Here at JCAD-Inc., we can provide cost-effective casting of polyurethane and urethane products and rapid prototyping of parts using short run, low-volume manufacturing processes.
What Is Vacuum Casting?
Industrial parts manufacturing can be a tricky business due to the complexity of parts and a high cost of production for standard manufacturing processes. The invention of vacuum casting was a successful attempt at solving these problems.
Vacuum casting — also sometimes called urethane or polyurethane casting — refers to a manufacturing process where a cast of an object is made using a silicone mold and casting equipment. Injection molding, a similar process, differs by having the liquid materials for casting pushed into the mold via a screw, rather than being pulled in via suction or negative pressure. Vacuum casting works differently from injection molding, mainly in the mold material used – silicone molds for vacuum casting and metal molds for injection molding. Vacuum casting is excellent for making short-runs of high quality prototypes.
A primary benefit of using a vacuum chamber is its removal of air bubbles that can alter the fine details of the finished product in other manufacturing processes. The vacuum casting process, therefore, is a good technique for rapid prototyping and manufacturing of products with fine details.
The process starts with the creation of a master pattern of the object that will be used to form the silicone mold using a casting box and liquid silicone. After the mold is formed, it is used to create casts of the master pattern inside a vacuum casting machine with the desired polyurethane or urethane resin.