If you are looking for a cost-effective way to make any prototype, then vacuum casting will be perfect for you. It is referred to as polyurethane casting or urethane casting as well. In the 1960s, the concept of casting was developed in Europe for the first time. And at present, it is one of the most popular techniques for the development of plastic prototypes. It is an effective and flexible method to make high-quality rapid prototypes. Vacuum casting is faster than the other manufacturing procedures. It is not only cost-effective but also a perfect procedure for low to medium-scale production of plastic prototypes.
It allows the users to make copies of a vast range of functional plastic parts. The vacuum casting process uses pourable casting resins and silicone molds. Thus it makes the perfect copies of master patterns. Sometimes this process is reckoned as thermoforming as the manufacturing procedure involves rapid prototyping where the plastic sheets get preheated. In this post, we will discuss how vacuum casting can benefit your company. But before proceeding further, let’s have a look at how does it work.
How does vacuum casting work?
- The first step is to have a high-quality master model. You can use a model by using stereo lithography; that’s the case for the prototyping applications. Make sure to use a master model with proper dimension and appearance.
- In this step, the master model will get encapsulated into a two-part silicone rubber mold. The mold gets cured under high temperature, and it sticks the two parts perfectly. When the mold gets cured, it is cut open to reveal a blank space at the center. When the mold is cut into two pieces, it gets placed in the vacuum chamber. After that, the mold gets filled with the required material to manufacture a product.
- In this step, the resin gets filled in the mold. The resin perfectly copies the characteristics of the industrial material. Once the mold gets filled, it is placed in the vacuum chamber.
- Now comes the final step, where the resin is placed in the oven. The mold gets cured at a high temperature.
Benefits of vacuum casting
Vacuum casting ensures the quality of the casted products. The cast parts’ quality is fantastic. Also, vacuum casting reproduces very fine surface details from the original products. Therefore, it is very efficient to prepare the master patterns perfectly. With vacuum casting, you can create high-quality copies along with the best surface details. Also, you can print or paint the finished copies. It helps to improve the function and appearance of the copied products.
2. Versatile industrial usages
The spread of vacuum casting is versatile if you consider the various industries that use casting. The engineers and technicians in the medical sector and automobile industry frequently use this fantastic technique. Vacuum casting uses hot polyurethane resins, which are highly effective in manufacturing products with a high standard finish. You can use this technique for over-molding purposes if required.
3. Aesthetic benefits
If you consider it from an aesthetic point of view, vacuum casting ensures a high level of production with utmost accuracy. Also, here you will get the advantage of various finishing options. In this casting method, you can add color during the manufacturing procedure. Thus the final piece gets manufactured with the accurate color that you need. By mixing colors with the resin, you can get various finishes with more typical colors.
4. Fine details and Precisions
If you are concerned about the precision of the molds and want fine details of the tools, vacuum casting will serve you the best. When you use silicone as the primary material to cast molds, you need to be very attentive to the details. It ensures high-quality finishing in the final product. Whether the product is a medical instrument or an engineering tool, you will get fine details and high precision products.
5. Low Production Cost
By using the vacuum casting procedure, you can get more economical production. It can ensure low production cost as this casting procedure uses silicon for making the molds. Silicon is more affordable than steel or aluminum. Also, silicone ensures precise final products. Therefore the entire process is more cost-effective than 3D printing as well.
Considering the benefits mentioned above, it is clear that vacuum casting is beneficial for a company. So, it will be a wise decision to invest in a casting service. Get the best benefits of it and ensure more profit for your company. Also, don’t forget to share your experience through your comments below.
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