Cure Inhibition Directory

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Contents of FAQ and tips:

1. What is cure inhibition?

2. How do I know if my dice will experience cure inhibition?

3. What Type of Silicone do I use, and where do I find it?

4. Number Tearing

5. Molding tips to avoid inhibition confusion

6. Inhibit x

I remember a time when My heart would thump out of my chest before each pull of my created masters from my molds. I would cut the Silicone with sweaty hands as I saw that nasty sight: A jelly like interior covering my dice. The dice had experienced Cure inhibition, and were not only useless, but not required a nasty clean up process. Another failure despite chemicals, polishes, and patience. This was way back when we wanted quick cheap dice with a cheap 3d printer suggested to us at the time. We realized quickly that shortcuts are not suggested here, and instant gratification is rare in this hobby. Cure inhibition and bad advice, as frustrating as it is, is what inspired us to start making Master Dice for the community. With that in mind, we will attempt to get you moving with your new Masters as quickly, cleanly, and professionally as we can. I will warn you now, if you are impatient or cheap, this process is not going to help you. We sell our Master Dice at an extreme low price as a favor to nurture a really unique community of dice makers. So, take some of that money saved, and invest in proper tools, and industrial silicone. I will state this more than once. This article is less about exactly how the process works, but more about the success we have had with quality products to avoid cure inhibition in dice. With that said, lets clear up some questions.


Cure inhibition could be one of the THE most frustrating speed bumps in dice making. These tips are based on the assumption that you are using our Master Dice from Revel Broker's Shop. These tips in no way apply to ALL dice by ALL shops. This article will be amended at every PROVEN process brought to us.


With that, lets discuss the issue any way to help clean up any misconceptions or falsehoods about inhibition, and perhaps answer any questions you may have on the subject. Make no mistake, this IS a big issue and we certainly do not have all the answers. What we CAN do is attempt to set you up for your best possible success. Our answers are based off of our own first-hand experience, and help from successful dice shops using OUR Master Dice. To be clear our dice are not supposed to experience any cure inhibition issues. This is why we invested in the printers we use.



1. What is cure inhibition?

One of the our most common questions at our shop is “Do I need a cure Inhibitor for my dice?”

The chemicals within the resin dice can react negatively with the silicone and literally will not allow it to cure.

For anyone who has experienced this, you know the result: a mold with a gooey, uncured center around the Master Die inside.

What people often do not hear is that all kinds of materials can cause this to happen. Not simply the dice.


Some other causes than the dice themselves:

Unclean Dice

Polishes

Leftover resin powder from sanding

Dice that are wet in any way

Alcohol that has not dried

Also, I find it important to note that all kinds of materials other than SLA UV resin used in our machines can cause inhibition as well. This is important to note as everyone has a different process in molding, and compounds like clays and rubbers can also get in the way of your perfect mold.

The point is, there is a lot of other factors that can contribute to one of dice makings most incredibly frustrating speedbumps. Due to this, we often give this answer to many dice makers which usually upsets them. Some shops or forums guarantee that there are certain 3d printing resins that do not cause this issue, we cannot agree. We know the use of these items because we own the printers and resin that these claims are made for.

But that does not exclude outside mistakes, hence we cannot and will not guarantee anything.

What we CAN do is direct you is give you info on successful experiences we and other trusted shops who use our dice have had.

2. How do I know if my dice will experience cure inhibition?

If you have concerns before a purchase, the obvious first answer is asking your dice provider if they have had trouble with cure inhibition. All 3d printers are different and some resist inhibition better than others. Here we use a Formlab 3 SLA printer. These printers are known in the community for resisting inhibition. HOWEVER, in my opinion this does not shift blame to your provider if you experience inhibition. Just have the best molding supplies in your hands in the first place. I feel some dice makers want master dice that guarantee no risk of cure inhibition, to speed up their process AND to use cheap ingredients and get away with it. I get it, most of us are trying to make some income here. But in my experience, I have never benefited from taking the monetary shortcut. Have the best in your hands and be patient. Have a plan before ordering your dice so that you aren’t waiting on supplies to cast them. That way when inhibition does happen, those factors are already eliminated from your troubleshooting process.

