Mold Fabrication

This section gives detailed step-by-step instructions for fabricating a mold to cast a PneuNet bending actuator out of acrylic sheet material by using a laser cutter. A top, middle, and bottom part are laser cut from the acrylic sheet and then glued together to create the mold. For an experienced user of the tools and equipment needed, the whole process can be done in approximately 20 minutes (followed by 20 minutes for the acrylic glue to cure).

Acrylic has been found to be a good material to use for creating the molds as it is easy to laser cut and glue together. It also has a hard smooth surface which makes it easy to remove the cast silicone parts. Transparent acrylic is preferential, as the acrylic glue used cures when exposed to UV light.