When developing a product, you may find that there can be multiple levels or stages in the production process. Whether you require a fit check, form evaluation, functional testing and/or marketing samples for fundraising, Purple Porcupine can provide a viable option for each. The right decision at the right time could cross a few of these needs off the list all at once.
Let’ s say that you have already gone through a couple iterations of prototypes and are ready to get parts in the hands of focus groups and potential buyers for real world feedback. Understandably, you are wary of investing the exorbitant cost to injection molding before understanding the viability of your product in the marketplace. We propose a solution called Bridge Manufacturing or better known as RTV molding.
RTV molding creates a fast and versatile way to have numerous parts that will perform as intended for a dollar amount that will not require a second mortgage on the house. Let’s go through the steps to help you understand RTV molding and how it can help.
Step 1: Creating the master pattern.
The master pattern is a one-off model of your project intended to be used to make copies. There are many ways to create this pattern, but as technology advances, the most common is by using 3D printing. Once your part is printed it will be sanded and finished to a surface quality that is in line with your expectations.
Step 2: Pouring the mold.
After surface prep and analyzing the part for optimal orientation, the master pattern is secured in a fixed position within a temporary box. We mix a two-part silicone and fill the box until your part is completed submerged. Depending on the complexity of the project, there may be multiple pours at different configurations. This creates a multi-body mold that allows for cleaner part yield and easier de-molding.
Step 3: Castings.
Once the two-part silicone is cured completely (usually only takes 8-12 hours) the master pattern is removed, the mold is cleaned, and then reassembled in preparation of the first cast. We pour or inject a two-part Urethane into the now empty mold cavity and allow the mix to cure for the designated time…. Now we have the first copy! This step is completed on repeat until the desired quantity of parts is attained.
There are nuances to this procedure that are hard to explain or understand without experiencing it firsthand, so it is best to leave it to the professionals if you want it done right the first time.
As a whole, RTV molding provides a relatively quick and cost effective solution to creating a volume of parts in materials that are ready for real world application. The fact that you can create a mold overnight and for a price that can fit your budget makes it the best option for low level production numbers.
Added values of RTV molding is that you can change material on the fly, create multiple molds to scale your quantity yield accordingly, or make changes to your design, and not eat the cost of an injection mold tool versus the manageable prices of RTV.
If you think that RTV molding can benefit you and want more information about our services, please feel free to contact us! You can reach our team by phone at 949.474.9222or by email at [email protected].
Meet Mike Stone
As a Sales Engineer for Purple Porcupine, our prototyping service bureau, Mike helps guide people through the process of bringing their ideas to life. He focuses on the customer’s objectives, while remaining within their timeline and budget. What Mike enjoys most about Purple is working with fun and intelligent colleagues and clients. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Mike yet, stop by the office or connect with him on LinkedIn.