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GaryR52 07-11-2005 01:49 PM

Panocast 160
Has anyone used a product called Panocast 160? It's a urethane-based casting compound that, when placed in warm (72 degrees) water for up to 14 days will grow in size as much as 160%, thus, you can cast an enlargment without the need for more sculpting or the use of computer enlarging systems, etc. You can cast successively larger reproductions from each cast you make, too. The downside is the cost: $39.95 for a 2-pint kit, $219.95 for a 2-gallon kit and $899.95 for a 5-gallon kit. I'm not sure if you can add bronze powder for cold castings or not, though. It says the size of the enlargement is limited only by the size of the vessel containing the water. Hmmm...a new use for my bathtub? If nothing else, it would be a relatively cheaper way to get an enlarged pattern for making a mold to cast bronze from. Then again, in 14 days, a good sculptor can probably do an enlargement the usual way and save the $39.95 to $899.95, right?

Here is where I found the stuff:

P.S.: It says the way this stuff works is that it absorbs water, which presumably makes it swell. I'm wondering what happens to all that water, though? Does it retain the water? If so, then doesn't the sculpture become exponentially heavier with each enlargement? Or does the water evaporate, leaving air pockets? If so, does the sculpture retain its size and shape? Does it become less structurally dense, i.e., brittle?


Morgen_K 07-11-2005 07:15 PM

Re: Panocast 160
Oooo hey Gary - I've seen and discussed stuff like this before so maybe I can lead you to some other sites that have similar-ish materials.

Again the shrinky material I looked into came from a company that also made "Expand It" .. pink house studios (can't find it off the bat but Try "reduce + expand + Pink House" in a google search maybe?) Similar looking stuff.

Also, I thought of some of those sponge like materials that you can buy in a dime store that are little 1" long sponges that soak up water ... NO IDEA what that material is called (beyond extreme sponges... :rolleyes: ) but they seem to be similar in concept with a different material that I think stays expanded (well the one I've seen was dry and big later).

Some leads I hope! :)

GaryR52 07-11-2005 07:47 PM

Re: Panocast 160
Found it: I have seen this site before, but even though I saw the Expand It link, I guess I was looking for something else at the time and didn't pay it any mind.

Anyway, sounds like pretty much the same stuff - only a lot cheaper! To heck with the Panocast crap.

I'm thinking this makes much better sense than paying a foundry some outrageous amount to enlarge a sculpture. If I can get an enlargement on my own for a fraction of what a foundry would charge, that reduces my bronze casting expense quite a lot. Of course, I wouldn't use this method for enlarging to monumental size, which, at that scale, becomes more expensive than using a foundry. What I'm thinking of is saving on the cost of buying enough clay/foam/wax, etc. to do a sculpture of, say, two or three feet height/length. If I can sculpt at, say, 12" and use this stuff to cast an enlargement of about 20" and maybe do it again to bring my 20" piece up to 32" or so, I'd still be spending less to do that than it would cost to have a foundry do it, all while spending less on my primary sculpture medium.

One thing, though; my bathtub is the largest water-holding vessel I can come up with, but even that is somewhat limited in size, especially width-wise. So, depending upon the sculpture, there is a finite limit to how much enlargement I can handle, unless I invest in a swimming pool. Hmmm....I can see the headline now: "Huge Abstract Sculpture Capsizes Sailboat in Lake Hefner." ;)


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