Jul 10, 2012
I wanted to give you all an update to my sensor housings project. With the construction and plumbing issues I was relocated to Dr. Harnett’s lab for a little over a week. Previously it was concluded that we needed to mold the housing in order to reproduce it in a fast and effective manor. Just printing them would take far too much time and produce very unreliable parts. During that time I was able to take advantage of some of the supplies in her lab to start experimenting with molding.
There were three different materials that I tried during this time. One was a paint on mold and the other two required are silicon based rubbers.
The two above were using materials found in Dr. Harnett’s lab. The one on the left pulled away from the part and thus did not make a usable mold. The one on the right, the chemicals were old and questionably usable. It didn’t solidify and eventually I decided to throw it away. I also ordered some fresh material as well as resin for pouring into the mold to make parts.
This mold was actually successful, but also it did a very good job at ‘remembering’ the fine details. With this mold I was able to pour plastic resin in and successfully make a near identical replica.
This shows that this method of production is reasonable in order to produce our housing. The next steps for this are to get a final piece that I will base everything else off of. Also I would like to see how many parts we can do in one mold in order to make production faster.