3D Printing Solution for Silicone Soap Mould Production: A Case Study

This case study explores the effective utilisation of 3D printing technology in the creation of a tailor-made boat-shaped master for the production of silicone soap moulds.

Background

For those who may not be aware, Kat, our Marketing Manager, is also the Founder of Made in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. More than a year ago, she conceived the idea of crafting soaps bearing the Little Boat design featured in her company’s logo.

She had already reached out to Helen from Soap Shack, a Cleethorpes-based business, to manufacture the soaps. However, a crucial piece of the puzzle was absent – Helen required moulds. Which is where I came in.

Challenges

Custom Design: Kat needed to produce boat-shaped moulds, with intricate detailing, including pipes and windows.

Cost-Efficiency: Cost-effectiveness was crucial, given the small-scale nature of the soap-making market, Kat didn’t want to invest too much in the creation of the moulds, to make it unviable. As the design was 100% customised, she would have struggled to have many other companies design a single master at an affordable price.

High-Quality Results: The moulds needed to deliver high-quality, professional-looking soap, so the printed master copies I was to create, needed to be able to produce the right results.

Solutions

Design Expertise: Fortunately, I was behind Kat’s logo rebrand back in the summer of 2022 when she rebranded as Made in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. So, I already had working knowledge and access to the Vector versions of her logo. I used CAD software to turn the flat logo into a 3D model, ensuring the detailing that made the Little Boat distinctive, would be evident on the finished product.

Material Use: I chose to 3D print the Little Boat master using our Resin Printer for a number of reasons:

  1. Resin is capable of producing intricate details
  2. I wanted a smoother finish

Prototyping: Two identical prototypes were created and tested to ensure the soap mould would produce the desired soap shape effectively. This allowed me to create a silicone mould with allocation for two soaps to be manufactured at the same time.

Results

The Little Boat-shaped mould created a unique and eye-catching design that was not available on the market, as it was based on the Made in Grimsby and Cleethorpes logo. Using 3D-printed masters helped to save Kat a great deal of money, as she probably wouldn’t have been able to source masters from a company that would have been happy to just print one.

Helen was satisfied that the moulds I provided had made high-quality soaps, and Kat was happy that the finished product aligned with her original vision.

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