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Need custom 3d or blow molded work - any ideas?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by firesignz, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. firesignz

    firesignz Celebrating 10 Years in business

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt Sinai NY
    I have a vey good customer of mine who would like a very unique sign made and installed onto his building. While I have never yet shied away from different or creative jobs, I am at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed. This customer would like illuminated 3-d bears (like the goldilocks bears, too hot, too cold, just right). My best guess would be something like the old 80's style Christmas lawn santas and snowmen. However, since they are one off's I would expect that blow molding will be very expensive.

    I have even offered the idea to him to make the bear outline shapes in three seperate channel letter style boxes but he has not budged.

    Any suggestions or does anyone know of anyone who does one off blowmolding or something similar?

    Thanks in advance for any help which may be offered. :thankyou:
  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    search around for bear lights that are already produced maybe?
    paint em up, glue em on!
    gummi bear lights
    Picture 3.png

    Picture 4.png

    otherwise maybe inquire at the head shops ("tobacco pipe" store) and try to contract a glass blower to make it for you? i'm sure if your client is hellbent on illuminated bears, a price markup won't be taken as insult.
  3. andy

    andy Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Vac forming is probably your only viable option.

    For a short run job like this you should be able to get away with using a urethane foam for your mould.. it should give you a least half a dozen pulls before it starts to degrade... slap plenty of release agent on or it'll stick like cr@p to a blanket.

    Making the mould should be relatively straight forward... you need a router shop with 2.5D capabilities... they can take your bears, turn them into a computer model and then machine a relief in foam.

    The main problem is going to be which plastic to use.... acrylic is great but it's delicate and won't stretch far enough to do really deep shapes. PETG & styrene are a lot more stretchy but you'll have to clear coat on some UV protection... you'll also have to reverse coat with an opal White diffuser to cater for illumination.

    The biggest question is how deep are your customers pockets? If he nly wants to spend tuppence hapenny then he can't afford what he wants.. if he's prepared to pay for the fiddly work involved in making these bears then you should be able to hook up with a vac former who can make just what the guy wants. A quick call to your customer in relation to the budget for this project is going to be well worth it.. otherwise you could spend a lot of your time sorting out these bears only to find the client freaks at the cost.
  4. mrchips

    mrchips Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Will each bear be different?


    Makin Chip$ and havin Fun!

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