DIY Mold-A-Rama: An Introduction

About an hour ago I discovered an awesome machine from the 60’s called a Mold-A-Rama (MAR):

More info here: http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article1015315.ece

Video of its operation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_sJxxeB5Lo

The Mold-A-Rama is basically a small production injection molding machine, complete with metal water-cooled mold halves and an injection ram. It created small (<5″x5″x5″) plastic figurines, and was usually found in museums and zoos.

Here’s my plan:

  1. Research
    • Find out as much as I can about how the original MAR works. I have already found a service manual, and there actually is an old (still working) MAR near me.
    • Establish the state of current DIY injection molding machine. From what I’ve seen so far, the hobbyist and DIY machines are more of a single shot system, taking a considerable amount of time to prepare the mold, fill, and then eject the part. The MAR is closer to a production injection molder, capable of reproducing parts rapidly.
    • Further research production injection molders. While I have a basic understanding of the process from my manufacturing engineering class as an undergrad, I need to dive deeper into the mechanics of these tools.
  2. Design
    • Incorporate what I have learned from my research. The goal is not to build an exact replica of the MAR, but to take the idea and update it with modern technology. I plan to replace the electromechanical controller with an arduino, the freon based cooling system with a solid state cooler, and so on.
    • Create CAD model of design. Most likely the design will be modeled in Solidworks, however I may use this as an opportunity to learn Pro/E.
  3. Source parts
    • I will have a limited budget for this, mainly because I’m not sure what I’ll do with it when I’m done. Most of the parts will likely come from industrial surplus suppliers and eBay.
  4. Build
    • Use tools to make it? In my garage?
  5. ?????
  6. Profit

That’s it for now. Let the great experiment begin!

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7 thoughts on “DIY Mold-A-Rama: An Introduction

  1. keep me posted as i have considered at attempting to do the same. lets talk. maybe we can share costs, ideas and we can work on this together?

    carlos

  2. A few days ago, I started a thread on http://www.MiceChat.com suggesting that Disneyland bring back these marvelous machines. I’ve been discussing them ever since. I’m going to post a link to this blog in the MiceChat thread, as I’m interested in following your progress and am sure that others will be too.

    Good luck!

    Sinscarely,

    H. B.

  3. Pingback: Idea Bring Back Mold-A-Rama Vending Machines! - Page 5 - MiceChat

  4. I own a Mold-A-Rama in Los Angeles and am in dire need of a repairman. Not having much help finding anyone. Any thoughts???

    You can email me at joshtate[at]yahoo.com.

    Thanks!

    • Josh we need a repairman for ours too! We have a Big Bear Lake Bear/ Mold and the face is stringy and blown out most of the time. Did you ever find a repairman to help you with yours? PLEASE call Cortney at 818-986-1274, let’s talk PLEASE!!!

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