Silicone Molding with 3D Printed Masters

When you combine silicone molding and 3D printing, you open a door to new possibilities. Not only will you be able to produce multiples of the same product, but you will be able to create products out of materials not supported by a 3D printer. Keep reading for a step by step tutorial, with photos, to see how it all works.

 

Step 1. Choose a file to cast a mold around.

Select the file in which you want to multiply or want to create with a material your printer does not support.

Step 2. Create a mold box

This structure is called a mold box and will hold the silicone in place when you pour. Your mold box can be created from: foam core board, Legos, 3D printing.

Step 3. Prepare and print.

Select standard print settings, since the molding is not very demanding on the 2D printed mold box.

Step 4. Suspend master in mold box and prepare.

Spray your mold box, master, vents and keys with mold release. Choose points across the model to glue vents. Spray again with mold release for good measure.

 

Step 5. Open bottles of silicone and stir thoroughly

As silicone comes in two parts, it needs to be mixed not only individually but also with its hardener. Mix slowly.

Step 6. Measure

Determine the volume of silicone needed to fill your silicone mold, then measure the desired amount of silicone and hardener in two separate measuring cups.

Tip: For two-part molds like the one shown, you only need to mix enough silicone to fill half of the volume of your mold

Step 7. Mix silicone

After measuring each part, combine them together and stir slowly with a mixing tool. The curing process will begin once your parts are thoroughly mixed.

Step 8. Pour into mold part

Once you have poured your silicone, place small keys into the silicone. These negative spaces will allow the mold halves to fit together once poured. You will remove them before pouring the second half.

Step 9. Let cure

The curing process can take anywhere from 75 minutes to overnight, depending on what type of silicone you’re using.

Step 10. Attach and prepare mold part two

Remove the keys you inserted in step 9, attach and secure the second half of the mold box, and spray with mold release.

That’s not all! Complete the silicone molding process by accessing the complete tutorial, with steps 11-20,  here. Explore the endless possibilities that go along with silicone molding.

Categories: 3D printing