Using Silicone in the 3D Printing Process
Silicone is a newcomer to the world of 3D printing, but due to sought-after mechanical properties, this material can be used in myriad applications, from prototype to parts and beyond.
The high viscosity of silicone makes it a difficult material to 3D print with a degree of precision. Falling in the elastomer category, silicone (a synthetic rubber) cannot be returned to a liquid state after it has been allowed to harden. Thermoplastics (rubbers), another popular 3D printing material, are capable of returning to the liquid state and should be used in projects where this feature in required.
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Properties & Applications of Silicone
Silicone boasts thermal stability up to 200°C and as low as -80°C, though certain formulations are capable of even higher and lower temperatures which means it is naturally it flame resistant.
A synthetic rubber, silicone naturally repels water and offers steam resistance and is often used for electrical insulation, even in wet environments. It is pliable and tear-resistant, features important in the production of gaskets,. It comes in an endless option of colors or can be transparent. The material is biocompatible, UV resistant, and can be sterilized for food storage use or other applications in which sanitation is a concern.
For more information about specific silicone materials for use in digital manufacturing, create a ProdEX procurement account to submit an RFQ.
Terry Trumbull, VP of Electro-Mech Components, Aerospace Industry
We worked with 3Diligent on a urethane casting project. The breadth of materials and services they offered, including flame retardant and color options, made them a great partner on this program. We were very satisfied with the experience.
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