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Rapid Silicone Button Prototyping | How to Get Silicone Button Prototypes

Views: 94     Author: rubber-keypad     Publish Time: 2022-10-31      Origin: Site

When designing a silicone rubber button or rubber keypad for your device, you may consider how to obtain silicone button prototyping in the shortest time.

Xiamen Better Silicone Rubber Co.,ltd can provide you several solutions:

  • Less Cavity Molded Rubber Prototyping Mold

  • RTV Molding for Rapid Prototyping

  • 3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping

Less Cavity Molded Rubber Prototyping Mold

A rapid prototyping mold can quickly produce samples of silicone rubber button that use the same material which you plan to use during mass production and have same physical characteristics.

This rapid prototyping mold is usually with less cavity number than formal production mold, like 1-2pcs, or 4pcs.Development time is about 7-10days and cost is cheaper.

The 2-cavity prototyping mold can only produce about 100 shots, and then mold needs maintenance.

Silicone rubber button prototyping mold is closed and opened manually, but the mass production mold is closed and opened automatically by the machine directly.

The benefits of this approach are clear, but some designers may still prototype with other processes: room temperature vulcanization (RTV) molding was used and 3D printing.

Note: When your silicone rubber button has key webbing structure and need to get rapid prototypes, it is not suitable to choose RTV mold and 3D printing.

silicone rubber button prototyping mold

RTV Molding for Rapid Prototyping

When choose RTV molding to do silicone rubber button, a pattern of the item to be manufactured must be produced first.This pattern can be machined by wood or metal.

Once the pattern is ready, the RTV silicone is mixed with the curing agent and poured over the pattern; Curing time is up to 24 hours, and the resulting mold is strong and flexible enough to be used almost immediately.

The material by RTV molding is limited.Although RTV molds can be used many time to produce dozens to 100pcs samples, you may still need a metal mold for your manufacturing process to get actual samples.

Silicone rubber button is usually made by compression molding.

Generally, using RTV molds to get silicone rubber button prototypes only makes sense if your desired product is soft and elastomer material,for example silicone rubber.When your product is hard material, like ABS, PC, PP and so on, which need to be molded by plastic injection molding, the prototypes should be achieved by 3D printing or CNC machining.

Rapid Silicone Molds with Room Temperature vulcanization

3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method of creating a three dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer created design.

3D printing is widely used for rapid prototyping of plastic parts.Designers like to go from concept to CAD file to a prototype without tooling; however, there are limitations of 3D printing. For example, there are many more 3D printers and 3D printing materials for plastic than for rubber. 3D printed parts may be rubber-like, but they are not true rubber. Plus, the end-use properties of a 3D printed material differ from that same material’s properties when it is.The material of 3D printing is not real plastic.It is a kind of photopolymer.

3D printing prototype

To sum up, although silicone rubber button prototypes can be quickly obtained from prototyping molds, they all have limitations.

The samples from RTV molding and 3D printing only can be used to check the design geometry.And cannot do low quantity production, only do few prototypes for checking.

To check and confirm the silicone material propeties, product overall quality and surface finish, it have to produce samples made by real mold.

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