Use 3D printing to create your own molds for sticky toys!
Setup and Supplies
These jelly toys are a fun two-step project. First design the mold and 3D print, then pour the gelatin mixture into the negative space to get your sticky shape!
- 3D software design skills, 3D printing, *adult supervision suggested for heating and handling gelatin mixture*
Tools + Materials:
- 3D design software
- 3D printer
- clear, fine-grade gelatin
- 70% sorbitol solution (can be purchased a liquid or a powder, which you mix yourself)
- paper cups
- popsicle sticks (for mixing)
- kitchen scale
- food coloring
- large bucket or bowl with lid (for storing)
- toaster (or stovetop or oven)
How to Create a Sticky Toy
Step 1: Open 3D Design Software
We like to use Tinkercad because it is web-based, free to use, accessible, and very user friendly.
Step 2: Create a shape
Use the 3D solids to design an object that will be the shape of the final sticky toy.
Step 3: Group objects
When finished, select all the objects and group together.
Step 4: Make a hole
While the group is selected, make it a hole.
Step 5: Create a box
Drag a box shape onto the workplane.
Step 6: Activate the “Ruler” tool.
Select the tool then click on the workplane to engage it.
Step 7: Edit the box dimensions
As you hover over each measurement of the box, it will turn red. Click the red number to edit.
Step 8: Cover shape with box
Change the dimensions so the box fully covers the shape.
Step 9: Align tool
With both the box and the hole selected, select “Align” under the “Adjust” menu.
Step 10: Center align both objects
Use the round handles at the center of each side to align the objects along their centers.
Step 11: Group objects
With both the box and the hole still selected, click “Group”. This will turn the hole into a negative space inside the box.
Step 12: Engage “Rotate” Tool
Hover over the corner of the box and click on the red arrow.
Step 13: Begin rotating
Hold the “Shift” key and begin rotating the object along the Y axis.
Step 14: Release
Release the rotation when the radius reaches 180 degrees.
Step 15: Download for 3D Printing
Under the “Design” Menu, click “Download for 3D Printing”.
Step 16: Export as .STL
Step 17: 3D Print Mold
Use the .STL file to 3D print your mold.
Step 18: Weigh ingredients
Measure out the mold ingredients using the ratio of 1 part gelatin, 2 parts sorbitol, 3 parts glycerin. It is important that these are measured by WEIGHT and not volume.
As an example, roughly one class worth of sticky toys would be 100g of gelatin, 200g of sorbitol, 300g of glycerin. **Note: You can make a large batch of the mixture in a sealed container and melt down for future use!**
Step 19: Mix ingredients
Use a popsicle stick to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Step 20: Let sit overnight
The gelatin will absorb the liquids and turn the mixture to a fluffy consistency.
Step 21: Heat mixture
Put ingredients in a heat-safe container. Heating times will vary based on appliance, use the guidelines below as an estimate, but be sure to check on the mixture frequently. **Note: We recommend having an adult handle the heating steps, especially with younger Makers.**
Stovetop – in a pot on low heat
Microwave – medium/high heat at 30 second intervals
Oven – bake at 150 degrees, check at 3 minute intervals
Step 22: Stir mixture
Stir mixture while heating to fully combine ingredients.
Step 23: Mixture ready
Remove from the heat when the mixture is fully melted into a translucent liquid.
Step 24: Add food coloring
Stir a drop of food coloring into the mixture. We separated it into two small batches to make different colors!
Step 25: Prepare mold
Get the mold ready by making sure it is clear from support material and other debris.
Step 26: Pour mixture into mold
Pour the heated gelatin mixture slowly into the mold. You can mix colors, or pour one color at a time to create different layers.
Step 27: Let cool
Fill the mold up to the top and set out to cool. This process can be sped up in the refrigerator!
Step 28: Remove from mold
When fully cool, carefully peel the sticky toy out of the mold.
Step 29: Finished!
Your sticky toy is ready to use! The 3D printed mold can be reused to make more sticky toys.