3. What Type of Silicone do I use, and where do I find it?

Quality or industrial grade silicone are superior to simple crafting silicone from shops like amazon. Let’s for the sake of simplicity, stick with “platinum cure” silicone. Some silicone companies make claims like, “Bubble free silicone” or “Quick cure time”. Do not purchase these products based off these claims. Purchase the products that dice makers rave about and have had success with.

Sticking to simplicity, we are going to stick with one company who we know and trust. I will provide links at the bottom of the article. The company name is SMOOTH-ON and the silicone is Sorta Clear. More specifically Dragon skin 20. For anyone who is familiar with online ordering it shouldn’t be too hard to get your hands on these products.

For clarity:

Sorta Clear 12 - is a strong quality mold making silicone

https://www.smooth-on.com/products/sorta-clear-12/

Sorta Clear 18 - is the same but is skin, and food safe.

https://www.smooth-on.com/products/sorta-clear-18/

Dragonskin 20 – Highest success rate, used for industrial purposes, Cool Name

https://www.smooth-on.com/products/dragon-skin-20/

The Sorta Clear website is also a great reference for more info on Cure Inhibition that is vastly superior to my own.

https://www.smooth-on.com/support/faq/104/

4. Number Tearing

Let us just touch on the main concerns regarding inhibition.


Number tearing occurs when you mold your Master Dice and there is no cure inhibition on the flat faces of the die, but the numbers are either torn out or seemingly unformed.

This is NOT cure inhibition, but the result of the silicone being too soft when you pull your dice in the deep divots that are the numbers or your image. Think of it as tiny little clamps holding down your silicone. Without a full cure or if the clamp is tight enough, you will pull the numbers right off your dice. If you have not followed all the curing steps properly, this will occur. This issue is FAR more common than cure inhibition but is often pegged incorrectly.

The fix for this is mold release (link below), properly applied to the face and deep parts of the numbers of the die. This will allow your numbers to slide out correctly when demolding your dice. MANY SKIP THIS PROCESS AND REGRET IT, including myself. Again, be patient, and thorough. Less troubleshooting if you do have an issue.

https://www.amazon.com/Mann-Release-Technologies-Ease-200/dp/B002YEBO1O/ref=asc_df_B002YEBO1O/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309777801728&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2310853102454246352&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9067609&hvtargid=pla-570933144876&psc=1

5. Molding tips to avoid inhibition confusion

There are some common mistakes that are not necessarily cure inhibition issues but can still be mistaken as this that I want to touch on quickly.

Clean your dice before beginning the molding process. Even if they look crystal clear and clean, do it anyway. Then allow them to fully dry.

Mix your silicone thoroughly, be patient, give an honest effort.

Use a vacuum chamber, or pressure pot. There is no chance of a perfect pour otherwise. I dont care what weird work arounds the internet says there is.

Allow the full cure time AND MORE. Do not just sit by the clock and wait for the second you can pull those dice. I know it’s exciting but give it extra time. Factors like heat or cold can affect the pot time. Better safe than sorry. I like to pour my molds a few hours before bed then take them out around the same time that night. In the very least, an 8 hour sleep will help keep you patient.

Keep the temperature up. Never use cold air. If you reference the Smooth-On website, you will see they warn you about temperature of the silicone. This too can be considered cure inhibition when you are attempting to speed up or slow down the cure using temperature and disrupting a very particular chemical reaction happening.

6. Inhibit x


We cannot ask customers of any shop to attempt to use inhibit x as we have not seen success with this product that we consider satisfactory enough to create the quality we assume makers are looking for. This is our own personal experience, and in no way a professional opinion.



596 views0 comments