In this week's project we'll take a look at making stamps using a 3d printed mold.

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Usually a simple stamp design can work with plain PLA by orienting the design flat on the bed. However, more complex artwork will require making a silicone/rubber mold out of a 3d printed negative.

To get higher resolutions for complex artwork, we’ll need to print our design vertically. Ink doesn't transfer well to printed parts when the layer lines are vertical, so we'll need to use casting putty to create our stamp molds.

Printing parts up right benefits from a (theoretical) resolution in the x-y-plane of 12.5 micrometer, which together with a layer height of about 0.15 mm will give you much more detail for the mold part.

To build the stamp design, we used a lithophane generator to create a 3d map of our design. It works by translating the black and white values into bumps that form the image of the design. We'll adjust the settings so we can invert the design to create the negative for making a putty mold. The putty is  silicone base, so its able to transfer ink really well.



To create the molds for the stamps, we'll only need a couple of parts and tools.

Two part mold putty


This mixture is easy to use and cures in 15 minutes!


It has a mix ratio of 1:1 with a work time of 2-3 minutes. This means will need to measure how much putty we'll require for our part and then divide that number by two for each part of the putty mix. 


After casting the "demold" time (cures) is about 20 minutes. 


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This guide was first published on Oct 04, 2017. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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