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Tech Thursday #004: 3D Print Molding

Do you have a 3D printer? Try this to make higher quality parts with different materials that probably can’t print with your 3D printer.

3D printers are great for prototyping but when it comes to make a part that needs to be durable they usually struggle. You can, however, use them to print a mold of a part and then use a two-part urethane, epoxy, or any other curable liquid material to cast the part. Follow these steps:

    1. Draw your mold in a 3D CAD software. Often times you can draw your part and then make the mold by subtracting your part from a solid feature. Make sure to think about demolding too. You may have to design a two or three piece mold to be able to extract your part.
    2. Print your mold.
    3. Mix your material and pour into the mold. Make sure to use a mold release for easy demoliding. Sometimes it may be necessary to “float” something like a screw in the material during curing so that you have something to pull on for demolding.
    4. Demold.
3D Model and Print

3D Model and Print

Molding process

Molding process

Mold with Compound and Demolded Result

Mold with Compound and Demolded Result

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#techthursday #molding #3Dprinting

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