Cast a designer toy

Designer vinyl toys aren't only decorative - they're also highly collectable, and a great way for artists and illustrators to get their name out there on a 3D canvas.

Many smaller designers choose to customise existing figures from companies like Kidrobot, Toy2R and Crazy Label. But making your own from scratch isn't as daunting as you might think. In the following steps, I take you through the creative process of producing a low-volume run of cast-resin toys, from initial sketches right through to physical production.

Due to space limitations, the moulding and casting techniques demonstrated here are relatively basic. For more complex shapes, you might need to cast several individual components separately, and fit them together afterwards. Naturally the fewer components you have, the more straightforward this will be - so bear this in mind when sketching your designs.

You'll need a variety of tools to complete this project, including modelling material and silicone rubber - a full list for both stages of the process can be found in the margin notes. Remember to work in a well-ventilated environment if you're using spray paint or sanding, and if you aren't qualified to operate large machinery such as a band saw or disc sander, give the job to a professional.

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