T1-MMT 3D pen and kinetic sand sidetrack

Nola (http://inchtextiles.blogspot.com.au/) suggested Kinetic Sand for mould / support making. The website describes Kinetic Sand as “98% sand and 2% Magic”, the Magic being a synthetic polymer which the Product Statement reveals to be polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone with unusual flow properties.

sand sidetrack

sand sidetrack

Fascinating just to handle. It packs like wet sand, but flows like … I can’t describe it. Check the video on their blog http://www.kineticsand.com.au/blogs/news/9080183-kinetic-sand-australia-video.
Sidetrack sample p1-1. I started with a simple shape – a kitchen bowl.
Sidetrack p1-1 Mould

Sidetrack p1-1 Mould


Traced over with the 3D pen…
Sidetrack p1-1 with plastic

Sidetrack p1-1 with plastic


Lifted it off the mould…
Sidetrack p1-1 unmoulded

Sidetrack p1-1 unmoulded


And embellished.
Sidetrack p1-1 Result

Sidetrack p1-1 Result


Structural integrity is very poor, but a reasonable proof of concept.
I also like the colour – it looks like pulled sugar. A little more sturdy and it could make an amusing bowl for lollies.
Sidetrack sample p1-2. What about a more solid shape?
I rolled smooth some kinetic sand, and pressed in a spring clip that was lying nearby.
Sidetrack p1-2 Impression

Sidetrack p1-2 Impression


Tricky at the start, but a result of some sort, with the impression filled with wriggles of plastic.
Sidetrack p1-2 Filled

Sidetrack p1-2 Filled


It came out cleanly – a few extra indents in the sand, suggested I pressed too much at the beginning.
Sidetrack p1-2 Impression after filling

Sidetrack p1-2 Impression after filling


Sidetrack p1-2 Comparison

Sidetrack p1-2 Comparison


Not an exciting example, but another world of opportunities has opened.
One oddity possibly of interest for specific needs – a short length of colour mixing in the nozzle when changing filaments.
Sidetrack p1 Colour mixing

Sidetrack p1 Colour mixing


You don’t get much length and it would be a bit of a fiddle changing the filament, but perhaps an ombre effect could be useful sometime. Or I might want a small amount of a particular colour I don’t have.
Other ways of colour mixing?
Sidetrack sample p1-3. An imprint of today’s earring (itself claimed to be made from old silver cutlery).
Sidetrack p1-3 Impression

Sidetrack p1-3 Impression


Bits of colour pressed in – snippets of plastic from earlier experiments. (Sorry the photo is rotated. I thought it would fit the screen better)
Sidetrack p1-3 With inclusions

Sidetrack p1-3 With inclusions


The T-pin is to keep a hole for connection to a potential ear-wire.
Sidetrack p1-3 Result

Sidetrack p1-3 Result


The earring came out cleanly, the colour fragments well attached, but the hole flawed.
Sidetrack p1-3 Flaw before and after

Sidetrack p1-3 Flaw before and after


The fix turned out to be easy.
Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview

Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview


It’s very light, but feels solid. I think this is a greet way to make beads and dangles.
Or I could make shapes relevant to a particular theme in a work. Perhaps work at making it smoother. Or else a series of more or less wriggles, or more or less complete shape, or different colours…
Sidetrack sample p1-4. Can I create a 3d shape, go over it entirely with filament, and extract the sand?
Sidetrack p1-4 With Plastic, and small insert showing initial mould

Sidetrack p1-4 With Plastic, and small insert showing initial mould


Drawing on the shape was awkward at first, but one could build skills.
Next was getting the sand out.
Sidetrack p1-4 Removing sand

Sidetrack p1-4 Removing sand


It took a few minutes, but I now have a somewhat fragile filigree ball. I could add more decoration, say some extra snippets of colour, but didn’t feel I’d learn anything extra from that.
While this was successful in the sense of doing what I set out to, I don’t think it’s the best way of achieving the objective. It also wouldn’t work for more complex shapes.
I think depending on the project you need a mix of working on the flat; freehand 3D; over a mould; into a mould; creating as a whole; joining pieces… I really like this pen, and the Kinetic Sand is a great addition to the toolbox.

8 Responses to “T1-MMT 3D pen and kinetic sand sidetrack”


  1. 1 Nola Archer April 17, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Oh wow, it worked! I am so pleased. I especially liked the filigree ball shape. I guess you could make a mould of anything, even scrape it back like sculpting, and then make your base structure over for later embellishment. Maybe not where you want go right now, though!

  2. 2 fibresofbeing April 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    It’s wonderful stuff – thank you again for the great tip! I’ve been using it some more today, just keep finding more things to do.


  1. 1 T1-MMT-P1 Sketchbook | Fibres of Being Trackback on April 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm
  2. 2 T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project overview | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 24, 2015 at 11:28 am
  3. 3 T1-MMT-P3 Molding and casting – Initial Research | Fibres of Being Trackback on August 7, 2015 at 10:59 am
  4. 4 T1-MMT-P3-p1 Molding with Joining | Fibres of Being Trackback on September 1, 2015 at 7:40 am
  5. 5 T1-MMT-P3-p2 Casting – glorious failure | Fibres of Being Trackback on September 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm
  6. 6 T1-MMT-P4-p2-e3 Collatype collage prints – block 2 | Fibres of Being Trackback on December 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

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