Jewelry Casting Using Vulcanized Rubber with 3D Printed Master Models

Jewelry Casting Using Vulcanized Rubber with 3D Printed Master Models

Let’s consider such a technological process as molding jewelry from vulcanized rubber using master models printed on a 3D printer from high-temperature photopolymers developed by Formlabs.

The Form 3 3D printer creates masterpieces of jewelry with unprecedented detail, reducing labor costs and opening up profitable new markets. Formlabs resins are compatible with mold materials at high and room temperatures, allowing you to phase out the wax carving, but continue wax casting.

When molded from vulcanized rubber, 3D-printed master models are used, printed from High Temp Resin from Formlabs.

3D printing in jewelry

Long before 3D printing, vulcanized rubber molds were a big step forward in mass production, allowing investment casting to work on a large scale.

Formlabs high temperature and standard resins are used in the proven and reliable molding process of vulcanized rubber.

3D printing master forms are one of the easiest ways to get the digital benefits of your business. Compact digital inventory, lower labor costs, quick setup, and the same reliable wax casting process.

Organic rubber, heat vulcanized silicone or RTV silicone

A wide variety of rubber materials are available with different tensile strengths. Do you need durability for mass production or delicate for one-off production?

  • For long-lasting, commonly used wax forms, it is preferable to use organic rubber, which has the highest tensile strength. Organic rubber works best with thicker patterns such as signet rings, which are able to resist deformation during vulcanization.
  • Heat vulcanized silicone rubber cures over a wide temperature range and has a lower tensile strength than organic rubber. Silicone molds can capture excellent detail, but with many wax injections, they break down somewhat faster than rubber.
  • Silicone RTV is initially a liquid and at room temperature turns into a flexible solid. RTV is best suited for molding thin 3D printed craftsmen that can fracture or deform under vulcanization pressure but have the lowest tensile strength and durability.

Preparation of a part for molding from vulcanized rubber

Post-curing of the parts is a critical step for all forms of rubber and silicone molded products as it allows Formlabs resins, including Standard Resins, to achieve optimum strength and heat resistance. Post-cure will also neutralize any remaining uncured resin on the surface of the pattern that could interfere with the vulcanization or cure of the silicone.

Formlabs High Temp resin requires an additional cure to withstand high-temperature vulcanization. After curing, High Temp can withstand deformation up to 238°C.

Picture Credit: Unsplash

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