Question: Why is aluminum and not steel used to build prototype molds for molding medical silicone parts?
Answer: Aluminum is used to build prototype molds because an aluminum mold is easier to machine than a steel mold. As a result, the aluminum mold can be built faster than the steel mold which leads to a lower cost in building prototype molds and a shorter lead time. Due to the fact that the aluminum mold doesn’t have as long tool life as the steel mold does, the prototype molds don’t require the longevity of tool life due to prototyping purposes. Therefore, the aluminum mold is generally preferred over the steel mold for molding medical silicone parts.