The inspiration: Silicone casting is a very important process in industry, hobby, and rapid prototyping. Try it.
The Objective: Cast something in silicone that fits in an 8″x8″x8″ footprint
The Tools: Any CAD, ABS 3D printer, silicone fast-curing thermoplastic
The Focus: Manufacturing quality, mold design, learning how to vent and gate
Ideation in sketches
The most practical and useful of the design ideas were small stands that would hold a laptop at an ergonomic angle.
Moving to CAD
These stands were modeled
And Solidworks mold tools were used to make a mold for the two
In order to maximize the number of parts the printer could batch, the molds were split up and printed separately
The part was then cast with two-part curing silicone after spraying the mold with a release agent
And removed from the ABS
The stands were designed to work with a 2010 MacBook Pro, and did their job fantastically well, both supporting the laptop and avoiding the heating problems that come from leaving it sitting on flat surfaces