Materials for Casting Custom Parts?
June 27, 2010 8:50 PM Subscribe
As a hobbyist robot builder/random object fabricator, what options are available to me for making custom parts out of plastic or similar materials?
I build robots and similar mechanical creations as a hobby, and I often come across the need for a custom part, such as a bracket for a servo or a gripper for a robotic arm. I don't want these custom parts to break easily, but I don't expect them to be as strong as metal.
To clarify, I'm not looking for online services where I provide a CAD file and a large sum of money and get a box in the mail with the part I need. I'm looking for stuff I can do at home, and I understand it won't look as good or be as high in quality.
I'm picturing something involving a mold, and pouring some substance into it. Does this kind of thing exist on a hobbyist level? To complicate things, I live in an apartment, so I don't really have a garage I can do this stuff in. So anything I use would have to be safe to do on a plastic dropcloth or something.
If such a substance exists, what would I use to make the mold and where can I find some resources to help me learn how to create a suitable mold?
Finally, I've heard of Polymorph/Shapelock/Friendly Plastic, is that the direction I need to be looking? If so, do any of you have experience with the stuff?
Thanks MeFi! I'm sure some of you guys are more familiar with modelmaking and similar hobbies so I'm sure someone out there can help me out.