphone!
So, how much heat is too much and how much of it can silicone rubber withstand? Many silicone rubber molds can, at any degree of hardness, withstand temperatures of up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) for up to 10,000 hours. All without bending or losing shape or form. Depending on how the heat is applied and what the quality of the silicone rubber is, the integrity of the silicone will vary. What we mentioned above is a general guideline, set according to researchers. Silicone is not a very good conductor of heat, so it is often an affordable and cheaper way to insulate things.
There is usually a large amount of silicone rubber used inside resin mold kits, and most have very high-quality silicone rubber that can properly withstand higher temperatures.
You need to consider the limitations of your resin mold kits and their reason, depending on the grade used, should you want your molds to last longer.
How to Create a Resin Mold
You should now have a better grasp and understanding of silicone rubber, which will help you select the right resin for your project. Most resin mold kits will come with easy-to-follow and clear instructions, but, should you be unsure, here is a basic guide on how you should use your resin mold kit properly.
Preparation of the Casting Material
You will likely need to combine a two-part formula to create your silicone mold. Most kits will suggest mixing inside a bowl of soapy water, but some are different. This is why following manufacturers’ instructions is so important. The preparation of the casting material is an easy and straightforward process, all you need to do is combine the resin with the hardener in soapy water.
Remember to ensure that they are mixed together properly. When your disk is formed, you will need to compress and decompress the form. Do this until it starts to harden ever so slightly. If you are sure that the consistency is right for what you need, you can remove the resin from the soapy water bowl and get the object you plan on recreating prepared
Putting Your Your Object into the Mold
Your resin mold material should now be ready. You can now place it on a clean and flat surface. The material should still be a flat disk-like shape at this point. You will now need to insert the object you plan on replicating into the mold.
If the item you are replicating is larger or of a more irregular shape, you will likely need to cover it entirely and allow it to set like this.
The main focus should be on making sure you have no gaps between the mold and your object, so make sure it is inside the resin mold as tightly as it can possibly be. When you are absolutely certain that you have no gaps and that your object is nice and firmly indented inside the resin, you can move on to the next step.
Allowing the Resin to Harden and Cure
Various resin mold kits take various times to cure and various times for hardening. As we have mentioned before, check your packaging and instruction insert to be sure. You need to bear in mind that your resin is not going to ever be rock hard and stuff, and this is what you want. It may take many hours, depending on your mold-making kit, for your resin to become more rubbery in its consistency and to lose the slimy feeling and texture.
There are some resin mold kits that take just a few hours to complete this process, while there are some that take 12 or more hours. Again, make sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure you are not left with a big sticky and wasted mess. Remember to use only dry hands when your time has lapsed.
Removal of the Object from the Resin Mold
Now it is time to remove the object from the resin mold! This step is very important as you do not want your mold to break or damage at all. Be gentle with this step and your mold should be absolutely okay. Basically, all mold-making kits will state the same thing, whatever you do, do not pull the object out with force! You want to bend the mold away from the object slowly and carefully, eventually allowing your object to pop right out. Do not pry or pull!
Now, your mold should be free of its object and you may need to spray an anti-adhesive before using it. This is to make sure that your mold does not get stuck to your casting material. First, however, give your new mold a rinse with some soapy water, you are now ready to cast your resin!
Well, that wraps up our guide on resin mold kits. You should now have quite a large understanding of silicone rubber, the various hardnesses you may require for your project, and what the best silicone mold kit out there is! We wish you happy mold-making and hope whatever you plan on making comes out exactly as you hoped! Happy Crafting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Silicone Rubber Toxic to Use?
Silicone rubber is not toxic!! It is actually FDA approved, although you would not want to consume it, you can use it with food and in the kitchen or bathroom without any problems. That said, not all silicone rubber is food-safe. You need to be sure what kind of silicone rubber you are using to avoid any problems.
Am I Able to Use Normal Silicone to Make a Mold?
You can use 100 percent silicone-rated silicone rubber to make a silicone mold, yes. Some of the best silicone mold kits are made with silicone rubber, however, they work best to create a negative for projects on a smaller-sized scale. Sometimes, silicone can be difficult to work with if you are making larger-sized replicas.
Is Silicone Made From Plastic or Rubber?
Silicone is technically more of a rubber product than a plastic one. Silicone is similar in resemblance to rubber once it has been cured, but it is actually a hybrid between synthetic plastic and synthetic rubber. Silicone has a range of hardness that is quite vast.