Mark VanDiepenbos says that the maker community isn't properly utilizing molding as a process. 3d printers are almost commonplace in engineering workplaces and makerspaces, but there aren't places that can quickly and easily do molding. Mark's solution is the RotoMAAK, a Kickstarter campaign that has already secured $17,000 of funding after its first week.
VanDiepenbos tells us that molding is the link between rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing. The campaign video shows a flaming skull that is built on a Rostock 3d printer in seven hours. After a mold is built from the 3d printed skull replicas can be made in ten minutes using the RotoMAAK.
RotoMAAK is built from 1/4" melamine sheets, laser cut and assembled with nuts and bolts. A 12 Volt gear motor turns the major axis and drives the belt system that turns the minor axis. Silicon molds are clamped to the center of the molder to create two part air cure resin parts.
The idea for a desktop rotomolder is incredible and just reading the description for this Kickstarter campaign had my head full of ideas. Educators could easily use this molder to explain the concept of spin molding to students. More importantly it will demonstrate the process to gain that hands-on learning element and engage the students.
Several applications ideas are on the campaign page including dollmakers, artists, hollow chocolate pieces and makers. My favorite idea is an auto / biker maker building their own custom turn signal casings.
As Kickstarter campaign videos go, the RotoMAAK presentation is a little rough. The information is well presented but the production values aren't slick or fancy. Several testimonials from the Indiana maker community talk about the component sourcing for the project. Everything is locally sourced and Mark's suppliers are all behind him one hundred percent - even his brother-in-law. Hitting the Kickstarter goal within the first week is a testament to the extremely useful novelty of the idea.