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Charlie Humble Thomas crafted a bespoke homewares line from his tabletop using custom molds

how to make custom molds for homewares products without silicone
Charlie is a London based industrial designer who designs and creates prototypes for a wide variety of clients. He used the FormBox to make a short run of beautifully designed stationery accessories for a client, cutting down his prototyping time, budget and production costs.

How to create custom molds for without the need for silicone

Charlie Humble Thomas is an industrial designer based in London. Throughout his career, he has worked with such clients as Samsung and Honda whilst also creating his own self-initiated projects.

Charlie likes to take a hands on approach to the design process, often creating his models and prototypes manually, then combining them with the latest technologies to produce beautiful contemporary works.

“Using the FormBox in combination with a laser cutter allows me to go from idea to a variety of different physical iterations incredibly fast. It’s a super useful machine for my design practice” - Charlie Humble Thomas
homewares designs created using vacuum formed molds and Jesmonite

How to make custom molds for Jesmonite using the Mayku FormBox

Charlie was tasked with the brief of creating a set of stationary prototypes for an independent homeware manufacturing company. The client had a keen eye for detail and materiality and wanted the prototypes to be as close to the end product as possible, in as little time as possible - something difficult to achieve without going to tooling or creating a mess with expensive silicone mold making.

using the Mayku FormBox to make a custom mold for Jesmonite in minutes

Turning laser cut shapes into vacuum formed custom molds

Charlie used the FormBox in combination with a laser cutter to create forms with a finely tactile surface. He first modelled the form in CAD then split it up into many separate slices. These slices were then cut out of card using a laser cutter and glued together. This process created a natural ‘ridged’ pattern to the surface of the form.

This ridged form was then vacuum formed using the FormBox to create a set of moulds. By filling these moulds with a casting material called Jesmonite, Charlie was able to make a set of objects in different colours designated by different pigments.

Charlie created three different designs of his stationary set. Each of these was prototyped very quickly and shown to the client as the design progressed. This created a tighter feedback loop and enabled them to reach a more agreeable solution ahead of schedule.

casting Jesmonite into custom made homewares molds

How does in-house custom mold making compare to outsourcing?

Mayku FormBox
  • Set up cost - £599
  • Part cost - £1
  • Prototyping time - 1 Hour of Laser Printing
  • Production time - 1 day
External Vendor
  • Set up cost - £2500
  • Part cost - £50
  • Prototyping time - 2-3 weeks
  • Production time - 2 weeks
laser cut shapes made into custom molds for Jesmonite using the Mayku FormBox

How the Mayku FormBox can save you time and money for custom mold making

From sketch to small batch of objects in one day

Using a laser cutter and a FormBox, Charlie was able to go from single laser cut prototype to small batch of objects in one day.

Significant cost savings

Due to the compact size, Charlie was able to bring all of his work in-house. This created significant savings in both time and money.

Want to learn more? You can follow @TeamMayku on social media, join our Facebook Group, the Mayku Community or request to Speak to a Specialist at anytime to find out how you could use a FormBox for your next project.

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