The Next Step in Prototyping.
3D printing is a great way to begin prototyping when working on a project or design sprint. You can; solve a lot of issues, find new ones, and gain feedback. Though, there comes a time when a functional, clunky prototype needs a make-over. If you reach a point where you need to build a more refined, reliable model . Urethane casting, in rubber or plastic, can give your prototype a look and feel close to that of a final product.
In this multi-part series, I explain my process of taking the model file of an object, designing a mold out of it, and making it out of urethane. I will cover mold design, material selection, and injection processes.
Part 1: Basic Mold Design.
In part one, I cover the variables that I have found to be crucial for having a successful mold. The design process is all done in CAD. Then, move on to 3D printing the molds, where we rely on orientation and resolution, to keep the entire process as smooth as possible.
Part 2: Material and Additive Selection.
In this part, I go over a few tips for when it come to choosing what materials might be right for you. The exploration process falls entirely on the person/s producing parts. This will always require a few tries, until you find what best works for you.
Part 3: Casting
For the final part, I go through the process of injection. With some tips to make it smooth and somewhat clean.