MightyMolds

Intuitive Molds for Serious Soap & Candle Makers

Category: Updates

Prototype Test 2: The World’s First Fully Functional Modular Soap Mold

With our latest prototype complete, the time came for us to test the functionality of our newest design. In this video, our first of many video updates, you can watch…

With our latest prototype complete, the time came for us to test the functionality of our newest design. In this video, our first of many video updates, you can watch as we go through the process of pouring soap with a MightyMold. Thankfully, our latest design passed all tests with flying colors, and we were able to successfully pour four bars of soap using one silicone soap mold.

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Prototype 3: The World’s First Modular Silicone Soap Mold!

After over a month full of prototyping, testing, and revisions, we were finally ready to try another attempt at a fully-functioning MightyMold. We learned a lot from our previous attempt,…

After over a month full of prototyping, testing, and revisions, we were finally ready to try another attempt at a fully-functioning MightyMold. We learned a lot from our previous attempt, which allowed us to fine tune our processes and solve some problems that had been plaguing the design.

 

Our last attempt saw the use of a cardboard mold box, which most certainly did not happen again. Opting for a smaller gauge plastic, we were able to quickly fashion a workable box for this prototype. The thinner plastic was definitely easier to work with, but it also didn’t hold up to the silicone quite as well. It did serve its purpose however. After the box was assembled, we poured a clay bed down so that we could create the external connectors.

 

This attempt also featured the introduction of connector templates, a departure from our previous process, which was basically just free handing them. Creating these templates proved to be a bit of a challenge, but they were absolutely imperative to creating uniform, consistent connectors across multiple layers of silicone. Unfortunately we hadn’t fully learned our lesson with the cardboard, and used that as the first template medium. Removing it was not a clean process. We fashioned pour spouts from clay, and used some existing bars of soap that we had made for the casting subjects.

 

 

For the second layer template we used leftover plastic material from the box construction, and that worked much better. Not only did it hold the soap and the connectors in place more firmly, it also released from the silicone easily and cleanly.

 

 

 

Once the second template was removed, we poured the last layer of silicone, and hoped for the best. Our last attempt hadn’t gone smoothly, so we were hoping that this go around would prove more successful.

 

When it came time to remove the mold from the box, we were thankful that we switched back to plastic. Without cardboard peeling off and mucking everything up, the whole process went a lot  smoother. The mold was removed and separated, and the casting subjects were extracted. We were left with a pretty beautiful mold.

 

 

Everything seemed to fall into place with this mold. Both of the caps came out well, and multiplier was far better than our previous attempt. We increased the thickness, and it paid off with a sturdy, complete interior multiplier that does exactly what it should do. We couldn’t be happier with this result, and hope everything shares our excitement with the progress we’ve made thus far. Please be sure to like and share the page, and keep checking in often because our next post will be our first video update, where we will actually test this latest prototype by pouring four bars of soap!

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Prototype 2: A New Box, A New Process, A Not-So-Great Mold

After completing our first prototype test, it was time to move on to the next phase: creating the Mighty Multiplier.   At this point we had poured silicone a couple…

After completing our first prototype test, it was time to move on to the next phase: creating the Mighty Multiplier.

 

At this point we had poured silicone a couple of times and had a good feel for the process, so we decided to switch things around and try some new techniques. We should have heeded the words of the Galaxy’s most infamous smuggler, Han Solo: “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.

 

Working with acrylic for the first mold box proved to be difficult due to the thickness that we had purchased, so we decided to see how cardboard would hold up to the process. We just grabbed a box we had lying around, formed a wall with some clay to size it correctly, and then poured our silicone. We lined the box prior to pouring with plastic wrap. It was a good thing too, because silicone doesn’t release from cardboard cleanly, apparently. However, the plastic wrap also demolished any kind of aesthetic beauty and clean, rigid lines that the mold might have had.

