PROTOTYPING WITH SILICONE As silicone is a soft material it’s helpful to place You can use a cutter or scissors to split parts. Make some marks to be sure you are cutting in the rigth sure your cutter edge is as sharp as possible. I prefer place. Pens work better than markers on the silicone to use cutters because it’s easier to get a clean cut. surface.Before joining the different parts check if they fit The best way to place the raw material on the edges Place the ‘spaghetti’ in the edge of one of the parts.enough. Don’t worry if there is 1 or 2 mm gap is doing some ‘spaghetti’. Just roll a small amount Push it slightly to prevent it from moving duringbetween parts because you can fill it with raw on a clean and flat surface. The diametre depends pasting process.silicone. on the gap between parts.
PROTOTYPING WITH SILICONEPut together the parts. Once you are sure they are in More surface to paste means a stronger junction. Raw silicone can also be used to fill empty spaces.the right place push both edges to make the gap as Extend the silicone as much as possible . If you need the prototype to contain liquids it’snarrow as possible . Afterwards you can remove the important to check the joints to prevent leaking.excess of raw silicone in the paste area. Oven must be preheated up to 180 ºC before ‘cooking’ the raw silicone. It takes a couple of minutes to harden the material. Sometimes is easier to put the prototype into the oven each time a part is pasted and sometimes it’s possible to paste all parts and ‘cook’ the whole thing at the same time.
PROTOTYPING WITH SILICONEIt’s important to know that silicone expands when As silicone is a soft material sometimes the Several tools can be used to shape the raw silicone.heated. Sometimes the joint between pasted edges prototypes are too much weak in some areas. Raw In fact any tool used to shape clay can be used withis not as good as needed. It’s easier to prevent this material can be also used to reinforce the areas silicone too.using more raw material and removing the excess where you need more structure. This helps toafter the oven. You can also cut the wrong areas and improve design because you can add material andrepeat the process as much times you need . test if the prototype is working well.
PROTOTYPING WITH SILICONEIf it’s not possible to use existing products Check that edges are fitting well before pasting the Push both edges to make the gap as narrow assometimes you will need to work with flat silicone parts. If they do you won’t need too much raw possible. The idea is to use the minimum amount ofsheets, drawing or printing some flat patterns from silicone. If you are using a small amount of silicone raw silicone needed.a 3D file and build a prototype like a fabrics suit. its important to secure the area during oven time.Remove the excess of silicone to have a flat surface. You can use staples to fix the parts in the right position. This step is very important if you are pasting more than 2 parts at the same time or in complex developments. In this photos you can see we are making a cilinder from a flat sheet.
PROTOTYPING WITH SILICONETo keep parts in the right position I use to put some Depending on the size and shape of the prototypeclothes pegs or similar (if used inside the oven use it’s not possible to use the stapler. In this case youonly metallic or wooden ones). This is very helpful can ‘nail’ the staples by hand.on difficult areas.