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3D Printing with Silicone Material

Before 3D printing with Silicone Material, we must know about Silicone Material. A synthetic rubber, Silicone has a number of desirable properties for manufacture. Its chemical formula can be modified to match a wide range of industrial applications, including seals, joints, wearables, medical equipment, robotic grippers, cooking utensils, thermal and electrical insulation, and more thanks to its remarkably adaptable chemical structure.

At Crenodez, we understand your requirement and offer better clarity and consulting before we provide 3D Printing with Silicone Material. 

Today, casting, compression moulding, or injection moulding are used to create the majority of silicone products. Many people are enquiring about 3D printing service with silicone parts due to technological improvements.

Due to its high viscosity, silicone is challenging to precisely 3D print. Like photopolymer materials, it cannot be heated, extruded, or UV-cured. As a result, only a few expensive options of the highly specialised 3D printers that are now on the market can print silicone in 3D. However, some 3D printing techniques provide materials with silicone-like qualities, and 3D printing can also be utilised in making moulds for silicone parts, bringing many advantages of 3D printing to conventional silicone production techniques.

There are three categories of alternative solutions for 3D Printing with Silicone Material. 

Direct silicone 3D printing:

Although silicone 3D printers are available, they are still not yet economically or practically practical for the average business.

By dispensing liquefied silicon onto the platform and then undergoing a dual curing process, liquid additive manufacturing (LAM), is another type of silicone 3D printing. It works similarly to how fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printers operate. UV radiation and heat are both used in the dual curing process to make the final product.

Spectroplast’s silicone additive manufacturing (SAM) method is the most recent instance of silicone 3D printers. The SAM process is comparable to the stereolithography (SLA) and digital light processing (DLP) 3D printers’ vat photopolymerization approach. Silicone polymers are typically incapable of being light-cured, but the company uses a unique procedure to make them light-sensitive.

Using silicone-like materials for 3D printing:

Different materials with silicone-like material characteristics are available through common polymer 3D printing technologies and can be used as substitutes for specific applications.

The elasticity and flexibility of silicones, which enable a wide range of applications, are some of the main factors that influence manufacturers’ decisions.

The hardness of silicones typically ranges from 10A to 80A Shore durometer. Different materials in this hardness range are available through popular polymer 3D printing techniques like FDM, SLA, and SLS. These materials differ in their degree of similarity to silicone’s other crucial material properties, such as durability, thermal stability, UV resistance, food safety, biocompatibility, as well as colour and transparency options.

Using 3D printed moulds to cast or mould silicone:

Rapid tooling using 3D printing can bridge the gap between creating silicone items in large quantities and prototyping them using conventional manufacturing techniques.

3D printing can also assist in bridging the gap between prototyping and mass-producing silicone parts with conventional manufacturing techniques for those wishing to create actual silicone parts.

The finished silicone product is produced using moulds through the processes of silicone casting, compression moulding, injection moulding, and thermoforming. Tooling slows down product development and increases the time it takes to bring a product to market because it has high upfront expenditures and lengthy lead times from service providers.

Manufacturers can test the design and material selection before moving to mass production by integrating in-house quick prototyping into the product development process. It also offers an affordable way to make customised or small-run end-use parts.

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