Mold-O-Rama: 50′s Plastic Molding Vending Machine

by Joseph Flaherty on April 21, 2009

Custom manufacturing gets a lot of attention because of the novelty involved with the process. There is something amazing about seeing a fully formed product emerge from a bath of SLA material, or a bust of Beethoven being carved out of foam by a relentless CNC Mill. However before 3D printers and laser cutters there was Mold-O-Rama. Mold-O-Rama is a vending machine that uses an injection molding apparatus to create a small plastic souvenir in a matter of minutes. The aesthetics of the machine are amazing, perfectly capturing the look of the time with post-war optimism about industry and progress.

mold-o-rama

BillySeven has an enthusiastic fan page tracing Mold-O-Rama history, even preserving the company’s letterhead.

Mold-O-Rama Gallery

mold-o-rama-figurines

Mold-O-Ramaville has the most complete collection of model photos. You have to love the 50′s and 60′s youth marketing where you could get stock characters like astronauts or more exotic selections like your own little thermoplastic Buddha. More Mold-O-Rama figurine images are available here, Everything from a bust of Abe Lincoln to a wombat. Seriously, a toy wombat. It was a simpler time.

Mold-O-Rama in Action!

Even after watching a couple hundred hours of How It’s Made, this is fun to watch. All the descriptions of the process talk about how hot the part is when you pull it out of the machine, hot enough to burn skin and offgassing plastic fumes simultaneously. I’m amazed these things are still allowed to operate in an age of hypervigilant parenting. It is also nice to know we can hold our own against Japan in a “quirky vending machine” contest.

Buy a Mold-O-Rama

If you want to buy a Mold-o-Rama, Starting at $14,900 they are available from Replication Devices. This company is also working on an intriguing, and eponymous, “Replication Device” that sounds like a next generation Mold-O-Rama. These wonderful machines are still working at Zoo’s and other locations across the country.

In an age where we live increasing amounts of our lives online it is heartening to see people excited about atoms and the way that the things that surround us are made. Here is hoping some mass customization entreprenuer brings the Mold-O-Rama back to life with modern technology.

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  • http://www.setpointusa.com/industrial-automation.html Automated Equipment Design

    these are antique kind of machines, well pretty designs too good to hear that machines like this are still used by other establishments

  • http://www.lionsdeal.com/janitorial-maintenance.html Equipment & Supplies

    wow a new gadget which makes great and beautiful works.. It looks like an oven, but it works better than the oven as it shape and craft different kinds of figurine..

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    Very cool! Right now, there are porous toys that could be molded as well to fit any one's preference, and I wouldn't be surprised if there would be vending machines that would cater such toys soon.

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    Isn't it plastic products are not safe? Is this machine capable of enhancing the way plastic treat our environment? I mean, is there a plastic that is environment-friendly? and will this machine do the first kind of molding plastic that is not harmful?

  • http://suzyjenkins.livejournal.com/profile Suze

    I saw these when I was a kid. I always thought it would be cool to make my own model from scratch using molds and polyurethane. It was more difficult than I thought and never happened.

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    This is so very cool, thanks for the post, keep entries like this coming!

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    What a useful post here. Very informative for me..TQ friends…

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    This is the most reliable thing.

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    What's disturbing is that some sex toy companies are heeding the call of molding machines to let people customize their own sex toys, especially personalized dildos for women. Tactless and tasteless desperate attempt to make sales in my opinion.

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    These is really a unique machine…
    I hope I can mold a sunglasses out of that..

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    These is really a unique machine…
    I hope I can mold a sunglasses out of that..

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    commenting on the custom sex toys, i think it is crazy to do so as safety of the sex toys is a major factor in manufacturing them. i can already see where these machines are headed. not good

  • Rajj57

    Mold-O- Rama gallery has got very nice gallery. All the sculptures are just awesome.

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