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Automatic master mould generation

by RodLaird, published

Automatic master mould generation by RodLaird Jan 17, 2013

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Rhino3D has a powerful programming language; Grasshopper. This is a Grasshopper programme to generate moulds from any design. There is a video to show how it works.

UPDATE 8.9.15: Grasshopper programme updated to reflect updates to Grasshopper versions since first published. Please remember to install Hoopsnake for Grasshopper too!


This is ONLY going to be useful to you if you have access to Rhino3D version 5 or later.

There is a downloadable Grasshopper programme file and a demo file with a design and a spare. (Where you pour in your mould material). The output of the programme generates a MASTER mould. There are lots of customisation options - many of which you can see in the video. There are also plainly labelled tweaks within the programme for all manner of things; shell widths and slopes, bi-material offsets and interface configuration and much, much more.

A typical use is to create a plaster master mould. Clay slip is then poured into the resulting plaster mould to generate a slip cast version of your design. The design of course has to be castable...

Video available at http://youtu.be/3kU9nRV_ObA

FEEDBACK APPRECIATED. Do always download the latest dated Grasshopper file!

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Yes. If you do a ceramic slip mould the interior will be hollow which will work. If you want to create a mould for another material you have to think about the interior shape too!

Thanks for the quick reply!

Hi Datto

A modestly curved parting line would be relatively easy to implement, just including it as one of the input geometries and modifying the GH programme accordingly (though of course you'd have to build in some assumptions about how the shells were to be extruded - it would difficult if the curved parting line was departed hugely from planar over the entire model shape.)

Multi part moulds are something I have thought about. The level of automation drops significantly however as the human part of the geometry engine has to determine the composition of multiple cutting planes. It is of course possible to use GH to develop a multiple cutting gometry interactively and then build the mould from that. It's not someting I need right now but may have a crack at it when my customer (aka wife) has the need...

Let me know if you make progress in that direction.

Is the user limited to a plane as a parting line, or can a curved parting line be created? Also can a 3-part or more mold be created?