Monday, July 2, 2012

Cheeto Plastic Mold

Suppose you found the perfect Cheeto and wanted to preserve it. We decided we would experiment with plastic molds and make a vacuum mold of a Cheeto. We got the idea from two of our favorite project sources: Instructables and Kip Kay.

For this experiment we started with:
  • A plastic peanut butter jar
  • An empty soda bottle
  • An empty plastic milk
  • Duct tape
  • A piece of wood larger than the peanut butter lid
To start our project, we drilled holes in the top of the peanut butter jar lid.

We drilled lots of holes until there were holes over the whole surface.

We cut the top off a coke bottle. This makes a good funnel that will make it easier to connect the vacuum. Then we traced the bottle top onto the side of the peanut butter jar and cut a hole and cut well inside the line.

We put the bottle top through the hole in the peanut butter jar and used duct tape to keep it in place. The bottle should be much wider than the hole so it doesn't come out.

For the last piece of our contraption, we taped a vacuum hose attachment on to the bottle. The tapered end of the bottle makes it easy to connect.

Next we found a piece of wood that was bigger than the peanut butter jar lid. We traced the lid on the wood, and cut the hole out. Then we cut a side off of a plastic gallon milk jug and stapled it over the hole. (We used a staple gun not a paper stapler.)

We put a Cheeto on top of the peanut butter jar, then put the plastic in the oven at 300 degrees four about 2 minutes. The plastic started to melt and burn at that point. We took the plastic out of the oven and placed it on top of the Cheeto and peanut butter jar and turned on the vacuum. The plastic was sucked down around the Cheeto to form a mold.

Here was our final mold preserving the perfect Cheeto.

If we were to to do the project again we wouldn't have made quite so many holes in the top of the lid, and we would have made the holes cleaner. Our mold is bumpy around the Cheeto because of many of the holes touched each other, ripping the plastic and making the surface bumpy. We would also use a heat gun rather than putting the plastic in the oven. We could have used the heat gun to reheat the plastic while it was over the Cheeto to get cleaner and more defined edges.

What can be done with a Cheeto with the mold?
  • Make a Play Dough Cheeto
  • Fill it with plaster to make a permanent Cheeto
  • Fill it with melted chocolate to make a chocolate Cheeto
  • Fill it with fondant for a Cheeto cake decoration
  • Make a bar of soap the shape of a Cheeto
  • Fill it with wax to make a Cheeto candle
Feel free to leave a comment and let us know other ways we might use our Cheeto mold, or other Cheeto experiments we might try.

1 comment:

  1. Cheetos-shaped chocolate sounds like a home run to me.

    Here's an experiment idea: You've mentioned a couple of times how the odd shape of the cheeto makes assembling them together difficult. It would be interesting to see if there is any way of creatively working around this limitation and using cheetos to build a significant structure. (ie, see who can build the tallest Cheeto tower)