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How to make silicone moulds

how-to-make-silicone-moulds

Silicone moulds make replicating a product easier and more cost efficient than other methods of duplication. The most common silicone compounds used for mould making are RTV or "Room Temperature Vulcanizing" silicones that are mixed in two parts (a base and a catalyst) to induce curing. Its high tear strength makes it the choice of professional mould makers.

When creating your own mould, there will need to be a positive and negative item. A positive item is an item that is duplicated for multiple uses. For instance, the positive item would be a bracelet, pendant or toy. The negative item is the mould of the object you need to replicate. When the silicone mould has finished setting, and the original object has been removed – this would become your negative item. Having a reusable mould saves you time and energy in duplicating your products, which is critical for any business (or crafter) hoping to keep their bottom line down.

Silicone mould can be used for multiple creations like robotic or animatronic skins, prosthetics and props for theme parks, special effects and the film industry.

 

Directions for creating the silicone mould:

1. Stir formula. Stir in original container before transferring it to the mixing container. Ensure you let the silicone rest for a few minutes to eliminate air bubbles in the formula.

2. Transfer to mixing container. Use a gram scale to weigh exact ratio to properly mix. Add the catalyst to the base mix and mix well.

3. Pour mixture in model. Use a wooden rod

4. Reinforce with gauze between layers. After the silicone has begun to cure, apply gauze. This will increase the strength and tear resistance.

5. Wait for mould to dry. The cure time can be significantly reduced by using fast-acting catalysts.

6. Demould. Construct a shell mould or ‘mother mould’ made out of fibreglass, urethane or plaster to provide firm support to the silicone rubber.

Some Helpful Hints:

1. Avoid using drill motors to mix. Electric drills and other power mixing can cause problems to your mixture as they tend to create air bubbles.

2. Follow the correct mix ratio. Do not vary the mix ratio in hopes to speed up the cure time, it will only degrade the quality of the rubber. Simply follow the instructions on the container or data sheet.

3. Cleaning your silicone mould. Wash your mould using warm/hot water with soap. Gently pat dry and let the mould completely air dry. Avoid using any strong cleaners or rough sponges to clean your mould.