Make a No Touch Tool with 3D printed mould
Create a tool for interacting with high contact areas such as door handles, pin pads, and light switches so your hands don't have to… helping prevent Covid-19 contamination spread!
Made from 3D printed nylon for a quick turnaround of moulds to address the problem as soon as possible. —
Step 1 - Make or buy the mould
We printed the moulds using an Ultimaker 3 3D printer.
Step 2 - Make a clamp for the mould
Initially our moulds had through-bolts which was of course silly and we quickly moved to a significant 10mm steel plate either side of the mould clamped together with M10 bolts. This setup becomes really slick as you can slide the moulds out of the clamp easily, separate the part and slot it back together when complete.
Step 3 - Inject into the mould
For each tool we put 40g of plastic into the injection moulder - accounting for some leakage at the beginning to ensure the plastic is flowing nicely and over-spill at the end to ensure the mould is 100% filled.
We inject the plastic relatively slowly by hand and hold the pressure once the mould is filled (indicated by when it overflows at the top). Using nylon moulds means that the injected plastic is insulated so it doesn't cool quickly so wants to escape if you don't hold the pressure after injecting.
Step 4 - Leave to cool and separate
Equally, don't leave it in longer than 6 minutes as the shrinkage may cause it to hug the sides which makes it much harder to release!
Unclamp the mould, peel the part from the mould and leave the moulds to cool (being a plastic mould, it keeps warm for longer which can cause issues over multiple injections). A fan can help this process.
Using multiple moulds and clamps here enables you to get quick cycle times - you can be injecting the next tools whilst the previous ones cool for example.
Step 5 - Finishing
Cut away any flashing that may have occurred.
Drill a hole for a keyring in the bottom.
Attach a retractable lanyard which helps keep the tool keep out of pockets and reduce contamination risk but remains close to hand.
Step 6 - Finished!
Stay safe out there.
Step 7 - Bonus: Speed up the process
1. Heat the plastic before putting into the injector like Qi-Tech
You can also use an oven to pre-heat the shreds rather than an extruder.
2. Use multiple moulds.
This enables you to have some products cooling whilst you inject others.
3. Fill the injection tube for multiple shots.
If you can load your injector with multiple 40g shots of plastic, this will enable you to inject multiple shots at a time.
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