Mold Design and Construction
There are various technologies for making molds for 3D printing. 3D printing is often used for producing small batches or for testing the design of the molds. In general, three technologies are used for the design and construction of molds:
Generally, a base tool (metal) is used, into which a 3D printed application is inserted. Plastics, thermally stable stereolithography materials and digital ABS from Polyjet are particularly popular since these can be printed in high resolution and therefore have excellent good surface qualities.
Typically, 10–100 molds can be cast.
In thermo-molding, plastic boards or films are warmed and pressed onto a mold.
This type of form can also be produced using 3D printing, using the same procedures and materials. The range of applications includes the testing of molds and the production of small numbers of plastic parts or packaging.
In original molding, the prototype is created using 3D printing. The mold can be created using various procedures. In prototype construction, this method is often used for vacuum molding. Molds can also be used in the dental and jewelry industries. Generally combustible stereolithography resins are therefore used.