Textured SLA parts

From: Bruce E. LeMaster (lemaster@artcorp.com)
Date: Tue Mar 16 1999 - 22:43:00 EET

Hello list,

I've seen several postings lately from folks saying that we 'service
bureaus' have not been sharing our ideas and developments regarding the
processes and techniques that we use in our operations. I certainly
can't blame anyone for withholding techniques that give them an
advantage in their business. I think a bigger reason for fewer postings
is probably more attributable to lack of time. I know that I do not
spend nearly as much time reading/responding to rp-ml postings as I used
to. I scan the headers looking for things that may be relevant to our
business and trash the rest. My hat is off to those of you who do keep
the rp-ml messages flowing.

Today however, I have something to share with you that we at ARTCORP are
very pleased with. Recently, we had a customer come to us and request
urethane castings with a texture. Now I know that many of us are
capable of applying a "texture" to patterns that will then be reproduced
in the molding process. However, this customer wanted a very specific
Injection Mold texture applied. Not something we do in house.

Not ones to give up, we turned to Akron Metal Etching Co. Lee Eisinger
and his staff specialize in photo-etching textures on injection mold
tooling (many of you may be more familiar with "Moldtech" (sp?)- a
competing company.) Lee has developed a technique by which AME can
"build-up" a texture on an SL pattern (any pattern actually). The
resulting texture is very durable and replicates very nicely in silicone
molds. Simply pick the desired texture from a large palette of stock
textures or develop your own custom texture and AME can apply it to your

Lee quoted us a turn around time of 4-5 days. Although we caught them
at a bad time - half their staff was down and out with the flu, they
did deliver in a little over a week. The resulting parts are most
interesting - not what you would probably expect. The texture on our
parts contain a blue dye - making the photopolymer easier to see as AME
applies it to the SL surface. The blue die makes for a strong contrast
to our SOMOS 8110 resin and at first we were concerned about the
outcome. Once we poured silicone and then demolded the masters our
concerns were eliminated.

We just demolded a 5 piece rearview mirror assembly made with MCP SG-200
that looks like it came right off an injection mold press. Our customer
just picked up the first set of parts and was very happy - just a little

If anyone wishes to contact Lee directly, his contact info is as

Lee Eisinger - President
Akron Metal Etching Co.
463 Locust Street
Akron, Ohio 44307
(330) 762-7687 phone
(330) 762-7686 fax

In closing, if you need texture applied to an SL pattern for molding or
for show models I would highly recommend Lee and AME. The price to
texture the parts is certainly not cheap, but very reasonable
considering the final outcome.

Happy prototyping,

Bruce E. LeMaster

Applied Rapid Technologies Corporation
265 Cambridge Street, Suite 100
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22405
(540) 371-1100 / (540) 371-4100 fax

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