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Discussion Starter #1
The last clear resin I used produced a nice, clear water piece, but it was soft & bendy and not stiff like styrene.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good, clear resin that will produces a nice clear piece that will keep its shape?

How about Crystal Clear 202 from Smooth-On?
 

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Hey Fozzie, check with Chrisisall. He just cast some clear replacement parts for his YM-3 Robot and they look like they came out nice, clear and hard.

HAL9001-
 

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If you have a pressure pot to pressure cast the parts...Smooth-on's 202 is the way to go.

It helps to heat the molds and the resin before use.
It also helps to heat the mold ( with the casting inside ) after curing.
This is called post curing and it speeds the final cure so the resin will not be soft when de-molding.
 

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Well, it's not much help but maybe a direction to look:

The Japanese have raised resin casting to an art form, there are entire businesses built around supplies for 'garage kit' makers, and I know there's about a dozen different kinds of resin, including clears, available over there.

SOMEBODY must know more, and there may even be someone either importing for resale or importing for their own use who may be willing to sell you some from their stock. But be well aware, given the insane crappy Dollar/Yen exchange rate it's gonna be pretty expensive.

I checked Hobbylink Japan and they don't carry the resins. It's probably due to different import (nee export) restrictions on chemicals.

I KNOW there's a clear resin for what you want. You seek something that acts, firms up like injection styrene and it does exist. I just don't know where else to search. But someone here may.

Hm. And then there's this: http://www.delviesplastics.com/casting_resin.htm
 

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Hey Fozzie, check with Chrisisall. He just cast some clear replacement parts for his YM-3 Robot and they look like they came out nice, clear and hard.
That was simple Castin' Craft resin from my local Michael's. Tricky catalyzer measuring, but it's not expensive. Not good for really big pieces, though.
 

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Hi Fozzie,
Pretty much any of the clear polyurethane resins need to be heat cured after they are cast.
If your parts to be cast are thin it is especially important they be heat cured.
I have used both the Alumilite and Smooth-on clear products, and found they both have very similar properties.
Right now I’m casting a batch of small crystal skulls and I preheat my mold at 200 degrees.
I also cast them in a pressure pot at 75 psi. After curing, I heat them to 250 degrees for 15 min than 150 for another 15 min.
They are pretty hard after that.
If you don’t have a pressure pot, you may want try epoxy resin as it takes a long time to cure and gives you the opportunity to work the bubbles out.
John
 

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Well, maybe someone who has the skills can tell him how to make a pressure pot, if it's something that can be put together from some other ordinary appliance or some such. My thought may be somewhat like his, a pressure pot being a professional tool costing thousands of Dollars. If one can make one from, say, a $50 pressure cooker from Walmart it may be more helpful and useful. Maybe?

Given how amazing his work is on that Enterprise bridge section, others lending their skills and knowledge would be a good karma thing. I'm trying to add what I can. :)
 

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I would not trust a pressure cooker type device for casting as most of them have cast lids and only go up to around 15-20 PSI.
I do a lot of casting and have three pressure pots. Two of them are from Harbor Freight and one is a Craftsman paint pressure pot I got at a yard sale.
The Harbor Freight pots go up to 80psi safely and my Craftsman goes up to 50-60 psi.
Normally the HF pot is a hundred bucks, but got one on sale and used a coupon and got it for sixty.
http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-gallon-pressure-paint-tank-66839.html
In fact it’s on sale now for 20 percent off.
Nice thing about them is if you get a thick piece of Plexiglas to put on top of the tank, you can use it as a vacuum tank to de-air your RTV
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not really looking at getting into pressure casting. I simply don't do enough of it to justify it. The casts I did in clear using EasyCast came out beautiful but are too soft. Perhaps I needed to heat cure it afterwards, I don't really know.

The sample of the Smooth-On product at the store seemed to be what I want but I was hoping for something that sounded a bit less toxic than this stuff is--and it was $40. I'm thinking of trying the Alumilite which I can try for just $20 and try heat curing it afterwards to see if I get the results I am after. I have a respirator and can take the precautions necessary to be safe.

Enjoying the discussion guys. So much to learn and so many of you eager to share your knowledge!
 
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