Silicone molding is a manufacturing process for parts used in prototyping, functional testing and short-run production. Obtaining good results out of the mold requires the use of strong, accurate mold patterns. These patterns are typically machined from metal or wood, but the process is usually time-consuming and expensive.
Stratasys’ FDM-based (Fused Deposition Modelling) additive manufacturing solutions offer a better and more agile alternative for producing patterns for silicone molding. FDM 3D printed patterns are strong and won’t distort under molding pressure or break when they’re removed from the mold. They’re dimensionally stable too and can be used to produce numerous molds with accuracy. The best part of the story, however, is that FDM 3D printed patterns are usually significantly less expensive and much faster to produce than machined patterns.
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