In addition to printing 3D wax models, it is also possible to cast wax models using a silicone mold. A silicone mold is created by casting a ‘positive’ master model (product or 3D printed model) in silicone. After the silicone rubber has cured, the mold is cut open and the base model is removed. This creates an empty ‘negative’ cavity in the silicone rubber. This is the silicone mold. Wax models can then be produced by pouring liquid wax into the silicone mold.
After the 3D models are produced, these can go through the normal CIREX process.
Read more about the prototyping process here:
One of the advantages of using a silicone mold to produce 3D models is that regular wax can be used in the process. This results in favorable costs. In addition, this technique offers the advantage that larger numbers of prototypes can be made relatively quickly. The surface roughness and dimensional accuracy depend on the master model and the quality of its representation in the silicone mold.
Read more about the material used in this process here:
- Surface roughness determined by master model
- Dimensional accuracy determined by master model
- 3D model can be made as large as the master model
- Relatively uncomplicated process for duplicating wax models
- Suitable for production of smaller and average numbers
- One-off investment in silicone mold necessary