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Experimenting with Different Seals

A project log for Water Resistant 3D Printed Enclosures

Experimental case testing 3D printed "waterproofing" and water resistance.

ProgressTHProgressTH 08/11/2020 at 18:030 Comments

The original seal used 6mm diameter silicone aquarium tubing. It would keep the box water-free for up to 10 minutes fully submerged. But tests of 1-2 hours would see a little bit of water eventually make it in. 

Then the tubing was replaced by 3M transparent silicone sealant. After curing for 24 hours the box was submerged for 10 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours. Even after just a few seconds water somehow made it in. 

cross sections of lids (laid upside down for 3D printing). bottom design + silicone aquarium tubing passed 2 hours without any water entering the case.

2 more lid designs were made with different sized and shaped ridges to press down into the silicone seal and none of them worked. 

final seal arrangement: rounded 2.5mm ridge on the lid and 6mm aquarium tubing in the groove of the case.

But because the tubing had worked better, I wanted to see if the new lids would work better with the tubing than the original lid design. Turns out the rounded 2.5mm ridge kept water out at 10 minutes, 1 hour, and even 2 hours. Not a drop of water made it in. 

Last step then is to find a way to permanently glue the tubing into the groove (hot glue has not worked) and a permanent way to seal the ends of the tubing where they meet. 

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