April 2015 Hacker of the Month
A big congrats to Troy Peterson, our April 2015 Hacker of the Month! Troy intrigued us with his method of using 3D printed parts to make production-ready silicone molds. His submission included a thorough video about creating molds for a Skin Rejuvenator that often gets mistaken for a hair dryer. Peterson, who works in Technical Sale and Marketing for BJB Enterprises, has a background in aerospace composites, mold-making, and graphic design. BJB has a long history in product development, entertainment, theme park, and manufacturing industries. They produce raw materials; not finished parts.
Five months ago, BJB purchased an Airwolf HDX from MatterHackers for purposes of in-house R&D and educational training.
"Our goal with acquiring a 3D printer was to enable us to produce training videos on how our material technology compliments 3D printing and expands its use. While the techniques are well-established in many industries, the newest adopters of 3D printing technology can benefit from the options and flexibility of making molds and casting parts," Peterson said.
The printed piece was originally designed for a project John Pyle worked on a few years ago when he was active in the prototyping industry.
"When people see it, they ask about the hair dryer," Peterson said. "Then it's explained that it's actually a Skin Rejuvenator for some sort of beauty/spa treatment."
The 3D model was designed then printed using a 3D Printer. The part was sanded smooth and primed for mold making. A silicone mold was created using the 'master' 3D Printed part and BJB solione materials - six or so sets of parts cast were cast from this mold in about a week and a half. The cast parts were then painted, had their logos applied, and electronics installed.
"It shows how quickly prototypes can be done with a combination of 3D Printing and the silicone molding process." Peterson said.
BJB Enterprises has developed a thorough playlist of videos to show how the process of making silicone molds from 3D printed parts works.
"We go through a lot of the details missing from many of the videos you typically see," Peterson said; "How you prepare the model, how to choose and properly mix materials, and many other important things to watch out for so you don't learn the hard (and expensive) way."
Their slogan is "Taking the Mystery Out of Materials," and that's what their videos aim to do.
"We make mold-making and casting materials - not parts - so we try to educate our customers about the materials so they are successful and thrive," said Peterson.
To learn more about BJB Enterprises, please visit www.BJBenterprises.com.
Do you think you have what it takes to be our next Hacker of the Month? Simply follow us on Facebook/Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us about your project or 3d printed creation, and you could be featured in our next Newsletter. Hacker of the Month will also win a free spool of PRO series PLA or ABS filament to further their pursuit of 3D printing greatness.