Tips and Tricks for 3D Printing Concrete Molds
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Tips and Tricks for 3D Printing Concrete Molds

Sep 10, 2023

Learn how to design and 3D print molds for creating concrete objects for your projects.

Makers and DIY enthusiasts have access to more materials for their projects than ever before. 3D printers make it incredibly easy to work with plastics and rubber, and materials like wood have long been a staple in this hobby. But what about concrete?

Usually reserved for large-scale building projects, concrete is a material many DIYers won’t consider for their tech projects. You can use it to create various objects, from ornaments (like the base of a DIY smart lamp) to electronic boxes to house your projects. You can get started right away if you already have a 3D printer; find out how below.

Concrete has been around for a very long time. It’s well known for its versatility, providing many of the benefits of solid rock without having to be sculpted. Instead, you can use molds to form concrete shapes, making it a material that just about anyone can use at home. Of course, though, there are more benefits to this material that can easily be overlooked.

Despite its benefits, there is a time and a place for concrete. The tips and tricks revealed below will give you a good idea of how to create 3D-printed molds for concrete, along with some advice to help once the concrete is poured.

Designing a 3D printable concrete mold is easier than you might expect, but there are a few approaches that you can take. The more molds you make, the more you will learn about the process, and it should get easier to create successful molds.

These tips will give you a head start with your concrete mold production, but you will have to do some learning for yourself. There are loads of videos and guides around the web to help you with 3D printing, and plenty that relate to concrete, giving you a wealth of resources to draw from.

The concrete you choose for your 3D-printed molds will always impact the finished result. There are several issues to consider when you are choosing concrete for your project, ranging from cure time to the size of the materials that make your cement.

The final part of this process involves curing and finishing your concrete. Most concrete takes a very long time to cure fully, with many mixes getting harder and harder for as long as a century. In reality, though, most of the concrete you find in stores will cure enough within a couple of days.

Patience is key here. Your mold will be extremely hard to remove without causing damage if the concrete isn’t cured properly, but it won’t make any difference if you over-cure your mold. Be extremely gentle as you remove the mold from your new concrete object.

Once your object is out of the mold, you have a lot of finishing methods to choose from. Sanding your concrete will make it smooth, while coating it in epoxy or PVA will harden and protect it. Choose a finishing method that reflects the desired outcome of your design and follow guides online to help you to achieve the right results.

Concrete is a rather exceptional material, offering the strength of stone while being relatively easy to work with. Of course, though, you will still need to learn a lot along the way, and working on your own projects is an essential element of this process.

Samuel is a UK-based technology writer with a passion for all things DIY. Having started businesses in the fields of web development and 3D printing, along with working as a writer for many years, Samuel offers a unique insight into the world of technology. Focusing mainly on DIY tech projects, he loves nothing more than sharing fun and exciting ideas that you can try at home. Outside of work, Samuel can usually be found cycling, playing PC video games, or desperately attempting to communicate with his pet crab.

Strong and long-lastingEasy to colorUniqueCreate your intended object firstBreakaway moldsConsider seams and leaksA rigid moldAvoid overly fine detailConsider a plastic coreBe patientCement coarsenessCure timeThe right mix