Ok so for those of you that have been waiting for it .....here it is......this procedure can be used to make any reflector (clear or not) or other peice you can image. You just need an original to make to mold and then you can duplicate the peice in different colors, plastics, and rubber.
The quantities of materials are for a single '06 headlight reflector but the ratio is still the same for any other part.
-Sylicone Mold Rubber (I bought mine from MicroMark.com but check
the hobby shops so you can avoid shipping cost)
I recomend the sylicone mold over the plastic hard molds because they
are easier to work with and getting the part out
Micro-Mark One-to-One/Rapid 32oz =$32 + 10ship = $42
-Clear Casting Resin - I tried two different ones having really good results
with one of them, the other one (Allumilite Water Clear) was really hard
to prepare needing a vaccum chamber and really fast hands.
Castin'Craft Clear Liguid Plastic Castin Resin = $15 (bought at local crafts
-Catalyst - In the case that the resin does not come with a catalyst you
will need to buy one separe, this will start the hardening process of the
Castin'Craft Catalyst = $5 (bought at local crafts store)
-Modeling Clay - I had some laying arround the house so I dont know how
much it cost, you can buy it at craft stores or hobby shops. You can
also use playdough if you know anyone with kids
-Mixing cups & Stick- these should be WAX FREE cups, I got plastic cups
from the water cooler at work and a branch from one of trees in the yard
-60cc Seringe - although not really needed it will make the pouring
process 100 times easier. Without it I found it almost imposibble to pour
without getting any bubbles
1 - Prepare the part to make the mold which will be a two part mold.
Wash the part with soap and water to get as clean as possible, the
slightest imperfection will show up on the mold, even fingerprints.
2 - you will need peices of cardboard to create an enclosure for the part.
Lay the part flat on the cardboard and look underneath, any open
space you see will need to be filled with the clay. This is done so that
the mold silycone will only cover one side of the part
3 - Once all the gaps are covered under the reflector enclose it using
other peices of cardboard and ducttape. Try to get the side walls
about 1/2" away from the part, any more will be waisting silycone and
less will make the mold weak.
The image only shows 3 sides covered but you need to do all four
sides. Also although I did them both at the same time I recomend
doing them separate, later on I ended up cutting them appart so that
I could work on one of them at a time.
4 - Mix and pour the sylicone mold. Pour about 1/4 of each of the mold
bottles in a cup and mix very well. Try not to create any air bubbles,
this is not really important for the mold but it will give yo practice for
when you mix the clear resin. Once mixed pour over the part, try to
pour from a high distance making a really thin stream of silicone.
This should take only a couple of hours to dry
5 - Once dry take the sides walls off and peal away the bottom card
board. You should now have a hole at the bottom with reflector
imbedded. Also take the reflector out of the mold and remove all the
modeling clay, you might have to wash the part again to clean all the
clay off it.
6 - you are now ready to make the other side of the mold. Insert the
reflector back in the mold and place upside down (reflector showing).
reuse the cardboard side walls and tape them against the sides of the
mold, this will keep the othe side of the mold from overflowing.
7 - Mix another 1/4 of the silicone mold liquids in a new cup and pour over
the reflector. You should have enoug silicone to fill the hole and have
some come out of the sides, the side walls will contain the rest of it.
8 - Once dry pry appart both sides of the mold and remove the reflector.
Use an ex-acto knife and cut a small hole on the top side of the mold,
this will allow air to escape when pouring the resin. The location of the
hole will not matter but remember that you will have a stub that will
need to be cup where the hole was, so placing the hole at an edge is
recomended. I placed my hole right above the leg with the bolt hole
(sorry I dont have any pics of this right now but I will take one when I
get home today)
9 - With the mold ready you will now start to create your clear reflector
(THERE ARE PIGMENTS THAT YOU CAN ADD TO THE CLEAR RESIN AND
CREATE ANY COLOR REFLECTOR IF WANT, CHECK THE CRAFTS STORE
WHERE YOU BUY THE RESIN FOR COLORS)
In a cup pour 25 cc (ml) of the resin. HINT: I measured the quantity
with the seringe using water and poured in a cup, then I marked the
level using a marker so that I would know how much resin to pour. If
you dont have a seringe to measure this should be about 1/2" from the
bottom of a small SOLO plastic cup
10 - Add 30 drops of the catalyst (NO LESS THAN 25), less than 30 will
give you more working time but will add about 1-2 more days of
drying time, more than 30 will cut the working time and drying time
dramatically. MIX VERY WELL WITHOUT INTRODUCING BUBBLES, this
will take some practice. YOU WILL HAVE ABOUT 10 MINS TO WORK
SO TRY TO BE QUICK
Woking time is the time you have until it starts hardening, one this
happens you CANNOT pour and will be almost imposible to create the
part, drying time is the time it will take to fully harden.
11 - Pour the resin in the seringe (you do not need to insert the push side
of the resinge, gravity will make it flow at a nice controlled pace.
12 - THIS STEP WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REALLY GOOD
REFLECTOR AND ONE FULL OF BUBBLES SO TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO
IT RIGHT. Gently rubb the resinge on the side of the mold with the
diamond cut to get the resin in all the little holes, if you do it slowly
without pressing to hard you can get the resin the flow without
trapping any air bubbles.
13 - Once you have covered all the holes with resin pour the rest in the
other side of the mold and move it arround to cover the whole
bottom, and then insert the top of the mold. SOME RESIN WILL
FLOW OUT OF THE ESCAPE HOLE YOU MADE BEFORE, THIS IS OK AND
IS PURPOSELY DONE TO LET AIR EASCAPE.
14 - Let the reflector dry for about 24 hours before you take it out of the mold, You will need to run an ex-acto knife arround the edges and to cut the stub where the air escape hole was
sorry I dont have pictures of the headlight in the car because I am thinking about painting the background of it and have not decided what color.....maybe blue
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE JUST CREATED YOUR OWN CLEAR (OR COLOR IF YOU CLOSE TO USE THE PIGMENT) REFLECTOR.......REMEMBER THE MORE YOU DO IT THE BETTER YOUR REFLECTOR WILL COME
if you have any questions just ask, you can also PM me. ENJOY