How To Do Vacuum Casting Prototype Manufacturing
Vacuum Casting Prototype Manufacturing: What it really is?
You might have heard of or stumbled on the term “vacuum casting prototype manufacturing” and have been wondering what it really is all about. Well, it isn’t so difficult to understand at all; as a matter of fact, its products are an everyday thing for us. Simply put, vacuum casting prototype manufacturing is the process of creating a replica or prototype of a predetermined model using silicone molds and polyurethanes. This process is commonplace in the prototype manufacturing industry because it is cost-effective, produces high-quality prototypes at a very fast pace, gives finishing details that require little or no adjustments/processing, and allows you the choice of picking any color for replica models, to name a few of its advantages.
To create a vacuum casting prototype, one has to go through a process to achieve the intended result. Creatingway provides Below more knowledge to our customers, below step in manufacturing a vacuum casting prototype.
How is Vacuum Casting Prototype Manufacturing Done?
To initiate and complete the process of casting a prototype, the following equipment will be needed:
– Master model to be replicated
-Polyurethane resin or any other kind of molding polymer
Step 1: Creating the Master Model
The first step in the vacuum casting prototype manufacturing is the creation of the master model using Stereolithography (SLA), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), or CNC as the case may be. This master model could also be an object one wishes to replicate.
Step 2: Casting the Model
After the model is created, it is then placed in a casting box and filled with liquid silicone rubber to produce a two-way covering (this two-way covering helps to easily remove the master model once the silicon model is fully cured). To get a two-way covering cast, when the master model is placed in the casting box, it is filled halfway with the liquid silicone rubber and then placed in an oven to mold properly. Once it is fully molded, another dose of silicone rubber is applied to fill the other half of the casting box.
Step 3: Removing the Model
Once the cast is properly heated, it is then separated along the two halves to give way for the removal of the master model. Once the master model is removed, cavities that take the shape of the master model are seen in the mold. It is these cavities that give the prototypes the shape of the original model.
Step 4: Offsetting the Replication Method
The next step is to fill the mold with the molding polymer of your choice using a process specially controlled by a computer or by placing the filled mold in a vacuum chamber. By so doing, bubbles and air spaces are removed while the molding liquid is simultaneously sucked in to fill the already created cavities in the mold. this process gives way for the final step.
Step 5: Heating the Replica
After the mold is filled, it is then placed in the oven for a period of time in order for it to take the shape and form of the original model.
How is the Vacuum Casing Prototype Manufacturing Similar or Different from the 3D Printing?
Most times, people confuse the vacuum casting prototype manufacturing with 3D printing. While this is understandable because they are both new ways of creating silicone products and simulating actual objects, it should be noted that they require entirely different processes and make use of different products. As such, they are different from each other.
Some differences can be seen in terms of the following:
- While 3D printing can be sued to create very complex objects, it is somewhat impossible for vacuum casting prototype manufacturing to create such objects due to its processing method.
- While 3D requires visuals for replication, vacuum casting prototype manufacturing requires molding.
- In terms of speed of production, 3D printing beats the vacuum casting prototype manufacturing to it although the reverse might be the case if a simple and small prototype is to be created using a vacuum caster. This is because 3D printing requires a specific time period to replicate an object (either simple or complex) so when 3D is simultaneously set with a vacuum caster creating a simple object, the latter is bound to finish before the former.
- Products of vacuum casting prototype manufacturing are more functional than those of the 3D printing reason being the manufacturing products used.
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