Home »  » General Discussion » Making a mold master (resin casting)
Search Search  
Show: Today's Messages    Show Polls    Message Navigator
Making a mold master (resin casting) [message #50480] Wed, 27 June 2012 23:24 UTC Go to next message
avatar RichardH  is currently offline RichardH
Messages: 2
Registered: June 2012
Go to all my models
Junior Member
I need to manufacture sets of miniature "lenses" (like, 3mm round) as part of a product, and I'm wondering if 3D printing is up to the task of making a mold master. Or if I'm even looking in the right direction.

The end product doesn't need to be optically pristine (it's a light pipe for LEDs) but a good polish on the front and back are desirable. Given the small size, I need a fairly high resolution of detail to form the curves on the lens faces.

I had an idea to use 3D printing to make a master sprue with many pieces on it, then duplicate it in a 2-piece mold using clear resin casting (a la Smooth-On). It seems like one of the metals with a high polish could be up to the task, but perhaps some of the others could work too.

Am I steering in the right direction? Which SW materials would be suitable? (i.e., just how smooth are their glossy finishes?)

** Newbie alert - I know just enough to be dangerous **
I'm not even sure if I'm looking at the right technologies here, but I do know my volumes will be too small for anything industrial (like polystyrene injection molding).

Thanks for any advice!

Cheers,
Richard
Re: Making a mold master (resin casting) [message #50574 is a reply to message #50480 ] Fri, 29 June 2012 06:50 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
Messages: 3109
Registered: June 2010
Go to my shop
Senior Member
Hi Richard,

Whelcome to Shapeways! Smile

Frosted Ultra Detail can give the finish you're after, although it may require a bit of a buff-up to be totally smooth. Silver is another possibility too.

Paul
Re: Making a mold master (resin casting) [message #50599 is a reply to message #50574 ] Fri, 29 June 2012 15:25 UTC Go to previous message
avatar RichardH  is currently offline RichardH
Messages: 2
Registered: June 2012
Go to all my models
Junior Member
Hi, Paul.

Thanks for the pointer.

I figured Silver might be a good candidate for its strength and polish. Frosted Ultra Detail seems to be a much more economical option. What material would I use to polish it?

And I noticed a detail in your link that may be a big deal for me - the lines created on the "bottom" of the piece by the supporting material. Does SW support specifying an orientation for the printing process?

i.e., for the part in question, if the flat sprue is printed horizontal (which would make the most sense), these lines would end up on one of the "lens" surfaces and deface it. If the piece can be printed "on edge" then the lines would fall in an irrelevant place.

And generally, is the part detail any finer on "top/bottom" vs "sides" of a piece as printed (i.e., will print orientation affect anything)? Again, no intricate detail in my design, but I do need smooth contours on the lens faces.

Cheers,
Richard

 
   
Previous Topic:SPRINGBALL
Next Topic:Enameling

Logo

Hello.

We're sorry to inform you that we no longer support this browser and can't confirm that everything will work as expected. For the best Shapeways experience, please use one of the following browsers:

Click anywhere outside this window to continue.