In the general plasticsrapid prototyping, plastic materials with relatively low surface hardness are called soft plastic, such as silicone and polyurethane (PU); while plastics with high surface hardness such as PP and ABS can be called hard plastic.
Usually we will make soft plastic products by vacuum casting with silicone mold. It has the advantages of high speed, low cost, and easy operation. In addition, the silicone mold is not easy to get deformation and have smooth surface. Usually a silicone mold can replicate 10-20 pieces of the same product, and a set of silicone molds can only be used about 10-20 times before it can be used again, otherwise the mold may get deformation. This will cause inaccurate dimensions to products.
The steps of making soft plastic prototypes can be divided into three steps. The first step is to make a prototype, it can be made from general ABS material by cnc machining or 3d printing. And the surface needs to be polished before going into silicone mold. The second step is to make a silicone mold after prototype is finished, then we use oven to cure the silicone mold. After curing, we cut the silicone mold and take out the prototype. The silicone mold is complete. The third step is to inject the liquid material into the silicone mold. After drying, the silicone mold has a service life of about 10-20 times.
The above is the production process of soft plastic products, and because of the excellent properties of soft plastic products, its application range is also very wide. If you are interested in soft plastic products, please contact us at [email protected] for more rapid prototyping information!