Saturday, February 18, 2012

Solid Design

Solid Design was one of the more interesting booths at the recent Wonder Festival. I wanted to write them up separately to highlight what they're doing. Typically in the toy making process, you sculpt a figure, and a wax proto is made from that sculpt. The wax is then used to make the copper molds which are ultimately used to pull the vinyl.

Well, Solid Design is selling wax (which one would assume has some special properties + composition) that you can directly sculpt from. That cuts a step out of the toy making process. You can go directly from the sculpting stage to the mold making stage.

I'm not sure which method or sculpting material works the best (this or the traditional sculpt --> wax--> mold process), but I figure the more knowledge that's out there the better.
Here are examples of figures made from the wax:
And here's the owner (?) working on a sculpt:

 Chunks of wax can be sawed off, refined, and added to the sculpt.
 More tools and accessories at the booth:
Finally, a video of a new sculpt in progress:

They have a pretty extensive website (all in Japanese though) where their products are introduced and sold.


Onion said...

Awesome stuff!

Shigenobu-san from Buta uses this technique as well, no? Some pretty amazing stuff can be made from a direct wax sculpt! I'd just be afraid of something going wrong in the mold process and having to re-sculpt....

andy b said...

I think I've heard that about Buta too. Luke has also done sculpting from wax plugs to make body parts. Plus Karakuri was sculpted from an Oji-san wax proto.

But the latter case illustrates your point. When making Kara, Luke could always go back and recast an Oji-san wax in the event of a misstep.

If all you have is the wax, and no silicon mold to fall back on, that could indeed be risky. Having said that, I was looking through Solid Design's site, and it looks like there was some work with silicon going on, so maybe they had reversed the process and made backup silicon molds after sculpting the wax? Come to think of it, that might not even be possible. Just thoughts in the ether...

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