Case Study – Very Soft Silicone tool
Our client required a consumable insert as part of the overall brief on the Trucorp Trauma medical training mannequin. A new production process was needed to ensure that output could be scaled up quickly and easily.
The normal process we use for creating multiple parts is to create a physical prototype. This is used for primary testing and modified as required.
When the prototype is approved as meeting requirements, a CAD (computer aided design) model is created. This can be done by drawing the part using CAD, by scanning the part or often, a combination of the two.
This CAD drawing is then high quality 3D printed. The 3D print will then need to be hand finished. The finished part will then be assessed to ensure it functions as required. The finished and approved 3D print will then become the master part in the production process.
In this case, we needed to invent a new production process as the standard silicone tool moulding process is too expensive and importantly, not suited to casting very soft silicone rubber (otherwise known as Platinum Cure Silicone).
We created a rigid plastic tool by using CAD to draw around the insert that we needed to make multiples of. Following the standard procedure, the CAD drawing parts were 3D printed, hand finished, tested and modified as necessary. These approved tools then became master tools themselves allowing us to make multiple tools.
We now have tools of our tools. This process allows us to make and remake as many tools as needed to meet the production requirement of our client.
Importantly, the process as outlined above, created a rigid tool which is needed to cast very soft silicone rubber.
This process method of product is faster than with silicone tools. It produces better detail, accuracy and consistency. Very soft silicone rubber is costly and this process results in less waste reducing the overall price per unit produced.