 

After releasing from the box, we had a pretty rough looking mold on our hands. Anywhere the silicone had come into contact with the cardboard, it peeled part of the box away with it. And trying to get cardboard fibers off of silicone that it has bonded to is, well, not fun. We don’t recommend it.

 

This was also our first attempt at creating external connectors for MightyMolds. We were still free-handing our connectors, so we didn’t expect them to actually match perfectly, but we did want to test the process during this pour as well. They came out well, but we did learn several key lessons, like not putting connectors directly over the casting subject.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Once we began to demold the layers from each other, we saw just how off we were in our original calculations. We hadn’t accounted for the added depth of the multiplier, and so the middle casting subject layers were too thin. They actually ripped in a few placed, rendering the mold completely unusable. So, while this attempt may have ultimately been a failure, we learned more than we would have if it had succeeded, for sure. We’ll take these lessons forwards with us, and continue to refine the process until we have truly Mighty Molds!

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Prototype Test 1: Will It Even Work?!

After recently completing our first mold prototype, it was time to begin testing. While we had done a lot of design work and planning, there was still a question as…

After recently completing our first mold prototype, it was time to begin testing. While we had done a lot of design work and planning, there was still a question as to whether the idea would actually work. The prototype came out great, and we were happy with the results, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t end up with a soupy mess of liquid soap on our table when it came time to pour.

 

We chose a 50/50 combination of hemp seed oil and goats milk soap bases for our test. We added charcoal for color, and for its beneficial properties when applied to soap. We finalized everything with some cinnamon fragrance oil, and a touch of clove oil.

 

 

 

After the melt, we assembled the mold and poured.

 

Our first prototype didn’t have a tapered pour spout, and so we were forced to use a funnel. This caused us to overfill just a bit, but that was inevitable without specific volume specifications. For all production models, we will be including precise volume information so that you’ll know exactly how much material each mold will hold.

 

At this point, things were going well. There was no leakage, and the mold held up well to the pour. We even got to watch it fill! The only thing left to do was wait and hope for the best!

 

After allowing the soap time to cure, we set the mold on its side and started peeling! The internal connectors popped apart easily, and we soon had a glimpse of the final product.

 

 

We simply kept peeling the top layer of silicone off the bottom layer, and when we reach the bar of soap, it came free from the top layer with ease. After just a bit more work, we had the top layer of silicone separated from the bottom, and a brand new bar of soap resting in the middle! There was a tiny bit of flashing around the sides, and of course at the pour spout. Most of this was removed easily by hand, and anything that was more difficult succumbed to a bit of trim work.

 

 

With the mold apart, it was a simple process of bending the mold to get the bar of soap to pop free. We cleaned it up, and there you have it: The world’s first bar of soap crafted from a MightyMold! Our biggest takeaway from this was to reinforce the connectors around the casting subject, in order to eliminate the flashing as much as possible. Additionally, we noticed that the mold picked up impressive amounts of detail. So much so, that when production models are created, the casting subjects are going to have to be flawless. Any little imperfection can and will be noticed in the final product.

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Prototype 1: The First Mold Ever (For Us)

As candle and soap makers, we’ve used countless molds of all shapes and varieties. But using a mold and making a mold are two, completely separate things. As we started…

As candle and soap makers, we’ve used countless molds of all shapes and varieties. But using a mold and making a mold are two, completely separate things. As we started this process of creating the molds that we’ve always felt were missing from the mold world, we were entering completely new territory. We had never made a mold or worked with silicone before, so we were just learning everything as we went.

 

Thanks to the excellent tutorials and videos over at Smooth-On.com, we were able to learn a simple mold making process and adapt that to suit our needs. The videos and tutorials Smooth-On has made available were invaluable to us in our first attempt at mold making, and anyone who wants to learn about mold making, casting, or silicone in general should definitely head over to their site.

