How to use 3D printing silicone mold resin correctly

3D printing technology enables the one-time production of injection molds: Traditional injection molding requires at least two hours per person to complete the process, including molding, vacuum wax injection, and mold assembly. This traditional method consumes a significant amount of manpower and time. However, with our technology, we can produce 135 molds at once in just a few hours, whereas the traditional production method would take 270-300 hours. This innovative technology is fostering jewelry marvels.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step description of the process of using 3D printing and silicone mold resin for jewelry making:

Initial Design:

  1. Initial Design:
  • Start by creating a digital 3D model of the jewelry piece using specialized software like CAD (Computer-Aided Design).
  • Ensure that the model is accurate, detailed, and tailored to the desired size and shape of the final jewelry piece.
  • Make any necessary design adjustments to optimize it for 3D printing and silicone molding.
  1. 3D Printing:
  • Load the finalized 3D model file into a compatible 3D printer.
  • Prepare the printer by leveling the printing bed and ensuring the printer is properly calibrated.
  • Choose a suitable filament material, preferably a high-resolution jewelry-grade resin, for the 3D printing process.
  • Start the printing process, allowing the printer to layer by layer, solidify the resin based on the 3D model.
  1. Post-Processing:
  • Once the printing is complete, remove the 3D printed jewelry piece from the printer.
  • Carefully remove any support structures or rafts used during the printing process.
  • Clean the printed piece using a solvent like isopropyl alcohol to remove any uncured resin residue.
  • Allow the printed piece to fully air dry.
  1. Silicone Mold Preparation:
  • Choose a suitable silicone molding material specifically designed for jewelry making.
  • Prepare the silicone mold by cutting it into the desired shape and size for the jewelry piece.
  • Ensure that the mold is clean and free from any contaminants or debris that may affect the quality of the cast.
  1. Mold Making:
  • Mix the silicone mold material according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure to achieve a proper ratio of the base and catalyst.
  • Pour the mixed silicone into a container and carefully place the 3D printed jewelry piece inside, ensuring that it is fully submerged.
  • Allow the silicone to cure and solidify based on the recommended curing time.
  1. Mold Cutting:
  • After the silicone has fully cured, remove the container and carefully cut the mold to separate it into two halves.
  • Take caution to cut along the designated parting line, ensuring that the mold can easily open and close for casting.
  1. Wax Injection:
  • Warm up a suitable jewelry wax material and inject it into the silicone mold cavity using a wax injector.
  • Fill the mold slowly, allowing the wax to flow evenly and fill all the intricate details of the jewelry piece.
  • Once filled, let the wax cool and solidify inside the mold to form a wax replica of the jewelry.
  1. Wax Assembly and Tree Formation:
  • Remove the wax replicas from the silicone mold and assemble multiple wax pieces onto a central stem called a wax tree.
  • Attach the wax pieces to the tree at predetermined positions using wax or hot tools.
  • Create a layout that maximizes the number of jewelry pieces that can be cast and ensures proper gating and spruing for the molten metal.
  1. Investment Molding:
  • Prepare a suitable investment material, commonly a specialized plaster-like investment powder mixed with water.
  • Place the wax tree assembly into a flask and carefully pour the investment material over it, ensuring that all the wax pieces are adequately covered.
  • Allow the investment material to harden and solidify to create a strong and heat-resistant mold.
  1. Burnout:
  • Place the investment mold into a burnout furnace to gradually heat it and burn out the wax, leaving behind a cavity for the molten metal.
  • Maintain specific temperature and time parameters to ensure that all the wax is completely burned out without damaging the mold.
  1. Casting:
  • Preheat a crucible or melting furnace and melt the desired precious or semi-precious metal, such as gold, silver, or platinum.
  • Place the investment mold into a casting machine or centrifugal caster and carefully pour the molten metal into the mold.
  • Allow the metal to solidify under controlled cooling conditions, ensuring that it fills the mold cavity and forms the desired jewelry piece.
  1. Removing the Casting:
  • Once the metal has solidified, remove the investment mold from the casting machine or centrifugal caster.
  • Submerge the mold in water to cool it and fracture the investment material, making it easier to remove from the casting.
  1. Finishing:
  • Retrieve the cast jewelry piece from the mold and examine it for any imperfections or surface irregularities.
  • Use various jewelry-making tools, such as files, sandpaper, or polishing wheels, to remove any casting sprues, excess metal, or rough edges.
  • Polish the jewelry piece to achieve the desired surface finish, shine, and appearance.
  • Incorporate any additional gemstones, engravings, or surface treatments as desired.
  1. Final Inspection and Quality Check:
  • Thoroughly inspect the finished jewelry piece to ensure it meets the intended design and quality standards.
  • Examine for any surface defects, porosity, or other inconsistencies that may require further refinement or corrections.
  1. Packaging and Presentation:
  • Finally, carefully package the finished jewelry piece in an appropriate jewelry box or packaging for presentation or sale.

Note: It’s crucial to follow proper safety precautions, such as using protective equipment, handling materials responsibly, and ensuring proper ventilation when dealing with resin, mold-making materials, or molten metal.