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I want to make several resin casts using a featureless spherical silicon mold. The mold only has a diameter of 6 cm (think paperweight or billiard ball with a tabletop miniature sealed inside), but I'm looking to make 30+ of them. So I'm going to need quite a lot of resin.

Are there any chemicals that are more affordable than the resin itself that I can use to dilute it so that it will go further?

I understand that this would effect things like drying time, but that is not necessarily an issue.

I ask as I often dilute other substances that are typically used undiluted, and it's usually the case that the substances are sold in a format that's most convenient for off-the-shelf use, rather than because it's the only way to use them.

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  • Sealing a miniature in resin without pesky air bubbles clinging to all the nooks and crevices is almost impossible without a vakuum chamber. The proportions might also look off if you seal a standard human sized miniature (3 cm) in a 6 cm ball. More than half of the volume will just be empty space.
    – Elmy
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 8:55
  • Likely a chemist could dilute it. Many "epoxy" products are actually polyester ; usually they are diluted with styrene before the consumer gets them . Further dilution would deteriorate the cured properties. Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 21:07

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The miniature sealed inside implies you want clear resin so you can see the miniature (not a secret miniature that someone would take your word is in there). For this requirement, there really isn't a material you can use to dilute the resin.

If the resin could be opaque, you could use a small amount of resin as a binder for a lot of cheap, solid filler. You can add up to a few percent of an appropriate liquid dye for color (the liquid is compatible and has a similar refractive index). But even with that, you can't go over a tiny percentage without affecting the resin, and if the material has a different refractive index, the result will look cloudy or distorted. Solid, clear filler, like clear plastic chips or glass beads or powder, will have a different refractive index and will be visible.

For a clear result, you also have the issue of thorough mixing and no air bubbles. Blending in another material tends to introduce air bubbles unless you have a vacuum chamber.

Unfortunately, resin isn't cheap. It's great stuff, but if you want to make things from it, it comes at a price.

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    I'll add scenery as a filler to save resin. Maybe make backgrounds solid instead rad of hollow Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 7:15
  • I wonder if we can somehow fix this thread. The title, the question body, and your answer, all seem to want different things: can epoxy be diluted, is there a good clear alternative to epoxy, and resin is not the right way to go, respectively.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 19:57
  • @Joachim, the question just focuses on dilution, and the answer sticks to diluting the resin with other materials (including clear filler). A cheap epoxy alternative might be implied, and could be another answer. I don't see "resin not being the right way to go" in the existing posts. My last sentence makes the point that resin is the right way to go, but it's expensive if that's what you need. If that was your takeaway, maybe the answer would benefit from clarification or better wording. I don't perceive it the same way because the wording reflects what's in my head. Ideas for improvement?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 23:51
  • @fixer1234 I'll look into it more tomorrow. On my phone I figuratively (because literally?) miss the overview. Maybe I just need to rewrite the question title to be more in line with what the user is asking.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 0:34
  • @Joachim, the title looks accurate to me. Maybe reassess it when the UI gives full context.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 1:37

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