We are currently in the process of making functional tradeshow parts using SLAs. The
overmolded portions are separate pieces hand-fitted and then painted with a contrasting
color, "soft feel" paint. This adds only about 2 mils. They are then bonded to the
"hard" parts. This is proving to be a very cost effective and cosmetics are very good.
In the past, we have cast separately and applied elastomeric parts as well as
"overcasting" a previously cast rigid part, using silicone molds. We have successfully
done three different overmolding projects. Yes, this is significantly more difficult and
expensive. It requires more patterns and molds and very good precision.
The problem with adding on soft or hard-"soft feel" parts, that are representative of
overmolded materials, is that you never get the exact look of the two materials bonded,
dead-flush, like you get in an injection overmolded part. There is always a slight crack,
mismatch or rounding of the edges, as they meet. With the "overcasting" approach you can
achieve the correct look.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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