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Silicone Fabrication Q&A

  •   It’s been a number of years since I’ve worked with silicone, so forgive my ignorance. Are there any major providers of systems—i.e., Stratasys, etc.—that manufacture rapid prototyping systems, other then subtractive, that are capable of producing/curing medical-grade silicones with thick or thin walls and in multidurometer configurations? The idea is to eliminate my molding process altogether. If such systems are not available, why? If they are, names would be greatly appreciated.

    Answered December 20th, 2229 by Expert: Brian Higgins

    Statasys and other companies, I believe, do offer rubber or “siliconelike” materials called TangoPlus, Tangogray, and TangoBlack. The resolution and accuracy available are generally good enough to help validate a design, but they are not a replacement for an actual silicone part. As far as why they have not made a rapid prototyping system for silicone, I am not entirely sure. I am guessing that it is due to the peanut butter consistency of silicone in its uncured state. I am sure that it would be very difficult to lay down a thin enough layer to accurately create a part, not to mention then having to heat it up to cure it.

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