Since purchasing my 3d printer, I have decided to test the limits of the filaments a bit by printing some molds for fishing plastics. I have printed several different molds to this point, mostly for ice fishing. The tricky part about pouring plastics is that the plastisol needs to be around 350°F to pour effectively. I have printed my molds as open pour molds, meaning that the molds are only one-sided and the top half of the mold is open. I believe this allows the plastisol to cool more efficiently. It also allows the plastisol to cool from the top and not through the mold. Below are some of the models of the molds I have printed so far.
I have printed all of these molds in PLA with a 20% infill and 6 top layers. So far the molds have held up well. I do believe however that if the molds were larger there may be problems with the amount of heat from the plastisol, however, I have not hit this point as of yet.
Below are some of the plastics that I have poured. As you can see, the small details are very hard to keep the plastisol in and there is some spillover, however, the baits can be trimmed with a razor blade to be much cleaner.
This is what the molds look like after a number of pours. As you can see, they have held up very well to this point.
The next mold that I am going to try, is an injection style mold. It will have two halves that are sandwiched together, clamped in place, and the plastisol is injected through a sprue in the top of the mold. Here is the design I have been working on so far.
Below are the .STL files for the different molds I have tried so far.
Part Studio 1 - bottom of spike mold.stl (577.5 KB)
Part Studio 1 - candlebug mold.stl (343.7 KB)
Part Studio 1 - mayfly mold.stl (860.5 KB)
Part Studio 1 - mousie mold.stl (1.8 MB)
Part Studio 1 - stick mold.stl (598.3 KB)
Part Studio 1 - Swimbait mold.stl (201.6 KB)
Part Studio 1 - top of spike mold.stl (606.8 KB)
If you would like to edit the drawing, here is a link to the drawing on OnShape: Click here to view the drawing
If you are looking at getting into 3D printing, Digi-Key currently stocks a few different 3D printers. Here is a link to them https://www.digikey.com/short/zq2wvt
If you want to print these molds and you would like to use PLA, here are the options that Digi-Key currently has in stock: https://www.digikey.com/short/zq2wnq
Or if you would like to use another type of filament, here is a link to all stocking options that Digi-Key currently has: https://www.digikey.com/short/zq2wn9
If you haven’t tried OnShape, I highly recommend it. It is free and has excellent learning tutorials to help hobbyists out with any problems that may arise. I have tried many CAD programs and this was one of the easiest programs for me to draw in. If you want more info on OnShape, click on the picture below: