How To Make Molds - Composite Gliders - RC Groups
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Jan 03, 2013, 09:50 PM
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How To Make Molds - Composite Gliders

I've been reading up on building composite hotliner style gliders and found some great "how to" videos on youtube created by Jon Finch. However, I can't find a tutorial on how to make the Molds used in the fabrication proces (how to make a female mold from the plug specifically). I have I seen that some are made from aluminum, but others look to be made of a different material. Hoping that these can be made without the need of a CNC machine. Can anyone direct me to some links our give me an explanation? Update - the link that I've posted below is what I was looking for. Maybe after another year worth of reading I'll be able to take a stab at this.


Here is one of the links that I'm currently reading and process I am refering to.
Last edited by SOOFLY; Jan 04, 2013 at 10:12 AM.
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Jan 04, 2013, 03:30 PM
Spy's sappin' my thermal!
Chris Sutton's Avatar
Here is another thread with a great explanation of the whole process for a 1-piece DLG fuselage.

One of the DLG fliers near me (killercando on this forum) has started building fuselages using the method in that thread. They're coming out pretty nice in the looks department, and feel absolutely rock solid at around 48g.

Good luck with your building, and keep us posted!
Jan 04, 2013, 03:57 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the link I will definitely check it out
Jan 04, 2013, 05:07 PM
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killercando's Avatar
Here is a couple of threads I am subscribed to that have excellent info on some of the tecniques for molding. I would carefully read all of these and the links they have in them. Also there are probably hundreds of other threads I haven't seen. Then spend a couple hundred hours out in the shop and you could build some sweet top shelf goodies. It is sooo fun but a bit expensive. But sooo fun. Check the jart build for awesome painted in the mold parts. Lee

PS My stuff has a ways to go before they are sweet top shelf goodies. They are still in the middle IMHO
Last edited by killercando; Jan 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM. Reason: doh
Jan 04, 2013, 06:04 PM
Registered User
Killercando - I really appreciate you taking the time to post those! Looks like I've got some reading to do
Jan 05, 2013, 12:38 PM
Just fly it!
wyowindworks's Avatar
This one may be helpful:
Jan 05, 2013, 01:51 PM
Make Flying Fun
Last edited by KevinSharbonda; Jan 06, 2013 at 05:25 AM.
Jan 11, 2013, 12:51 AM
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prodjx's Avatar
You might want to check out The Dance begin's Tango. It's in the slope forum as I just made a current reply about it.
Jan 12, 2013, 05:15 PM
Entropy is happening!
Jim.Thompson's Avatar



You will be presented with many decisions and choices when you read the above links. Choices that apply to your own application. Starting consideration include:
How many models to want to build from the one design? Is it a prototype or proven design?
If it is a prototype and a kind of apprentices first project, consider plaster/hydrocal moulds for the fuselage at least. There are a number of threads here on these forum about plaster/hydrocal moulds. One or a small number of fuses can be successfully built with a plaster based mould. Not a bad way to get started.

Conversely, if it is a proven design and you feel very confident about getting it all right the first attempt, then a fibreglass mould might be justified. This can be epoxy or the cheaper vinylester. I'm building a vinylester mould currently here:
All my plugs for this project are hand shaped and finished. The flying surfaces are hot wire cut foam core vac bagged and hand finished. An insane amount of work!

The top end proffessional builders use more exotic materials and methods.
CNC drawn and built plugs or moulds. Moulds built of Corian and such.
You will no doubt read much about that in due course.

Spend about 2 hours per day for a year (and continue to do so) reading on these forums. They are an incredible repositry of information sharing and expertise.

Jan 20, 2013, 04:31 PM
608 km/h!
josh18's Avatar
Soofly, If you are looking at moulding the wings, you really need to start from the start and learn how to make vacuum bagged wings first, which you will need to make the plugs. This is a whole art in itself, and cutting the cores is another thing to learn again. Making fuselage plugs is easier, and a god place to start as all the shaping can be done by hand and vacuum equipment is not required to make the plug or the finished part.
Not trying to put you off, but its a huge amount of work. I would budget for about at least a year or two to go from the beginning to making moulded gliders. Its very rewarding though and well worth it. Start by learning how to make vacuum bagged wings and fly them for a while. They go great and will allow you to work out what you want for your mouldy project. At least there is a mountain of info out there, its definitely not a 'black art' any more!
Good luck
May 26, 2015, 08:50 AM
Registered User
Sturme1984's Avatar
Thanks guys!! Building a huge BAE Hawk mkII of 1500 mm long
May 30, 2015, 03:19 AM
Registered User
Artful Owl's Avatar
Is anyone using a 3d printer to make molds?
Jun 02, 2015, 02:42 PM
Aurora Builder
Some posts on here of using one to make plugs. I wouldn't use a standard 3D printer to make molds.

I'd also be leary of 3D printer accuracy, thermal stability and general warping over time.

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