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Monday, March 21, 2011


After experiencing the devastating failure with ACS, I decided to manufacture my own custom sleeves. I've done some casting works while I was working at a dental lab for part-time, so I am not that unfamiliar with molding. I'll need following materials:

1. A dremel tool with a variable speed control pedal & precision bits
2. silicone putty
3. RTV silicone
4. A pair of oto-blocks & bite blocks
5. An ear syringe & an exacto knife
6. Agar

I already have 2~5, so far so good. (hopefully the RTV silicone is not too toxic to my skin LMAO) Considering how complicated it is to make custom (partial & full) dentures, I assume manufacturing custom sleeves should be easy as breeze. (no offense intended)

Still pondering how to terminate the acoustic transfer tube at the bore, tho..

Update on 03/22/11: Got a hand on agar. Now all I need is a dremel tool.

Update on 03/24/11: Just ordered a dremel. Maybe I'll go to Home Depot to get some bits. Also, I might need these as well:

7. a metal jar for wax dipping
8. a scale
9. sevaral measuring flasks or clear plastic pitchers
10. clear casting form plates.. or some disposable plastic cups
11. a small stove to melt the wax

..I am getting excited.

Update on 03/31/11: I have obtained #2~#5 & #7~#11. The dremel tool I ordered was not the one I expected, so  I returned it- and ordered a new one. #6 was backordered, so the retailer will ship it to me once it's restocked. Sweet. Also, below are supplemental materials:

12. 2-part epoxy
13. a copper wire
14. a stirring stick
15. polishing bits

I got #12, #14, and #15. Now all I need are the dremel, agar, and a stirring stick.

Update on 4/11/11: Successfully created full-concha impressions by myself:
The popular high viscosity-open jaw method did not really work out for me, possibly due to the structural error on my jaw joints. It took quite a while to figure out an optimal setting. I am glad they came out the way I expected.

Update on 4/14/11: Agar casting is not going well- the retention area located between the 1st and the 2nd bend is an undercut- when the impression is pulled out from the agar, the undercut part comes off along with the impression. Raising pH level & increasing concentration of agar did not help either. I can just fill some wax there to ease undercut, but I do not want to lose that nicely curved angle. Will try alginate or a just simple latex rubber. (could try something simple like a plaster, but I want absolutely no dust along the process, period)

Update on 4/20/11: Newly obtained vacuum pump works great for debubbling silicone & epoxy resin. Latex rubber takes too much time to harden when it is poured in a blob. Hopefully I can make a prototype sleeve within a week.

Update on 4/22/11: The very first prototype- And it's all bubbly.
Not bad, just need to improve a built quality.

Update on 4/24/11: Just ordered some materials. It seems I really need things other than the ones listed above. Casting will resume once they arrive.

Update on 5/26/11: With my new miter saw, just made a form plate that suits my needs perfectly. However, my el-cheapo vacuum pump is not doing the job- Still too bubbly!!
Gimme a break already.. This time, I am going for a metal pump. (electronic compressors are just waaay too $$$) It's been 2 months since I started this project, and I am still stuck at the prototype.

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