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Design Your Own Mold

The Task

- Design an original mold concept

- Can be digitally designed or physically designed

- 3D modeled/printed, Laser Cut, Cardboard

- Simple or as complex as you like

- Use less than 50g of silicone to conserve materials for classmates

- Make a test cast

- Photograph your finished mold and cast

- Write up a “lessons-learned” statement on your blog

My Process

For this subject I decided to continue working with the same "S" shape that I already created for my inflatable homework, I wanted to explore how the same kind of shape will behave as a silicone actuator.

Because of the complexity of this shape, it was necessary to divide the mold into two mirrored halves, however, when I did the 3D print I forgot to mirror the second half, as a result I ended 3D printing and casting 2 exact halves.

After casting the 2 half molds with the silicone and realizing that both halves were the same, I corrected the design and 3D printed the corrected mirrored half, then I cast it with the silicone.

I had some problems with the second half of silicone, the silicone did not reach some parts of the mold due to the S shape, this created a hole in the design, therefore, I came to the conclusion that it is necessary to make an additional opening in those areas of the mold which woud help the silicone to be poured evenly.This completed silicone mold did not work well due to the missing area.

Since I had an extra half piece of silicone already done I decide to add a flat layer to it to explore additional alternatives of this design. I had more luck with this second piece since I was able to connect it to the manual pump and inflate it.

The Results In this process, I learned how to translate a 2D drawing into a three-dimensional shape, I was able to use SketchUp and converted these files into .STL files that worked well with the 3D printer. In addition, I was able to analyze how this "S" form acted as a silicone actuator.

After obtaining these results, I want to further explore the implementation of silicone actuators in the development of my future work.

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