TrustyTrunks now available!

MATERIAL SELECTION


If you’ve ever given blood for any reason, you know that they put a disposable tourniquet on your arm to make the vein pop. Something clicked for me when I saw it. It was super stretchy, it had to be hypo-allergenic and safe to put on all types of skin, plus it even smelled nice. As soon as I got home I google searched and learned you can even buy them on Amazon. Gotta’ love Amazon… So of course, I ordered a box. I had lots of fun playing with them. I learned putting any sort of adhesive on them makes a mess. I ran them through the washing machine and dryer. I’m glad that experiment didn’t make a mess, they passed that test with excellence. And then my bubble burst.  I put a lighter to one and almost burned down my kitchen. Wowie, they are flammable.

 

 

Remember - this is NOT the material used in TrustyTrunks!

I had already purchased the Smooth-On Ecoflex silicone material for the prototype but wasn’t sure that would be a good production choice, it seemed a little to thick and sticky. Then again, that could be just a factor of the messy way I built my first prototype. So, I bought some more to do some more tests. I hope I didn’t contaminate my cake pan, as I’m still using it to bake cakes.

 

 

My friend in the plastics biz, made recommendations. I learned lots about materials for making molds and materials for 3D printing. I watched YouTube videos (of course). I started reading chemical descriptions of elastomers and all sorts of poly combinations. For all this effort, I shot off emails to potential manufacturers, which were promptly shot down due to my lack of knowledge. At this writing, we still haven’t finalized material selection, but I have stopped spending my time worrying about it, and stopped bugging manufacturers.  It is very likely we will end up with silicone. It is expensive, but meets all the criteria.

Gem of wisdom: Let the chemical engineer work on material selection. More broadly stated, trust your professionals, but always verify you are getting what you need.


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