Vulcanized Mold Making

Discussion in 'Materials' started by bobsavage, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. bobsavage
    bobsavage Member
    Any idea whether the "mold masters" for Fine Detail Plastic is referring to silicone only? The temp rating doesn't look high enough for vulcanizing (around 210F). Has anybody used this material for vulcanized molds?

    I ordered a couple pieces in both Fine Detail and Professional plastic just to be safe, since Prof Plastic has a much higher heat rating, but it doesn't appear to have the same detail so I'll need to see how the parts look if Fine Detail won't work.
  2. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    I'm not up on the latest names for materials but I have seen my FUD (aprx 5 x 3 x .3 inches) models go through both green (lower temp) and black rubber vulcanization. Even the 'low temp' green changes the model to a white baked look with some surface noise, reusable but not many times. Higher temp black was tested too and started to fail (decimate) in thin areas and it made changes the surface beyond what I would want to cast, pewter in this case. Your mileage may vary depending on design / topology. -S
  3. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    The industry standard seems to be SLA/DLP special resins, both for the detail level and temperature/pressure capabilities.

    If you are going with mass production, all errors in the first steps will propagate, not worth being skimpy with the masters.
  4. bobsavage
    bobsavage Member
    Thanks Shea, appreciate the info.

    I’m OK with not being skimpy in fact, I have a B9Creator but I stink at building supports for complex designs, particularly when fairly large.

    At some point I may “get it” and be good enough to print all my pieces myself but not yet.

    So what would you suggest? Is there anything high def and durable enough for the vulcanizing process here at shapeways?
  5. bobsavage
    bobsavage Member
    For those interested, it looks like Castaldo VLT has a low enough vulcanization temp to accommodate the high def plastic.
  6. bobsavage
    bobsavage Member
    Got my Shapeways prints and figured I'd post an update for anybody that might interested.

    The Professional Plastic (I ordered black) has far too grainy a surface and doesn't capture the level of detail required. It's unusable for my purposes.

    The Fine Detail Plastic ("Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic") captures the detail but has grow lines everywhere so there will be quite a bit of cleanup. I've never worked with this material so hopefully it takes well to light abrasives and such.

    All in all, I think I'm back to the drawing board and need to invest the time to really learn how to use my B9Creator because the surface detail I'm getting with it is better than the highest definition (smoothest fine detail plastic) offered by Shapeways. Don't get me wrong, the fine detail plastic has good detail but I think the B9 has the edge.
  7. LoveAndShapes
    LoveAndShapes Well-Known Member
    Good to have this information, thanks.
    Would be nice to post some updates with technics that you used to smoothen the FPD and show some pictures of the results.

    Kind regards, Robert
  8. bobsavage
    bobsavage Member
    I didn't take any pictures but some additional info...

    The 3M radial bristle discs seem to work well for cleaning up the grow lines of fine detail plastic. I believe I started with "pumice" and moved to 6 and then 1 micron. Some areas, I probably should have started with a more coarse grit but that would have worn down more detail than I'm willing to accept too.

    On that note and I don't want this to be a "bash Shapeways" post, but of the four pieces I ordered (two models, 1 each in prof plastic and fine highest detail plastic) two of them I'm asking for a refund (sizable dent in the prof plastic model and what appear to be heavy lines from sanding on the high detail) and on the high detail model that I've been working to get in shape as a master for mold making had loads of gummy, uncured plastic in the nooks and crannies. This is problematic both for the cleanup/sanding process because it gums up the 3m wheels and it's also a problem for mold making because the rubber of course molds itself around the gummy areas, losing the intended detail.

    So, I'm using various tools now that I've realized I didn't get all the gummy parts out when I first noticed them, to remove the rest of the uncured material.

    Finally, I'm using Castaldo VLT rubber and vulcanizing at about 170 F and the high detail plastic print made it through two vulcanizations so far. Now that I've got it clean, I'm going to try again. So that is promising, although I do think I just need to step up and get good at using my B9 because the quality of the B9 seems at the least to have the same quality as the high detail plastic and it can survive full-temp vulcanization using Castaldo Gold.
    EvieL likes this.
  9. EvieL
    EvieL Well-Known Member
    I just bought a set of this to use on my micro dremel! Have you ever used it on cast metal? I am thinking of polishing natural (raw) finishes to save on cost. I am wondering if it would work or if I need to get other tools.