Casting Concrete With 3D Printed Molds

[Thomas Sanladerer] wanted to create some molds using 3D printing for concrete and plaster. He used a delta printer with flexible filament and documented his process in the video below.

If you’ve printed with flexible filaments before, you know you need an extruder that has a contained path. [Tom] borrowed a printer, but it didn’t have that kind of set up. The first step was to swap extruders with another printer.

Some scrap wood made a box for the positive model. [Tom] used a concrete-based mortar since he didn’t have real concrete ready for this test piece. However, his ultimate goal was to use concrete which he did when creating a final piece — an on-air sign — that he documented in several other videos.

The first attempt had some cracking and it looks like he may be pulled the mold too early. A second try with plaster gave much better results. [Tom] then experimented with painting the plaster to get a different look. In a follow-up video, he addresses some of the comments he got on the previous videos.

We often forget that concrete is easy to use and creates things of good substance. Of course, instead of casting it, you can print it directly with the right gear.

12 thoughts on “Casting Concrete With 3D Printed Molds

      1. Not for a $1,200 printer it’s not. That’s definitely expensive enough to be in the “This thing better work” category. If you’re still hacking and modding a printer that cost more than ~$500 to get it to do what you want, then you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.

  1. Another use for a vibrator after pouring to remove air bubbles. I’ve seen reciprocating saws and vibrating sanders also used… thinking other tools just not thinking of at the moment. Might be some sorts of acetone, ethyl acetate and/or heating smoothing method for the printout surface to be smoother too. Then consider resists like dawn dish soap, castor oil, silicone specific spray and other methods. Interesting though… I usually think foam or wood for cement mixes. 3D printing for metal molds where you burn out the 3D print comes to mind. That now will change. Neat… maybe.

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