For small production runs or tests that require products made from end-product materials, silicone molds are ideal for quickly producing up to 100 replicas. Until recently, however, this technique was not widely used. Because silicone molds reproduce even the smallest details of patterns used to make them, creating the patterns was—until now--an exacting, costly and time-consuming process.
Smooth, accurate Objet 3D printed models have turned silicone molding into the urethane casting method of choice for small-scale production. Using Objet 3D printed models, finely-detailed patterns of the most complex geometries may be created in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost, with none of the time-consuming sanding, filling and priming that was once needed.
Injection molding is a process widely used throughout the manufacturing industry to produce parts from virtually any plastic material. The process is extremely fast and cheap when done on a mass production scale. However, machined molds are expensive and time consuming to fabricate - especially when a prototype for a new line is required.
The Objet solution
Objet's ABS-like Digital Material enables the user to bridge between the world of rapid prototyping and the world of mass production. By 3D printing the molds, one can get a part from the final production material, while still having the flexibility and advantages of rapid prototyping.
The familiar technique of sand casting to create metal parts is given a boost as the time between design cycle prototypes decreases.
Create and edit a design for sand casting in CAD, then use an Objet 3D printer to create the mold in hours instead of the days or weeks required for hand-tooled molds. Readily usable for "solid" or "split" patterns, the resulting mold accounts for being packed into sand and the extra space required for the hot metal used in the sand casting process. Automation for enormous numbers of metal parts is sensible, but the small scale and rapid development inherent in the design process are a perfect match for an Objet 3D printer.
Objet 3D Printed Injection Molding Tool Guide 301 KB (english)
Renforts en fibres plastique
Fabricate molds for reinforced fiber plastics that offer the optimal blending of strength, durability and flexibility.
Plastics are prized in many industries due to their lightness and flexibility; to add strength to plastics without compromising weight, tiny fibers of glass, carbon or other materials are mixed in before the plastic is molded. Creating design mold prototypes for reinforced fiber plastics on Objet 3D printers offers a huge reduction in required time (versus traditional mold-making). Using Objet's High-Temperature Material for a reinforced fiber plastic mold safely accounts for any heat produced as the resin hardens.
Molding Fiber Reinforced Plastics 1.00 MB (english)