safer model-making materials

I tried to do a search on this and could not easily find any information. I am trying to find healthier and/or greener alternatives for some of the modeling materials my students use. If any of you could help, I’d really appreciate it.

Here are some of the materials we currently use:

-Polystyrene foam (blue insulation foam)

-Polyurethane Foam (usually yellowish)

-Polystyrene sheets (for vac-forming)

-Body Filler

-Spray adhesive

-Ren Board

-Spray paint

-Urethane casting material

I use or did use:

Clay (artist)
Wax (artist)
Automotive clay
Wood
Metal
Paper
Cardboard

Buy them a 3D printer/Rapid prototyping machine? :laughing:

I don’t know if theres any easy way to replace good old foam…it’s fast, cheap, and gets the job done quickly. I worked mainly with yellow foam in college and as long as you wear a good respirator it’s not so bad. It should be manditory though for kids to wear face protection with that stuff though, I can’t begin to tell you how many people would spend 8 hours sanding yellow foam with nothing on.

If you are looking for safe and Green. I would definitely consider clays. Art schools typically make their own to bring cost down and clay is just a mixture of earthen materials and water. Once the clay dries it can be broken down and recycled back into a new mixture.