Suppose that we have a mold, made of whatever material that we are happy with. This mold is usually used to be filled by some casting material.
Many casting materials exist. Usually, this material is supposed to capture details in the mold, and hold the little details. It is also supposed to be durable.
However, my casting requirement is different:
- I do not care about the details.
- I do not care about the durability.
Instead, my requirements are:
The cast must be durable enough only to be used as a template for a single leather work, after which the cast is thrown away. So I don't care about long time durability.
Sturdiness should be enough to allow for using the cast to press it on a wet leather (to wet-form/shape leather) for a single time. After this single time, the cast is thrown away.
The casting will be used to wet-form the leather into a 3D shape, such as a bowl.
Surface details are not important, as the leather won't capture the details anyway. There can be a few chips at the edges, no problem.
The texture and colour of the cast is irrelevant, since it is not used in the final product (it is used only to press some wet leather to form some shape).
The process is repeated for many pieces. So it has to be fast in terms of my time involvement (but it's fine if the casting needs to harden for a few days after I make it). This eliminates slow techniques, such as crafting a template using wood that is chipped until it forms the required shape.
The mold for the casting will be custom made for that use, but with some fast process, such as shaping it from clay.
I know that there are different casting materials, such as various types of plasters, chemicals to mix to form various plastics, etc, but I don't know much about these, as I have never did any molding nor casting.
For this requirement, my question is: What is the cheapest casting material?
The casting material and technique may depend on the molding material. In case it does, feel free to pick the molding material and technique suitable for your answer.