How to Mold Acrylic Lucite

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Acrylic resins are often used to create clear plastic moldings, sometimes with objects embedded in them.
Acrylic resins are often used to create clear plastic moldings, sometimes with objects embedded in them. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Acrylic polymers such as Lucite are designed to harden into hard, clear or translucent plastic. As two-part polymers go, it has a very low ratio of hardener to resin; usually several drops is enough to harden an ounce of resin. Because acrylic resins form very hard plastics, it is best to mold them in flexible molds made of RTV silicone or other rubber compounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Silicone or rubber mold
  • Measuring cup
  • Ruler
  • Mold release (if needed)
  • Acrylic resin
  • Acrylic resin hardener
  • Mixing cup
  • Stirring stick

Fill the mold with water, then pour the water into the measuring cup, and note the amount of water in ounces. This is the amount of resin that will be needed to fill the mold. Also, measure the maximum depth of the mold in inches with the ruler. Check the depth and volume of the mold against the instructions for the acrylic resin to see how many drops of hardener you'll have to use per ounce to harden the acrylic. Dry the mold and the measuring cup thoroughly.

Apply a coat of mold release to the inside of the mold, as per manufacturer's instructions. Some molds do not require a mold release for acrylic resins; check the recommendations of the mold manufacturer.

Pour the amount of resin you need to fill the mold into a mixing container, and add the number of drops of hardener recommended by the manufacturer. Mix the hardener into the resin thoroughly.

Pour the resin/hardener mix into the molds. Allow the acrylic to completely harden; this usually takes between three and 12 hours.

Pull the mold carefully away from the hardened acrylic, taking care not to rip or tear the mold.

Tips & Warnings

  • Embed objects in acrylic by pouring the mold half-full of resin mixed with hardener, and then allowing it to gel (which usually takes about 20 minutes). Set the object in the gelled acrylic, and cover it with a fresh batch of resin. When the acrylic hardens, the object will be suspended in clear plastic.
  • If you want a jewel-like translucent color to the acrylic, check into acrylic-compatible transparent dyes and add them during the mixing stage.
  • Acrylic casting resins are relatively safe to use, but they can irritate the skin when in prolonged contact.

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