Side Step

Things have changed quite a bit. I'm much further along than I was in my last post, but I still feel that time is not on my side. So again for the sake of school I'm going to compromise for the time being. I'm going to cast them in a hard plaster and have them stuck in the packages un-articulated. They should look fine. I'll go back to the project once school is over and make them the way I want them to be.

Several things caused this shift.

My sculpting habits are still very slow. I spent forever on the faces. I'm extremely happy with them, but the time they sucked up was kinda crazy. I think it also had a lot to do with the fact that I was sculpting in a new material. I cast them in Willow Product's Ice wax which was great to smooth and detail, but had a bit of a learning curve.

The logistics of safely and accurately casting plastic was a bit more than I expected. Polyurethane is the standard for the prototyping industry. It's incredibly durable and has a wide range of consistencies, but it's also very toxic. It has this group of chemicals in it called isocyanates, they build up in your system until you develop a terrible allergy to it. I also suspect that anything that builds up your system can potentially be cancerous. To avoid the fumes you need to be in a fully ventilated environment or completely outside. I couldn't get together a safe place to do it, especially in the middle of winter. This stuff is also sensitive to moisture and temperature...ugh. I was also hoping to cast under pressure using a pressure pot, but they were twice the price that I thought (I was hoping for $600, but they're closer to $1200).

I'm hoping to find an alternative material to polyurethane, but it doesn't look like there's anything out there with comparable properties.

So yeah, thats where I am. Disappointed yeah, but this way I can go back to things later without having wasted a bunch of money to get half assed sculpts into an expensive material.