Vacuum Casting is a technique for producing small series of high-quality products, comparable to injection-molded parts, based on 3D-printed master copies. Vacuum Casting works best for end-use parts in limited quantities.
Vacuum Casting begins by producing a master model, typically using Stereolithography or Laser Sintering, with a high-quality surface finish. Then a silicone mold is produced by casting silicone around the master copy, partially under vacuum to avoid air bubbles. After curing, the silicone mold is cut according to pre-defined parting planes and the master is removed, leaving a cavity to make copies.
The Vacuum casting process includes the following steps:
Step 1:Fabrication of pattern using Stereolithography or Laser Sintering
Step 2: Inclusion of a casting gate, creation of parting line and setup of mould casting frame
Step 3: De-aeration and pouring of mixed two-part-silicone rubber
Step 4: Curing of the mould
Step 5: Cutting along the parting line and removal of pattern from the silicone mould
Step 6: Preparation of casting material (Polyurethane resin) and setup of the mould
Step 7: Pouring of the PU resin in the mould in a vacuum chamber.
Step 8: Curing of casted parts in a heated chamber
Step 9: After hardening, casted part is removed from the mould and post processed
Silicone molding results in high-quality parts comparable to injection-molded components. This makes vacuum casted models especially suitable for fit and function testing, marketing purposes or a series of final parts in limited quantities. Vacuum Casting also lends itself well to a variety of finishing degrees, and we can match the finish you need for your parts.
- Pre-launch product testing
- Small series of housings and covers
- Concept models and prototypes