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Ways of Improving Your Silicone Mold Designs

by Nice Rapid | Apr 26,2020 | Silicone Molding

During the design phase of machine parts of the product using silicone molding, the main objective is to create a functional and accurate design that will work well as well as be produced at a low cost.

In the modern manufacturing world, silicone molds have different designs properties that were thought to be existing in only metals. With enhanced strength, there are plenty of applications that can be used, such as aerospace, plumbing replacing medical parts from metal to plastics.

To achieve this goal, at Nice Rapid, here are a few steps that you should take that will improve your designs using silicone molds.

silicone molds

Using The Right Tooling

Injection molding is mainly used for large-scale production when a client wants millions of machined parts or products; the molds are mostly designed using steel material. Producing a mold takes a lot of money and time, and silicone molds present designers and clients with a wide array of benefits that you would not get when using steel.

There are a wide variety of ways of creating molds, and the most popular method is 3D printing. Even though they are economical, the prototypes or products have rough surfaces and finishing, which requires the secondary finishing process to smoothen the surface out. Additionally, for finishing, your prototypes cannot handle more than 100 shots, and after that, mold begins to disintegrate.

In silicone molding, aluminum tooling is widely used as its position itself between steel mold and 3D printing. For aluminum molds, they are viable for 10,000-50,000 shots or even to up to 100,000 shots. Through the optimization of silicone mold designs, the lifespan of aluminum will be increased.

Choosing The Right Material

Another vital factor in silicone mold design is the selection of material. This is done by pointing out the mechanical properties that are crucial for the strength and integrity of machined parts. The main questions that you should ask yourself include:

  • The amount of weight to be supported
  • The temperatures should be used
  • Transparency

With the available data above, you should be able to narrow down on the type of material that should be used in your silicone molds.

Design For Moldability

Silicone molding has a set of needs and requirements that should be fulfilled to have quality and consistent results. At the initial phase of silicone molds, your features and setting should be adjusted, allowing the free flow of the mold that will ensure there is even cooling minimizing chances of defects and design flaws such as sink, knit lines, flash, and warp.

Standard Features Used in Molding

  • Wall thickness - Ensure that you have consistency in wall-thickness, which significantly reduces the possibility of sinking or warping, allowing your mold material to cool evenly. In-mold making, there is a rule thickness should not be more than 60 mm or less than 40 mm.
  • Rounded features - When it comes to designing the mold, avoid sharp edges and corners, allowing smooth flow of the resin to the cavity, reduce strength, and add strength. If you cannot avoid the sharp corners, then be selective in the material used.
  • Draft - Application of draft on your vertical walls will boost its strength, the angle used on the surface part should run parallel to the mold opening, the recommended draft should be one degree per inch of the depth cavity.
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