How Vacuum Casting works: VC (Vacuum Casting) is widely used process in rapid prototyping industry,
typically used for making 20 to 40 pieces of functional prototypes out of broad range of polyurethane resins available. The process starts with creation of an accurate and highly finished master model
which can be created using various RP techniques e.g. SLA, FDM, SLS, CNC or existing part. This model is
carefully placed in a mold box and liquid silicon rubber is poured over the master. After curing the silicon,
mould is cut as per split line established and master model is removed, leaving an accurately formed cavities.
Now these mould cavities are used to cast large variety of polyurethane or epoxy materials available.
This allows fast production of high quality parts in a short lead time. A broad range of polyurethanes with
various physical properties enable the production of prototypes to more closely mimic the functional properties
of engineering thermoplastics.
Vacuum Casting part Gallery
Advantages of VC Process
- Silicone rubber tooling is a low cost solution for producing small quantity of functional parts in a short lead time.
- Large variety of urethane materials available to mimic the injection moulded materials ranging from soft rubber grades to hard plastics.
- High quality surface finish including large range of colours and textured finish available.
- Special features like Insert moulding, threaded inserts can be easily moulded inside the castings.
- Silicon moulding has distinctive advantage over hard tooling that it allows limited undercuts or negative draft angle features.
Limitations of VC Process
- Vacuum Cast parts are not identical to an injection molded parts, because the conditions and method of manufacture are different.
- Single mould can make only 15 to 20 parts and most of the time need to make a new master model for next mould.
- Very thin wall sections are not recommended and chances of cracking or warping.
General Applications of VC parts
- Excellent and low cost solution for pre production release of parts for Marketing, Advertisement.
- Conceptual models for effectively evaluating, optimising and communicating your design.
- Parts for Functional testing or Exhibition display purpose.
- Packaging design or promotional product photography.
- Deliver Low volume production in a short lead time similar quality to injection moulded parts.