One possible solution is to create master patterns/models using SLA or
machining, etc. and cast them in urethane rubber or you could do it in
silicone rubber (here's a cool trick - since it's near impossible to remove
silicone rubber thermoset from a silicone rubber mold, try machining the
button shape in acrylic/plexiglass and then pour silicone rubber into that -
you can even make a core to create a backside detail if you're clever about
making a "gate" to fill the cavity). You could also use a combination
process to produce a hard plastic shape and then cast an elastomer right over
By the way, if you have an application for making silicone rubber keypads you
can use the machined acrylic mold process and even pour in colored silicone
rubber material (so some/all of the keys can be different colors) and it is
possible to bond on conductive "pucks" on the backside to make these keypads
functional. About the only limitation to this process is the backside will
have to be flat since you're pouring the silicone rubber rather than
injecting it into a sealed mold under pressure.
Hope this helps.
In a message dated 5/18/99 6:33:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> Has anyone used any of the elastomeric materials to fabricate soft-feel
> buttons for electronic appliances (calculators, computer games, etc.)? Does
> it work? I have an application where I need to make some buttons that are
> unusual shapes and want to know the best way to do it.
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