This was just meant to be a quick side project but a cool ‘by chance’ discovery along the way with normal household silicone made it something special and I’m excited to share this with you guys!
I started designing these customizable silicon vibration isolators to stop the handling noise I was getting from my camera rig coming through to my attached audio recorder. There are two versions; one for M6mm and the other for ¼ -20 and they both use the same outside mold. But don’t let those two sizes limit you since if you need larger or smaller dampeners all you need to do is scale up or down the print sizes to match the size of bolt you’re after! The great thing is that these isolators can be used in so many other places to reduce vibrations such as 3D printers, drones, radio controlled cars and audio speakers just to name a few.
The 3D models are available free on thingiverse here:-
With the one mold you can make 5 different types of dampeners; There’s an inline male to female Isolator, and a female to female isolator, male to male isolator, and a one way isolator in male or female that makes great printer feet or speaker feet and due to the soft rubbery silicone base your stuff won’t move over time like some particularly noisy printers or big speakers will.
Ok, now to my interesting discovery, originally my plan was to buy some two part molding silicone online and during my search I happened onto a ‘instructable’ that used normal household silicone mixed with corn flour to turn it into castable silicone so I started experimenting. The first test when I mixed just silicone to corn flour set in 15 minutes but the next test when I added some alcohol based dye to the mixture took a day to set and produced an almost ‘gel’ like silicone once set. That gel was an interesting discovery in itself but I needed a firmer silicone so I started testing different artists paints – both oil based and water based acrylic. The strange thing I found with the artists acrylic paint was that even before adding any cornflour it started to look like it was curdling. With that insight I tested just the acrylic paint without corn flour and I found that if I kept stirring it after that curdling stage it became smooth and then set within 15 minutes to a lovely spongy solid silicone! Anyway, the silicone is strong and flexible and I also think it’s lighter than typical molding silicone which is a plus if you’re using this on a drone or an RC car suspension.
Now I’m particularly proud of this mold as it exceeded all my expectations. You can mold one dampener or two as they’re not inter-connected.
There are three cups in each size and there’s 5 possible variations. The first cup is for the bolt, the second is for the nut and the third is a reuseable plain cup for removing from a one sided dampener feet.
There are two small caps that fit in the mold injection holes to give you a nice neat finish.
The injector syringe is in two pieces and has a funnel on top for easy filling.
I’ve also included a mixing paddle in case you don’t have something handy to mix with.
Ok, so enjoy your vibration dampeners. I’d love it if you can share a ‘made one’ – especially if anyone scales the the prints very large or small!
If this is popular then I’ll make a double wide version for heavier loads – so let me know if you want this?
You can check out my other designs here:-
You can see all my videos on my YouTube Channel, ScottyMakesStuff here:-