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Silicone Molds

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Hey mold makers and creators, lets talk tape!

Tape is one thing I never thought would be a major concern in my life until I started my mold journey. I always just thought adhesive is adhesive, different strengths sure, but I had NO IDEA there was different chemicals used for different tapes, and those different chemicals had different reactions with silicone.

When I first started I exclusively used Cricut Strong Grip, but that quickly became a money eater and I needed an alternative.

The first one I tried had a grey grid but was advertised as strong grip, so it must be the same right? NOPE! That tape adhered to my silicone and ruined tons of orders!

So I found myself back at square one. I then branched out and tried all kinds of different tapes, all different grip strengths, even reached out to my fellow mold maker friends to figure out what is the best tape there is available.

I wont be naming any names as some people do prefer to not let people know their secrets, but if you're a friend of mine that gave me these tips, please comment below for your credit and let everyone know which tape you use!

To start off; I found this tape on amazon YRYM HT Vinyl:

The grip on it was perfect, the only thing was that it didn't stick well to my 3D housings. It didn't have any reactions towards my silicone though which was great and the price point isn't too bad at $26.88 (or $13.59 for prime users)!

So I reached out to a friend whom I knew used 3D housings as well and asked her which tape she used.

Now this tape is a bit more expensive, at $12.80 for only 4inx540in, BUT it works GREAT for smaller housings or strictly for 3D housings only. Scotch Book Tape

The tack on this is superb, very high tack, and what's even better is it leaves the silicone glossy which I LOVE. I know its an unnecessary cosmetic preference, but I like my molds to be pretty!

Well, after using the YRYM tape, I had one single bad experience where the tape that I received just wasn't the same. The tack was lacking and the vinyl wasn't as thick as it normally was and I didn't have the time nor funds to figure out if they changed their formula, reviews didn't have many complaints about changes, but I needed more tape and at this point I needed it FAST so I reached out to another fellow mold creator where he showed me Oramask 813 Stencil Film.

Now what I love about this tape is it works great for both acrylic and 3D printed housings.

The things I don't like about it: how expensive it is and that it doesn't leave molds glossy but are a slight matte instead. But honestly, those are things I am willing to give up for a good all around tape.

I do still use the book tape for my housings that have a bit more difficulty with this tape, but for the most part this stencil tape works amazing across the board.

Stop using hot glue! It is not only time consuming but also just adding to our already large amounts of waste.

Help making resin art/mold making a less wasteful art!

If you're wondering if I still use the Cricut Strong Grip or the YRYM the answer is: yes. Yes I do when the Oramask tape is unavailable or goes up in price/I cannot afford its luxury.

Cricut Strong Grip and YRYM will always be my go to's when I need a life saver!

Okay so now we have what tapes I use out of the way: there is one major pet peeve of mine, which is wrinkling in molds. You may have experienced this yourself or may have even purchased a mold from a seller where the mold isn't flat and even but instead has these wrinkles and waves throughout. This is caused from wrinkles and crinkles within the tape which I will admit isn't the easiest to avoid, BUT it is good practice to make sure you get your tape as even as you possibly can for a couple different reasons.

#1 Aesthetics. When someone is coming to your shop to get a professionally made mold, they're going to expect professional results, and getting a wrinkled and crinkled mold just isn't it. If you want to charge like a professional the least you can do is make it look good!

But most importantly #2: These wrinkles cause dips in the mold which can actually make the mold difficult to use. If you fill the mold to its entirety the resin will roll out into the dip and not only making an unnecessary mess, but causing even more waste of resin (I don't know a single resin artist who is happy to waste their expensive resin) BUT it also causes more after care for the resin artist with clean up of not only their area but of their final pieces.

The way I avoid these dips and wrinkles is first by cutting the tape out around the size that I need for the housing (I have seen some people cut just one really long strip and lay their housings on it but I will go into a little more details later on in this post as to why I do not do it that way personally) I then place the object that I am molding onto the tape, centering it where I need it to be, lift the object and tape, flipping it upside down, and press down onto the tape on the object making sure I get a good flush stick.

I then lay it onto my work space and place the housing around it. BUT I do not stop there. Without doing the following steps I get wrinkles and issues with the silicone coming under the housings wasting silicone and making a mess. I then put the tape with the object and housing on it at the edge of my table and slide it back, gently pulling on its edge and pressing down onto the housing. This assures a strong flush grip onto the housing, but also makes sure that things are flat and unwrinkled. I will do this to every corner of the tape. Sometimes when I go to a new corner it feels like its stuck to it already so I will pull it back a bit and do the whole process.

This may not work for those with a large amount of molds to make, I personally can do up to 50 mold in a single sitting and will still do this process, but it is a bit time consuming just to me the results and less waste is worth it.

Now the reason why I cut to size rather than just laying a giant slice of tape across the table is pretty much for the reasons that are the most important to me: less wrinkling and less waste. Aside from silicone being stupid expensive, I hate waste. Some silicones you can chop up and reuse but I would prefer minimizing my waste in a whole and cutting down the time I am using on chopping up extra silicone and use that time to make sure my molds come out perfect the first time around. But that isn't me being better than anyone else, just my preference on where I would like to spend my time.

So that is all I have to share about the tape I use, if you end up using any of my links to purchase yourself the same tape, tag me in your posts so I can see your beautiful creations! @SwishyFishyDesign



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