Liquid silica gel (LSR) is a non-toxic, heat-resistant, highly resilient, flexible thermosetting transparent organic silicone with excellent transparency, tear strength, resilience, yellowing resistance, thermal stability, water-resistance, and breathability. Good properties, heat aging resistance, and weather resistance, while the viscosity is moderate, easy to operate, and the product has high transparency.
Based on its diverse capabilities, LSR is used in a variety of industries, such as automotive, sports, medical equipment and consumer products.
3D printing demand growth
Typically, large-scale production of LSR components is primarily injection molded through a specific injection molding machine. Since the process requires more time and cost, small-scale production and prototyping are usually done by hand casting using mold plates, RTV rubber or soft metal.
While machining molds overcome these challenges, they are more expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive than RTV molds. In addition, due to the complexity of LSR component design, machining has its limitations.
In this case, making LSR using 3D printing is an attractive option because 3D printing is less expensive, more efficient, and capable of making more* parts.
Making footwear customization projects using LSR3D printing technology
* Nearly, Dow has made new progress in 3D printing liquid silicone technology. The company has reached a cooperation with ECCO to launch a breakthrough 3D printing liquid silicone for footwear customization projects.
ECCO, Dow and Dassault Systems (Dassault Systèmes) introduced the QUANT-U footwear customization project at the ECCOShoes Spring/Summer Preview press conference held in Tokyo, Japan on January 29-30.
It is reported that QUANT-U is an experimental footwear customization project of the ECCO Independent Interdisciplinary Design Studio Innovation Lab (ILE).
This first-of-its-kind service combines customer's personal biomechanical data, Dow's SILASTIC 3D3335 liquid silicone (LSR), and 3D printing (additive manufacturing) technology to produce a silicone interlayer suitable for consumer foot shape and natural movement.
Developed by Dow, this material is specially formulated to combine the performance advantages of silicone elastomers, liquid additive manufacturing design and processing advantages, with low viscosity properties for smooth printing and unique rheology. High resolution and high precision are achieved.
This intermediate layer has no odor, does not breed bacteria, and is waterproof.
Charlie Zimmer, Dow's global marketing director for high-performance silicones, said: "QUANT-U has demonstrated the manufacturing characteristics of SILASTIC3D printing liquid silicone and the advantages of silicone performance, providing a new choice for designers looking for part design flexibility and additive processing advantages. ""
Enhance prosthetic comfort with liquid silicone rubber lattice inserts
Germany's Stamos BraunProthesenwerk GmbH uses a soft 3D fast-printing UV-curable liquid silicone rubber lattice insert to enhance its production of high-temperature vulcanized solid silicone rubber prosthetic feet to improve the comfort of the prosthetic foot.
The project was developed by the IFD Institute of Precision Mechanical and Electronic Design at DresdenTechnical University.
According to IFD, the new inserts can reduce the weight of the buffer structure by 70% compared to the amorphous silicon gels used in the past.
Initial trials have been successful, and this will provide potential opportunities for R&D to produce simulated hands and fingers with bone structures directly from a single print.
At the same time, the researchers believe that this technology has great potential for 3D printing of artificial tissue in the heart, kidney, intestines, and spleen.