Difference between Poured Block and Blanket Molds

The uses of silicone rubber across mold making and casting are too many to list. It can be used to make both block and blanket molds. Find out how to make these poured molds using silicone rubber.

Silicone rubber is an inherently versatile material which lends itself well to various applications in both mold making and casting. When it comes to mold making, both the poured block and poured blanket molds can be made using silicone rubber. Let us take a look at both these techniques:

Poured block mold – This is considered the simplest method for making a mold. All it requires is making a containment area or a mold box. For this, the model is first secured to a flat base and the edges are sealed with clay or glue. The walls of the box can be made using particle board, plywood, PVC pipes, etc. These walls will have to be secured together as well as to the bottom of the box before sealing the interior edges and corners to prevent leakage of any kind. Alternatively, the walls can be fashioned with clay itself.

Once the mold box is ready, making the mold is as easy as simply pouring the mixed silicone rubber into the box till it completely covers the model and then some more. This should be done from a corner while avoiding pouring directly over the model. Let it cure proper before demolding by dismantling the mold box and prying the mold loose. The mold will be ready for casting.

This technique does require a lot of rubber but is preferred for its simplicity.


Poured blanket molds This is a more complicated process as it requires constructing a mold shell over the model which will take some practice. Here also the model is first secured to a base. Then it is covered with plastic wrap before applying clay to about half inch thickness. This should be uniform and fill all undercuts in the model. The clay is extended to form a flange and a pour hole is also needed.

A thickened mixture of polyurethane resin is applied over the clay and legs are added that will serve to hold and level the mold later on. Holes are drilled evenly throughout the plastic flange that will help in repositioning and screwing later.

Once cured, the mold shell is demolded and the clay is removed from inside. The model is again glued to the board and the plastic shell is repositioned over it by aligning the holes before securing it to the base with screws. Sealing the edges with clay will prevent leakage.

Mixed silicone rubber is poured inside through the hole at the top. This will cure to form a mold in place of the clay. The mold shell is removed and he edges of the silicone mold are loosened for demolding it from the model. When casting, the mold has to be placed in the shell mold again.

It is clear that this process may be complicated, but will require much less mold making material. The final casting will be easier to demold too as the poured blanket molds are thin and flexible.

Life Casting Finds Diverse Applications

Wondering who will need a life cast and what purpose will it serve? Well, you will be surprised to know the multitude of applications of life casting right from memorabilia to special effects and more.

Life casting is a three-dimensional reproduction of any part of the live human body. It not just captures the shape and structure, but also minute details like fine body hair, skin texture, fingerprints and even the pores on the skin. This is a permanent and durable copy that lends itself well to varied uses.

  • Parents love to preserve a memory of the tiny hands and feet of their newborn baby with a life cast.
  • Many people like to get a life cast of their face or other preferred body part to immortalize their appearance in the best manner possible. While face casting is most common, people also get life casts of their hands, torso, hips, breasts, abdomen or even the full body. Pregnant women often opt for a belly casting as a lovely keepsake of this momentous part of their life. Group castings of hands are common with friends and families.
  • The life casting technique is also used for making busts of national figures and other famous people. It is often used for making human sculptures and wax statues too.
  • Law enforcement agencies use life casting for forensic work like fingerprints.
  • Life casting fits in perfectly for medical applications like making prosthetic body parts for amputees. The missing hand, leg, finger or toe is accurately reproduced with life casting, thus ensuring a perfect fit.
  • It also finds other applications in the medical field, like creating medical training aids.
  • Museum preservation also relies on life casting for various tasks.
  • When it comes to special effects and prosthetic makeup, the first step always involves making a life cast of the face, torso, arm or other body part. The changes to the nose, ears, eyes, cheeks, hands, fingers or feet are sculpted on to the life cast. As this is customized specially for the actor, it will ensure a perfect fit that will be comfortable as well as allow him/her to breathe, emote and move normally. Given the precise conformity with the desired area of the body down to the skin texture, it will ensure a seamless blend with the natural features of the actor. The special effects also look extremely realistic and believable, a far cry from the unnatural-appearing computer generated options.
  • Life casting also makes an interesting and enjoyable art activity for students, parties and the like. Special kits are available with all the requisite materials and supplies which can make for an afternoon of creativity and fun.

When it comes to sourcing quality materials and other requisites for making a life cast, the best source is EnvironMolds. It even stocks kits – like the ever popular Face EZ Cast Kit – an all-in-one answer to attempting a life cast for beginners. The art studio is passionate about promoting life casting and is willing to provide tips and assistance for making life casts.