 

The Materials

For our first mold attempt, we chose a contoured 3D bar of soap for our casting subject. We wanted a contoured surface and some detail in the bar, in order to test the silicone’s properties and make sure it could capture the detail and hard lines we were looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

The mold box was crafted from plexiglass purchased at a hardware store and cut down to size. If you are looking to make a mold box and can get pre-cut plexiglass, do it!

 

Otherwise, buy the thinnest sheet that will accommodate your needs. Cutting thick plexiglass without the proper tools is not fun – just sayin’.

 

 

Picking the right clay was more important than we thought. After making a few purchases and not being happy, we decided on Monster Clay. This stuff is easier to work with and holds up better than some of the other clay we tried. Pro-tip: If you’re using the Smooth-On mold method and need a deep bed of clay, Monster Clay melts easily and pours great. Just be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS, as molten clay is sticky and well, molten.

 

 

 

 

Smooth-On NV silicone was our choice for these first few prototypes. We don’t envision using this product for our production models, but for prototyping and testing purposes it should suit our needs. Disposable mixing containers and good mixing sticks are a must for using this stuff. We recommend 12in-15in metal rulers for mixing sticks – they work great and WIPE CLEAN!

 

 

The Process

 

Our first task was to get down a good bed of clay. We melted some Monster Clay and then poured it into the mold box and let it sit. Once semi-dry, but still workable, we added the casting subject, pour spout, and acorn nuts. Once the clay was fully dried, we were able to pour the first layer of silicone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the first layer of silicone fully cured, we extracted it from the mold box and removed the clay bed and acorn nuts. Re-mounting the silicone into the mold box was easy, and we were ready to pour the next layer after a quick round of release spray.

 

 

 

 

 

After the second layer was cured, we popped them both out of the mold box, and lo’-and-behold, we had a mold! The edges were clean, the keys inside fit great, and the detail that was captured really impressed us. Overall, we were really pleased with our first mold attempt.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out our first attempt at mold making, and be sure to check back soon for our next update, where we’ll actually use the mold we created to pour a bar of soap and further test the idea!

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In The Beginning…

In the beginning, there were no MightyMolds. Candle and soap makers were forced to make due with the traditional 2D molds that made candle and soap making a hassle. Having…

In the beginning, there were no MightyMolds. Candle and soap makers were forced to make due with the traditional 2D molds that made candle and soap making a hassle. Having to setup, pour, and tear down multiple molds just to create a single candle or bar of soap. Using hot wax or soap to glue halves together, hoping that the finished product would somewhat resemble a professionally made product. Cutting bars off of loaves and tediously wicking candle molds for hours. Having their creativity and vision stifled by the limited availability of molds, and wracking their brains for ways to distinguish their products from the hundreds of others made with the exact same molds. It was a dark time for candle and soap makers.

 

And then, the world was changed. MightyMolds were unleashed upon the Earth, and the days of struggle were ended. Constructed from 100% skin-safe silicone, MightyMolds were able to release even the hardest soaps and waxes without the use of chemical release agents – perfect for anyone making natural soap and candles. They allowed for single-pour processes that created fully 3D, solid,  professional quality products. Being fully modular, MightyMolds employed a system of MightyMultipliers that could be added or removed from any candle or soap mold. These multiplier pieces incrementally increased the capacity of MightyMolds, turning two-bar soap molds into four-bar soap molds, and four-taper candle molds into eight-taper candle molds. This space-saving design revolutionized the mold world, making it easier than ever to craft multiple pieces at the same time. There was much rejoicing.

 

 

Finally, each MightyMold was fitted with male and female connectors, which made them all connectable. For the first time ever, candle and soap molds could be connected together into one solid, sturdy, mighty mold. Crafters were able to set up one time, pour their products, and then break down one time. Their time and energy were saved, making it easier to create more candles and soaps. Their creativity was emboldened and supported by custom molds made specifically for them. A new day had dawned for the world of candle and soap making. MightyMolds had arrived to save the day!

 

 

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