Here at smallstuffstudio we’re always keep an eye out for new tools to do small series of top grade handcrafted Designer Toys. To be able mold & cast larger resin toys we decided to start building our own Rotocasting Machine! This is a project in collaboration of Pepe head of smallstuffstudio and swiss based artist Inigo Gheyselinck who does stunning ceramic work. After many hours of research and some technical advice from the very best sources we think we are able to build this double rotating monster!
We would like to share all our experience and researches in this continuous tutorial series with our readers! When we have this thing up and running we’ll also share all resources and technical plans here. Our DIY instructions aren’t the only way to build a rotocasting machine so feel free to tweak it to your needs/size and take this more as a guideline. If you have questions or helpful suggestions & improvements about this rotocasting tutorial please drop a comment or send us a email to info [at] smallstuff.ch
Now let’s get ready to rumble!!! :]
Before we start with a quite large project like this, it’s essential to do some technical researches and find suppliers for the hardware you will need. When everything is more or less definite about the materials you want to use, you can start to draw building plans. This is the most important step and if you do this properly it can save you a lot of time and money!
You can see in the first picture our plan of the support rig and the two rotating frames printed in scale 1:5. Also the two X axis and the Y axis for the inner frame are defined so far. Now we begin our adventure with building the two frames. For the frames we’ll use 40x20mm hollow aluminum profiles. You can easily go with a smaller diameter or even with wood timber but our intent is to build a sturdy machine with a long lifetime. First we saw the eight hollow profile to the precise length we need and bevel the sharp edges on each side ot them.
Here you can see aluminium profiles of the two frames ready for further machining. Click on the thumbnails to see the pictures in a larger resolution.
To bolt down the frame profiles we’ll use aluminium blocks with two screw threads which will fit inside of the hollow space at each end of the four shorter beams. We also have to chamfer these slightly to fit perfectly. Of course you can also use angle brackets outside to do this join.
In the next session we will assemble the two rotating frames, drill the metric screw threads, the holes for the axis and do the two beams for clamping the mold in the middle of our inner frame.
One of the tricky parts of this project will be the power transmission from the main frame to the inner frame. We’ve been watching videos of the home made rotocasters people have made and it’s kind of confusing to see how many people have used the same gear on the main shaft as on the secondary shaft. That’s not very good at all, because the mold should rotate with a slight out of sync movement, this helps to better distribute the resin. We will cover this subject in a following part of this tutorial series.
As i mentioned, we are also willing to share here on smallstuff.ch our material take off and the finished & revised plans for free after everything works as it should. We hope this motivates you to start with your own rotocast machine and you will stay tuned for Part 2 of the Rotocasting Machine Tutorial! :]