Published On: Sat, Oct 29th, 2016

Creating 3D Structures with Gel, Mold and Oven with LED Lights

Nduku got Najwa this cool gift today.  A 3D Creation Maker.  It’s this, ummm, thing, where you pour this, ummm, stuff, into a mold, toss it in this, ummm, oven, and out comes a 3D, ummm, thingy.

Whatever it is, I couldn’t wait to play with it.  With Najwa, of course.

With the 3D Maker kids can make real 3D creations! Choose a stencil or mold and fill it in with the quick curing gel. Place the mold in the Creator and in seconds see it hardens. With this simple process kids can make anything they can imagine! Just fill the molds with the magic gel, place them in the 3D Maker for only 1 minute and out pops a solid 3D piece! Watch as your 3D structures magically turn solid using UV light. Let your imagination soar and create endless 3D designs with the 3D Maker!

First you squeeze the gel-like stuff in the grooves of a mold. We started with the turtle. The bottles with the gel take a little more effort than Najwa could handle, a lot more patience than I had, but we got it done. You really have to concentrate to not get the gel stuff all over the place, and to make sure there aren’t any gaps in the lines you’re pouring.

The grooves filled in on the moldings with the gel stuff that you bake in the oven.

Actually, we started with one of the other moldings, but it really is a test of patience.  There’s a butterfly molding with some really intricate grooves to fill in.  We didn’t do a bad job with it, but the turtle looked easier for our second attempt.

Once the mold is complete, you just toss it in the little oven it comes with and get to baking.  I’m not sure what it does inside.  It’s not an oven as in heat, microwaves or fire, but it does harden the gel.

The oven which runs on 3 AA batteries.
Just toss the molding in, close the door and fire it up.

It doesn’t take too long for the gel to harden, for whatever you’re creating to take shape.  Well, not for a 6 year old.  It’s good practice for building patience.

Once it’s done, it’s a little hot [it uses LED lights] but cools pretty quickly. Now, separating the thingy from the mold can be a bit of a challenge. Since just minutes ago you were pouring gel, liquidy gel, you’ll have the tendency to want to be gentle. But it’s stuck to the plastic mold and after a while, it begins a fight.

Fortunately, as I manhandled the thing, I got it out without snapping the turtle in half.

The turtle mold had two parts that fit perfectly together.  The yellow gel even glows in the dark.  It wasn’t that complicated or took any brainpower, but it was pretty cool seeing the final product.  It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s interesting how you pour some gel around a mold and get an actual object out of it.

We did several others after the turtle, but the kit doesn’t come with a lot of gel.  Everything else is reusable, but looking on Amazon for refills, they’re not cheap.

It’s a fun little activity to do though.  Najwa loved it.  She even did a little creation on her own, just pouring a design on a blank plastic square.  I gave it a shot as well, making my own little design.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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