AUG 26, 2018 4:33 AM PDT

Technology Creates Ideal Silicone

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Credit: Luigi Malomo via ScienceDaily

The way to fabricating objects via silicone molding requires a highly skilled individual with plenty of experience. Such background influenced researchers from Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione (ISTI-CNR) and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) to seek ways to reduce the cost and time needed for silicone molding.

More specifically, they have developed a tool that can automatically find the best option of designing molds as well as delivering templates for so-called "metamolds”; molds that are rigid and 3D-printed for fabricating optimizing silicone molds. The new technology can effectively reduce the cost of this fabricating technique and the need for manual labor.

"Until now, silicone molding of complex shapes was a craft that needed years of experience and a skillful hand. You needed to know where to place the cuts ideally and the work was done manually. Our new tool makes this method accessible for everyone," says Bernd Bickel, the lead investigator of the study.

Credit: Smooth-on.com

Using the tool, requires the user to simply upload the desired shape to the computer. Following that step, the tool then calculates where the cuts are needed for best results. Lastly, 3D-printable templates of the metamold are automatically created and printed, the printed metamolds are then filled with liquid silicone for the final production piece which are reusable and can cast multiple replicas using abroad range of materials.

Researchers are hopeful that their technology can be applied for many things such as jewelry design or art. "When you are not producing millions of copies, then this is the method of choice," says Thomas Alderighi from ISTI-CNR, the first author of the study who has spent two months at IST Austria as an intern in the research group of Bernd Bickel.

Source: Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
APR 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 12, 2020
NASA Attaches Autonomous Helicopter to Perseverance Rover
Those paying any attention to NASA’s periodic updates during these past several weeks should have perceived what s ...
APR 29, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 29, 2020
Move and Detect : Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis Using Fluorescent Micromotors
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures i ...
MAY 10, 2020
Technology
MAY 10, 2020
Forecasting Urbanization for The Next 100 Years
The new simulation model created by researchers at the University of Delaware addresses the concept of urbanization. The ...
MAY 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 31, 2020
SpaceX Demo-2 Mission Docks Safely with International Space Station
SpaceX and NASA gave the green light for the precedent-setting Demo-2 mission Saturday afternoon, officially bringing cr ...
JUN 10, 2020
Neuroscience
JUN 10, 2020
Monkeys More Responsive to Hyper-Realistic Animations of Monkeys
Video:  More about Uncanny Valley Syndrome from MOCH it.   Rhesus macaques are a species of monkey often used ...
JUN 21, 2020
Technology
JUN 21, 2020
Can Artificial Intelligence Guess Your Age?
Some of us are able to hide our age from each other but what if you can’t hide your age from artificial intelligen ...
Loading Comments...