Jeweler’s wax is designed for making models that will be cast using the lost wax casting method. Its properties are ideal for creating intricately detailed, small-scale, three-dimensional forms. Pourable rubbers can be used to make molds of three-dimensional objects to make a skin that can be used as a mold for wax. Silicone comes in putty form, which can be modeled and have objects impressed into it. Latex, plaster, and alginate are also useful mold-making materials; they are all inexpensive but have a very limited lifespan. Vulcanized rubber can be used to make durable high-quality molds for lost wax casting. Other popular methods of casting include cuttlefish, sand, and clay casting methods, which can be ideal for precious metal casting. Aluminum molds are the most durable.
Vulcanized molds are produced by heating rubber in the presence of sulfur to allow structural changes. This chemical process increases durability. Specially manufactured sheet rubber is used to make vulcanized molds, which can be used many times, and are used in lost wax casting to produce multiple wax models from a metal sample. Due to the heat and pressure used to vulcanize the rubber, only metal objects (masters) are suitable for this process. Once the mold has been cut, and the master removed, hot wax is injected into the mold under pressure to fill the void left by the master; a very high degree of detail is possible with this type of mold. Wax mold trees of multiple casts can be produced from vulcanized molds during production to increase production quantity.