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In the last Reaper Bones V Live it was mentioned that it takes a long time to get the molds made and shipped to China. 

 

That got me wondering what goes into the mold making process and why it takes so long?  I'm not complaining in anyway, I'm genuinely curious what the process is.

 

Thanks.

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  1. Get a model from the sculptor. If this is a 3D computer file, you can skip the next step.
  2. If the model was sculpted in a physical medium (greenstuff, for instance), scan the model to create a 3D computer file. This requires a high-resolution 3D scanner.
  3. 3D file goes to mold designer, who will decide how many parts the mold will need to be in (fewer is cheaper, both in mold making and casting), where the dividing lines between pieces will go, where the injection ports (for the liquid plastic) will be, and where the ejector pins will go. All of this is highly skilled work, btw. A good mold designer can save you lots of money and effort.
  4. If necessary, return to the sculptor for modifications to improve the molding process (reducing undercuts, changing posing slightly, whatever). If this is necessary, go back to step 1.
  5. Mold file goes off to mold cutter, who will use a CNC (computer numerical control) process to cut the mold cavities, including fill ports, ejector pin ports, dividing lines, possibly point of origin labels, whatever.
  6. Mold goes to injection molding facility, which might have comments as well (go back to previous step).
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It is truly an involved process.  For the number of figures they have to do that all with I'm impressed they can get it all done in a 1.5 - 2 years.

Edited by Rignes
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8 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

3D file goes to mold designer,

To be fair, not every mold designer wants the digital file, some only want physical objects which means the digital files need to be printed and sent to the mold designer.  One of Reaper's factories prefers physical.

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