How are 3D printed molds beneficial for your production?
Posted By Kat Plewa on Jan 23, 2019 |
Using molds for mass production has been known for ages, but there is more to discover about this technology. Molds allow you to manufacture the same parts over and over, but getting the masterpiece perfect might be hard. Is 3D printing the solution? Let’s find out why should you start using Additive Manufacturing to produce your molds.
Why should you use 3D printing to produce your molds?
First of all, a 3D printer will provide you with a very high quality and highly detailed part.. Thanks to Additive Manufacturing technologies you can design complex geometries and achieve impossible before structures. For instance, Metal Casting uses a 3D printed masterpiece to create the molds, just have a look at this beautiful jewelry created via our online 3D printing service.
But looks are not the only advantage of using 3D printed molds. Additive Manufacturing is also very time-effective. It is a much faster process compared to the traditional techniques. It is as simple as uploading STL files and just 3D printing them. Precise time depends on the size of your object, but small objects such as jewelry can come out of the 3D printer in just half an hour. And if you’re not happy with the masterpiece- all you need to do is just adjust the STL files and 3D print it again, keeping all the design rules in mind.
3D printing is an amazing tool to get perfect molds. It is fast and will speed up the creation of the masterpiece, and let you easily adjust it. To produce single pieces for molds, 3D printing is also cheaper at the same time providing you with the highest standards of quality, which is crucial when creating a mold.
Let’s talk business: real live examples of 3D printed molds
We can talk about using 3D printed molds and its benefits forever, but is anyone actually doing it? Yes! From 3D printed molds for cakes to metal creations, we gathered for you the best examples of what you can do with 3D printed molds. Check them out now.
3D printed molds for silicone parts
If your end product is made out of silicone, then 3D printed molds will be ideal for you. Silicon will not interfere or react with Plastic molds, the only important thing to keep in mind is the melting point of the plastic. We provide you with the information about the melting point at dedicated pages of each material. Some materials are even heat-resistant which makes them perfect candidates for 3D printed molds.
Producing the mold will be quick and easy. Thanks to 3D printed molds, your silicone parts will be smooth and can have a great amount of detail. 3D printed molds are also robust and can easily be used multiple times. This is an amazing way to improve your manufacturing process.
Metal parts with 3D printed molds
3D printing the mold itself is not the only way you can use Additive Manufacturing to produce molds. Casting is a popular method to create molds. In the video below it is explained how the mold and the metal parts were created. As you can see 3D printing was used at the very beginning for a silicone mold.
The 3D printed mold was very useful to manufacture a high standard silicone mold. There were no leaks or air bubbles. The 3D printed mold was precise and perfectly suitable to be used as the masterpiece for a silicone mold. The quality of the 3D printed mold was crucial, as it played a key role in producing the silicone mold. From the silicone mold, a final product was then produced.
Another example is using 3D printed parts to produce metal parts from a sand mold. With Additive Manufacturing the model will be very detailed and will leave the exact shape of your design in the sand to manufacture accurate metal products. You can find a great example of combining Metal Casting and 3D printing below.
As you can see it is possible to create 3D printed molds for projects as big as a hammer. But Additive Manufacturing can also be used for more delicate designs such as jewelry. 3D printing allows us to create an amazing architecture of the objects, impossible to achieve with traditional production methods.
Paula Szarejko is a designer who uses different 3D technologies for her unique jewelry collections. For one of them, her signature silver ornaments inspired by animals, she used wax 3D printing to create 3D printed molds. The technique is the same one as we use at Sculpteo to produce your Metal Casting parts. A wax model is first 3D printed, then a mold is created around it. When hot metal is poured into the mold, it pushes the wax out creating your final product.
Can we produce food with 3D printed molds?
Yes! And make sure you see all the projects as they are stunning. We eat with our eyes first, baking cakes and other delicacies is not only about the taste as we very often base our choice of food on how it looks. Thanks to 3D printing bakers have been able to reach a new level of beauty and creativity in producing cakes.
One of the sweet surprises is chocolate art, possible only thanks to 3D printing. Lehrmitt Design Studio invested in Additive Manufacturing as a new way to produce chocolates. The CEO of the company, Bob Lehrmitt comments: ‘’Everybody is looking at the idea of printing chocolate as opposed to printing a mold. [With 3D printing] You can really extend the range of designs you can bring to chocolate. It allows you to do photographic representations. We haven’t come across anything yet that we haven’t been able to print’’.
Their 3D printed molds are created of food-safe silicone, which can be created in just 5 days. They present high detail which is easily filled by chocolate, producing beautiful and customized designs, the final product sure looks tasty.
Another amazing example of using 3D printed molds is an architect Dinara Kasko who decided to change her career into pastry but kept her passion for architecture. Her cakes sometimes don’t even resemble what we usually picture when it comes to buying a birthday cake.
Thanks to 3D printed molds, she’s been able to create perfect designs consisting of perfectly straight lines, geometrical shapes and round structures. Dinara shared her secret, she uses 3Ds Max to create the models, then she 3D prints the master model and lastly she uses silicone to cast the molds. The final products are absolutely stunning cakes, bending the design rules of pastry, which would be impossible to achieve without 3D printing.
Create your 3D printed molds today!
As you can see people all around the world are already using 3D printed molds. From professional pastry chefs to jewelry designers and metal crafters- people from various industries already benefit from 3D printed molds. Using Additive Manufacturing to create your molds will bring your production costs down, speed up the manufacturing process and give you absolutely new design freedom.
Start using 3D printed molds today! It is as simple as uploading your 3D model to our 3D printing service and getting your parts delivered straight to your door. If you’re unsure about the process, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re here for you to answer any questions. And if you want to make your own 3d printed molds, we also have a blog post about it!