August '22

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OPTION 2: SILICONE MOLD Another clever approach that works quite well is the silicone mold. e tightest fits are achieved with silicone molds. 1. Size it up: Apply your photoresist mask accurately to the glassware prior to creating a silicone mold. Be sure to choose the appropriate size mold box for your glassware. 2. Install spacers: Prepare the mold box with rubber spac- ers within the intended zone of the sandcarving window. ese spacers elevate the glassware from the wall of the mold box, ensuring sufficient room for the silicone. Spacing them evenly will ensure the glassware remains stable during mold creation. 3. Activate silicone: Quickly knead together equal amounts by weight or volume of components A & B. In this case, part A is purple and part B is white. It will take you one minute of kneading to blend the two colors into one uniform color. e silicone continues to harden until completely hard in about 20 minutes. 4. Add magnets: Place small pieces of silicone on each of the four screws. Place one magnet over each of the four pieces of silicone. 5. Add all silicone: Place remaining silicone into the mold box pressing it down to get complete coverage over the magnets and flattening out to get even with a small block of wood. 6. Imprint substrate: Press glassware into the silicone until it reaches the rubber spacers. Leave the glassware in the mold while the silicone hardens. In 20 minutes, the mold will have hardened completely. You can then remove the glass. 7. Remove silicone: Loosen the four screws from the back of the mold box. Remove the back of the mold box from the mold body. e silicone mold should then come free of the mold housing. 8. Cut window: Cut away the window with a cheese knife. Be sure that the window is just large enough, so as not to cover any of the sandblast image. 9. Sandcarving: e magnetized mold will quickly secure the completed mold to the back of a metal window port within the sandblast cabinet. e operator simply places the glass- ware into the perfect fit of the silicone mold with only the imaged photoresist mask showing. Shazam, no masking tape! Again, these techniques work great with a wide variety of sub- strates beyond glassware, including wine bottles and ceramic mugs, as well as awards. You can be creative and make your own tapeless sandblast port, or you can source one of these turn-key solutions. Either way, you'll work faster and earn more on your next large-volume order by going tapeless. GP Brian Mirsch, marketing director at Ikonics Corporation, has 20+ years' experience promoting screen print and engraving solutions. Most of his career has concentrated on developing export markets for Ikonics' U.S.-based manufacturing. G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 8 3 1-2 3 4 5 6 7 8a 8b 8c 9 Silicone Mold: Steps 1-9 The tightest fits are achieved with silicone molds.

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