Vacuum Casting Prototype Processes Services
Creatingway is fully capable of overseeing your vacuum casting and silicone molding requirements. It is a prototyping service that is fast and cost-effective. It creates typically small numbers (usually up to 50) of highly accurate polyurethane prototype parts. The characteristics of the final products produced are comparable to the final product. Therefore, such as for functional testing, marketing, and more purposed. It identifies this service in its quality finishing capabilities.
What are Vacuum Casting Processes?
Depending on the desired characteristics, the time of manufacture varies with every quote. Size is a crucial factor in the time of manufacture as it affects the curing time of the material.
We make a small number of parts form a single master mold, that is made as an SLA master mold. The make of the mold is from silicone rubber and the casting model. Done by pouring the resin into the mold while in a vacuum chamber. The overall result is a bubble-free casting, that is ideal for highly precise, functional plastic prototype parts. The parts possess exact detail that replicates patterns, profiles, dimensions, and textures.
Other capabilities are the production of varying degrees of flexibility or rigidity, in a wide range of colors and materials- as well as clear parts.
Below Are The Main Steps of Vacuum Casting Prototype Process
For some of our esteemed customers wondering how to vacuum casting works, here is a short preview of the entire process
Step 1: Master building
Masters are solids built from your CAD design in a 3D format by CNC machining or 3D printing. Our experts then carefully inspect the masters created, whether they much your specification after the finish. The next step is silicone mold making.
Step 2: Mold making
We make a casting mold from liquid silicone by filling it in a casting box. The casting box is heated until the silicone is fully cured then placed in an oven for about 16 hours. Once dry, the mold is cut open, and the master removed.
Step 3: Making of the parts
It is at this stage pouring of casting resin is done. It creates highly accurate copies of the original master mold. It is even possible to over-mold with two or more materials in the same silicone cast. Silicone molds are suitable for 20 or more copies of the same master pattern.
Accuracy: ±0.15% with a lower limit on ±0.2 mm o dimensions smaller than 100 mm.
Wall thickness: To ensure proper filling of the mold, we recommend a wall thickness of at least 1 mm is necessary. For the best results, we recommended a wall thickness of 1.5 mm.
Part dimensions: The limit depends on the dimensions of the vacuum chamber size that is 1900×900×750 limiting the part dimensions and by volume of the product.
Color and finishing: We do the addition of pigment to the liquid polyurethane before casting, custom painting, and texture.
The Benefits of Vacuum Casting Prototype Processes
Some of the notable advantages include:
- High precision and fine detail. The silicone mold used makes it possible to obtain parts like the original model. Even in the most complex of geometrics, our experts at Creatingway could replicate it.
- Cost-effective and early deadlines. The use of silicone mold allows a reduction in costs as compared to when we use a steel or aluminum mold. From around ten parts, we can help you achieve economies of scale. It makes the method of vacuum casting more valuable than 3-D printing. It also roughly takes around 7 to 10 days to get 25 to 50 functional prototype parts. It makes it an attractive method to meet urgent needs if required.
- Quality of the part. With the wide variety of resins available in Creatingway, we allow you to choose a material that suits your project most. It could even be as close as the right material, with a wide choice of hardness i.e., rigid, or flexible and color. The final appearance of the part can be colored in the mass or have a crystal type transparency. It is also possible to produce painted finishes and over moldings.
- Ideal for functional testing and marketing
- Low volume runs
- High quality
- Range of properties achievable to mimic the final product
- No requirement for expensive hard tooling.
- Ideal for accurate prototype parts in small runs
- Cost-effective since it requires no expensive tooling
- Short lead times to production
- PC (Polycarbonate), it has semitransparent and transparent)
- Elastomers (Range: 25 – 95 Shore A)
- Nylon including Glass Filled
- Polypropylene and more
We recommend the use of vacuum casting prototypes in:
- Functional testing to the customers
- Thermal and airflow testing
- Assembly line trials
- For certification application
- Pre-series for mechanical or aesthetic validation
Limits of Vacuum Casting
- Initial cost. The method requires a small investment in creating an original mold and silicone mold. It is a total contrast to 3D printing that does not require an initial original model. However, the initial investment is an advantage thanks to economies of scale as described initially.
- The lifespan of the mold. Compared to injection mold, the silicon mold lasts for a shorter time. Even the tools created can only produce only a few parts.
Vacuum casting is an excellent way to make flexible and rigid parts, and it suits rapid prototype manufacturing. The prototypes made are ideal for engineering testing, display demos, and concept proofing. Do not hesitate to request a quote from us; we have the most skilled experts in vacuum casting services and are committed to assisting.
Creatingway is concentrated on CNC machining manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, provide you the best support and services. ask us one inquire now.
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