• Elvin Ou

Week 3- Materials and casting silicone

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Materials ConneXion Blog:

There are a list of materials I found interesting to me when it comes to "soft".

(Left to right, top to bottom order)

1. The material itself is soft and stretchy and the air inside creates flexible and "soft" volume

2. The jelly is soft itself and the form bounces back to its original state after being pressed.

3. the material is kind of rigid but after being reformed in a shape of a bottle it became "softer"

4. The material is not soft actually, but its the idea of breaking a big piece down into smaller units that might possibly make something super rigid soft.

5.Soft circuit

6. The texture of this material is just so weird and soft

7. The opacity of the material interests me and the way it transforms light.

8. The reformation of the material gives it softness and rigidness.

9. I am not sure what this is for, but it seems cool to deal with light, touch and sound.

Silicone casting Bibenda actuator:

The very first experience of casting a silicon was definitely not easy. Before I started the casting, I went back on the class notes and went through all the steps. Then it started.

After getting all the materials needed together, we (Simon and Xiaotong) decided to do the casting together. Following the instruction, we use the cutter and cut out a 1" diameter 5" long pvc pipe for the mode. The 5" dimension seems odd to us since the 3D printed mode is a way smaller size for a 5" mode. We did not doubt it since it was on the instruction and continued to cut the base piece and eventually attached them together to complete the mode for the casting.

From there we cut the fabric to put on the 3D printed part and threaded them tight.

After preparing all the mode parts of the process, I started to mix the first round of the silicon for my cast and there was a huge problem during the vacuuming process. The 25/25 portion was definitely not enough for the 5" mode at the first place, so when it was poured into the mode and de-bubbled it did not even reach half of the mode..From there I decided to remix another portion of the silicon and de-bubbled them and poured them again. And.....again and again, I think i have remix and re-poured like at least 4 times. Every time I filled in more silicon into the mode to flush the top, at least I thought so.Then I put them in the vacuum and then the amount decreased drastically after de-bubbled and eventually I just gave up and let it set for formation. After the silicon formed its shape there are still so many bubbles in it and the 5" is definitely the wrong size for the 3D printed mode.