Introduction: Prototyping Tutorial Rubber Pad Forming

This tutorial concerns itself with explaining how to use a basic rubber pad press for pressing shapes into sheet materials.

Step 1: Gather Your Gear

First of, you need to gather the following stuff for this workshop before heading to the rubber pad press:
- some sheet material (in this case we use thin aluminum sheet)
- steel wire
- wooden plank cut to a size that will cover your sheet material you will press
- piece of foam or rubber that will aid to make the pressing evenly divided
- second plank that will serve as a support plate
- role of doubled-sided tape
- pair of pincers for twisting the wire
- pair of pincers for cutting the wire

Step 2: Prepare the Support Plate

Place the desired piece of sheet material and mark its borders.
This will help to center your wire and sheet material later on.

Step 3: Make Your Desired Pattern/design You Want to Press

Take the steel wire, cut it into bits you want and twist it into the desired shape.

Step 4: Create the Rubber/foam Cover

Grab your foam or rubber and fix it with the double-sided tape onto your plank.
This piece will be used to cover your wire and sheet material on the press.

Step 5: Prepare the Press

Set the press on a comfortable height to work with.
Place your marked support plank and secure it by means of heavy weights.

Step 6: Place Your Design on the Press

Place your wire design within your marked borders on the support plate.
On top of this, you place the sheet material.
Lastly, you add your rubber or foam cover onto the sheet material.

Step 7: Using the Handle

Grab the handle with your one hand and loosen the knob for the air flow
on the side so you can pump.
This pumping move will make the press go lower.

Step 8: Pressing Down

As you pump, the press will lower itself onto your self-made cover.
When you notice that your foam or rubber is completely compressed
and pumping gets more difficult, you may stop pressing down.

Step 9: Releasing the Press

Turn the air flow knob once more, this time in the other direction.
You will notice that the press will lift up itself to its original position.

Step 10: View the End Result

Remove your foam or rubber cover and you will see the end result:
a rubber pressed sheet in which you get to see your design.

Comments

author
tomatoskins made it!(author)2015-02-26

This is cool! I've never thought of using a press for something like this.

author
JelleBlommaert made it!(author)2015-02-28

Thanks! You can see how easy it would be to press stuff such as your logo to put on products/prototypes that you make.

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