Since I left the world of industrial 3D printing to join the world of baking, I have been making custom silicone cake molds. It started with my first CAP courses. I was surrounded by really passionate and creative people, artists who had many ideas! But due to a lack of time, easy to implement solutions… and most of all a lack of BUDGET, I quickly realized that almost all of our creative projects were falling through. Developing a custom mold was inconceivable: too long, too expensive and finally the suppliers offered us things that were not very original.
Because I’ve been using 3D printers since 2011, I know well how the process of creating molds using this technology works, having perfected it dozens of times with my former clients. So it was easy for me to adapt the molding techniques I know to the world of baking.
In this article I explain you step by step how I make a custom mold using 3D printing. And you will see, for this beautiful model there is not even need to know how to model. I explain you in detail how to create this geometrical mold, which may remind you the creations of a famous Ukrainian pastry chef: Dinara Kasko.
The process has 4 steps, and it is accessible to everyone, as long as you have access to a computer and a mouse! I use as much as possible free software and solutions because I found in them a lot of tricks to achieve what I want.
Step 1 – Use the shape generators on Tinkercad to create the file of my dreams: to make my own silicone cake mold FREE
1 – Log in to Tinkercad and press the blue “Create a design” button
Tinkercad is a free software, which was created for young children. It is very easy to use! To start, you need to create an account to access it. All your 3D files are made online, through your web browser.
2 – Click on the Menu button (under the Notes icon) and choose the link “Shape Generator => All”
A shape generator is a great tool proposed by members of the Tinkercad community. It consists of a computer program that will create the 3D shape according to values and a mathematical function.
To make it simple: the software will do a lot of complicated calculations for you based on the numbers you give it. You don’t need to be super strong in math.
You will see that many shapes are available and we can say a big THANK YOU to all the Tinkerers who imagine this for us!
3 – Select the Pineapple v1.0 shape generator
In my version of Tinkercad, it is on page 16 but it may be different for you.
4 – Drag and drop the Pineapple in the middle of your building plan
With your mouse, you select this big pink Pineapple and without releasing the click you come to drag it in the left zone. Your pineapple is now in the middle of the construction plan.
At the top right of your construction plan, you have a panel that appears. It has several buttons with titles that are not necessarily easy to understand:
- # of Vertices
- # of Strips
Don’t worry, I’ll give you the values (or ranges of values) I’ve tested that work well.
5 – Modify the values of the parameters to get the right shape
For your silicone cake mold to be successful, it must have some relief. Indeed, a beautiful shape for your dessert or your cake is a shape where the hollows are pronounced.
In the case of the Pineapple, I share the values I use for my mold.
I write them in the article if you can’t read them on the screenshot.
- Rayon = 50 (le maximun)
- Stretch = -50
- # of Vertices = 24
- # of Strips = 7
You can of course modify these values to get the result you want. However, I advise you not to put too big a number for the “# of Strips” parameter because it allows you to control the depth of the facets of your “pineapple-diamond”.
Now that we have made this great 3D shape, we need to cut it to get a flat bottom.
6 – Cut the bottom of the pineapple
Turn your work surface over to access the underside of your 3D pineapple. This way you will see that your 3D model is perfectly symmetrical above and below the construction plane.
Take a cylinder drilled in the simple shapes and enlarge it enough so that it covers half of the 3D Pineapple.
Now you have to position it (with the help of the little black arrow) so that the top comes exactly on the edge of the construction plane.
You select the 2 3D models with your mouse or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A
And to finish you press the group function or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+G
Congratulations, you just created a beautiful 3D model for your silicone cake mold!
All you have to do is export it in STL format and then prepare it for printing.
Step 2 – 3D printing of the different elements: cost 15 €.
In preparation for pouring the silicone into your silicone cake pan, I 3D print several pieces. My goal is to create a solid layer around my model.
With the Patisserie Numerique team, we have developed a simple and efficient method for our pastry friends and customers that does not require modeling skills. The objective is to make them autonomous for their next creation of silicone cake molds.
This method is explained in a comprehensive online training course – you can learn more on this page. Also, you can sign up for our next webinar to take the first free course.
I use a classic 3D printer because the budget/surface quality benefit is generally sufficient for my uses and those of my clients.
Minimal cost in 3D printing
Here is the consumption of filament indicated by the slicer: 200.98 m in total or 14.98 € using a PLA filament from Prusa. For the choice of filament, I do not compromise on quality. I have written an article on this subject if you want to know more about the right choice of filament for food.
Step 3 – Casting the food silicone : cost 7 €.
After a few finishing steps on the printed parts, I can move on to the food grade silicone casting step. We use shore 27A or 28A silicones, which can withstand a very wide range of temperatures.
I use a classic method to evaluate the volume of silicone to prepare in order to limit losses. With bulgur grains, I fill my mold and then recover the corresponding volume. This is a first indication and I advise you to take a margin.
Finally, I let the food grade silicone cure before moving on to the stripping stage.
Here is the final result of the ready-to-use silicone cake mold.
Here is a pastry creation made with the finished mold, it is a frozen dessert:
If you want to learn how to make your own silicone cake molds and make your own creations.
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