Flexible material for engraves

Hey everyone! Is there anything flexible that can be engraved to make a baking mold? I’ve had suggestions for Delrin and acrylic but I think both are too rigid. Dough is kind of sticky, and most texture mats you can buy are made of silicone (non stick by nature and very flexible). I’m wondering if there is something similar that I can engrave to maybe 1/8 inch. Any ideas?

Polypropylene might do what you’re looking for. I tried a set of IKEA cutting boards and it works, but the edges are slightly melty so you can’t get very sharp details…

You might do better to engrave a wood piece, and then soften a plastic/silicon sheet into your engraving…

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Thanks, I’ll give that a try!

If you’re getting super serious about it, you could consider engraving something hard like acrylic and making a silicone mold from it. It’s a lot of work for a one-off, but it’s established tech and could probably be successful.

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Since I know you can buy silicone bracelets to laser engrave, seems like you should be able to buy and engrave sheet silicone in whatever thickness you need. But I’ve never tried it.

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I wonder if the texture of engraved silicone would be “grippy” to dough?

As far as I know no one has done this on the forum yet. I know that GF staff did some molding for chocolate, but I am not sure where that thread is.

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Yay, me! I get to be a trailblazer lol.

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You could engrave something and then cast a high temp food safe silicone over it if you cant find the product you are looking for. i made my friend a small chocolate mold that way but i didn’t engrave the parts tho. that way you might be able to make many of them

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Ok that reminds me… I was looking into a vacuum former on Kickstarter about a year ago. Are there others on the market and how do they work?

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they usually work by heating a sheet of your material and then moving it onto the bed and sealing it. the bed has a bunch of small holes in it like air hockey table to allow the air to be pulled out with some sort of vacuum

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That’s not going to help - if you’re thinking of molding a shape for baking. Vac forming uses lower temperature to soften material than most foodstuffs need to bake.

The one I made, I used a heat gun to soften the material before pulling over my mold.

Silicone is easy to work with and commonly available, assuming the stuff you get at craft stores is food-grade.

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Not to bake in, to make a mold that I could use to shape dough that then goes in the oven. The mold doesn’t need to take heat, or even be food grade for that matter (for my application that is).

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If you’re talking something coarse enough you could cut by hand with a knife if you wanted to take the time, sure. I thought you were talking about something with intricate details that needed to be in contact during the baking process - that’s what I was thinking when you said mold.

… but in that case, why not just make a cutting mold out of acrylic, similar to standard cookie cutter templates made of plastic?

I could, but the thing is, I need the mold to release the dough after rolling it in to make the shape. I have a texture mat that is flexible, and you put it on top of the dough and roll to make the impression. Then peel off the mold and bake. If I do that with acrylic, I don’t think the dough will come out easily (I guess maybe if I spray Pam on it, it might work but be messy). The silicone mats I have are not the scale I want, so I was trying to figure out how to make one.

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Aha! Now I am with you.

I think molding silicone over something you engrave on the GF will be easier than vac forming.

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Yes! So, do you know how to do that? What do I need to get and how does it work? I was hoping I could just engrave something directly on silicone or something similar on the glowforge, but if there’s a way to do it two step, that’s fine too.

You may be able to engrave directly onto silicone mats depending on thickness. You may be able to make your own mat (pour into a flat dish, cure, remove, revert to step 1). You may also be able to mold over something else (acrylic) in a dish, and create a mat with the detail already.

Honestly have no experience with any of this but Google will surely help… :smiley:

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You can. I make gaskets cut from silicone for a local aircraft maintenance company. I’ve only used 1-3mm stuff but if you can source thicker it will at least cut. I haven’t engraved it. I have saved custom settings so I can repeat the jobs when they modify the part design that needs the gasket.

It makes black stinky residue all over the inside of the GF even if it’s “clear” but Windex or IPA cleans it.

I use smooth textured stuff but I did get a batch of it with a textured pattern when I was experimenting. Not sure how dough would stick or not stick.

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Sacrilege!!

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Wrong IPA :wink: The medicinal 91% kind, not the relaxing 6 proof kind :grin:

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