Low-volume Vacuum Casting Parts with Tight Tolerance
If you are looking for a manufacturing way to create low-volume plastic parts, vacuum casting may be one of the most popular and cost-effective ones. The vacuum casting prototypes are often applied to test your unique design. Here are the details about tolerance that we offer you:
- As for the tolerance of silicone mold, it can reach around±0.1MM. After checking and assembling, we vacuum casting services will continue making more silicone molds to create more prototypes.
- The tolerance on finished parts can reach +-0.15MM.
- If the size of vacuum casting parts is more than 1000MM, the tolerance on the parts can reach +-0.2MM.
We usually apply vacuum casting to create front and rear bumpers with the maximum size of 2 meters.
It has been a popular manufacturing method to create car components like grilles. It helps a lot to verify the feasibility of your design.
The transparent materials we used on car light are PMMA and clear PC.
Carbon fiber is one of the common materials for plastic vacuum casting project.
8 Steps to Create Custom Vacuum casting Parts
Here are 8 steps that we take to create custom vacuum casting parts below:
- Create a master pattern: The first step is to create a master pattern or prototype of the custom part using 3D printing, CNC machining, or other prototyping methods.
- Build a silicone mold: A silicone mold is created by pouring silicone rubber around the master pattern. This mold will be used to create the actual parts.
- Prepare the casting material: The casting material is prepared by mixing a two-part polyurethane resin or other casting material according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The resin is then poured into a mixing container.
- Vacuum the casting material: The mixing container is placed inside a vacuum chamber and the air is removed from the resin mixture. This process ensures that there are no air bubbles in the final part.
- Pour the casting material: Once the resin mixture is fully vacuumed, it is poured into the silicone mold through a small opening.
- Cure the casting material: The casting material is left to cure for the recommended amount of time, which is usually several hours.
- Remove the part from the mold: Once the casting material is fully cured, the part is removed from the silicone mold. The mold can be reused to create additional parts.
- Finish the part: The part may need to be trimmed or sanded to remove any excess material or imperfections.
- Repeat the process: The process can be repeated to create additional parts as needed. At the same time, we can only reuse the silicone mold from 20 to 25 times. Or else, its accuracy will be greatly influenced.
1.What Kinds of Material Can Be Used For Vacuum Casting?
Ruitai have many kinds of material for vacuum casting including rubber, similar ABS/PP/PC/PE. And the color is customizable. We will mix up the color according to your requirements.
If you are wondering how vacuum casting was developed? Well, this method was first used in the 1960s in the German lab by using silicone molds. It is considered the most cost-effective way of prototyping in which you have to maintain a correct optimum temperature while you are curing the materials.
It is a reliable method because we get high quality and fine detail finished products through this process. As it is a super-fast method, this makes it best when you have to catch your deadlines quickly.
2.What Is Vacuum Casting?
The process in which we use a vacuum to mold a molten material is termed vacuum casting. This process is used when the material is fiber, or wire-reinforced.
In this process, a small series of functional plastics parts are produced. Polyurethanes and silicone molds are two essential components are used in this process. People tend to apply it for high-quality prototypes or end-use products.
3.Are There More Types and Other Ways of Vacuum Casting?
The method in which you wait for the liquid metal to cool and solidify to obtain the part is called metal liquid casting.
Here, we have short-listed a few casting method types for you.
- Vacuum die casting
- Sand Casting
- Centrifugal casting
- Investment casting
- Low-pressure casting
- Gravity die casting
- Die casting
- Lost foam casting
- Squeezing die casting
- Continual casting
4.How Can You Carry Out Vacuum Casting?
We can use it in different variety of near-production. The reason for this is that the casting process uses resins that can make exact replicas of main model parts. Using this casting process, we can see the life cycle of the product, starting from early design approval to testing the final model product.
An SLA model work is usually carried out to achieve the desired part finish and surface a mold split line. Risers are added to high points on the part, as well as a casting feed point. All placed strategically to ensure successful molding.
Silicone rubbers then mixed degassed. With the help of the oven, we can secure the mold filled with resins. Once set, the silicone mold is cut along a split line and the pattern carefully removed, leaving a cavity ready to cast polyurethanes resins into.
After the mold is secure by taping up, you can set it in the casting machine’s lower chamber. The PU resins are then measured, and pigment added, where specific color requirements have been outlined. The resin is then mixed and poured under a vacuum to avoid air bubbles or voids.
Once the wax has been cast, the mold is then placed into the oven to cure. When the molten material in the mold is alleviating, we can eliminate the costume from the mold. At this stage, the feed and risers are removed, and any post-production finishing is completed.
Depending on the geometry, molds will typically last for 20 to 30 runs, giving customers multiple parts exact to final production specifications within just a few days from design completion.
5.Explain The Vacuum Casting Production Stages?
There are some stages in this method through which we can complete the process. Following are the production stages in vacuum casting:
- Make a high-quality master model of the casting product.
- Cure process to make the mold secure.
- Fill the resin in the mold.
6.Why Is A High-Quality Master Model Important In Vacuum Casting?
A first-class master model requires for the process of vacuum casting. Additionally, you can create your master model using stereolithography, or the master model can be a part of the industry.
You should make sure about one thing that the master model should be of correct dimensions and look. When we use the acceptable quality master model, we have the warranty that we can get the product without any flows.
7.How Does The Cure Process Work In Vacuum Casting?
Resin for the master replica is encapsulated in a silicone mold. After this, silicon mold closely strengthens by high temperature and makes the silicon more durable.
After the curing process, mold is cut at the middle to reveal the hollows. The hollow space in the center has the exact dimensions like the master model. When the mold is divide into two, it becomes ready to go into the chamber. Then the required product is produced by filling up the mold.
8.Why Is Resin Used In Vacuum Casting?
Now at this stage, fill the mold with the selected material. The resin possesses the same properties as any industrial substance. You can easily get all kinds of functional or mechanical properties with the resin.
When the cast is filled with resin, we have put it in the chamber so that no bubbles or spaces are left out in the mold. It ensures that the product will be flawless and will not be damaged or ruined.
9.Give The List Of Materials Used In Vacuum Casting?
This technique uses a number of methods for replicating objects. You can use it for the mass production of distributable products, and this can also use it for casting or prototypes.
- Casting with polyurethane
A wide range of textures, strength, rigidity, hardness, and softness is produced with this casting technique. This manufacturing technique is mainly used to promptly create polyurethane prototype parts as the polyurethane resins can emulate other materials’ texture, so details are usually made with it. Still, molds are made typically made from silicon.
- Casting with rubber:
Rubber is the most suitable material to use in the casting process. It can be considered ideal for seals and gaskets because of its tear-resistant feature. It is one of the widely available and cheapest materials for casting identical products.
- Durable polycarbonates:
When high shock resistance is required, polycarbonates are the best option for casting. It has an excellent tolerance to resist high and low temperatures. The other reason for its popularity is that it has a translucence look.
10.How Can We Strengthen The Mold In Vacuum Casting?
There is a two-part silicone rubber mold that keeps the master model encapsulated. Then the model cured under a high temperature to ensure that both parts stick together. Through this method, it is easy to make the mold more durable and strong.
11.What Are The Disadvantages Of Vacuum Casting?
Here are some notable disadvantages of vacuum casting,
- This method is best for small-scale production as you can produce only one product at a time in this process.
- To finish the components may cause an additional cost.
- Light-colored paints can show debris from the mold.
- Excess moisture may cause unwanted bubbles’ formation.
- There will create problems in the final product if the mold isn’t made correctly.
- There are few details to achieve from a mold; thus, the design should be relatively straightforward.
- Thick plastic sheets can warp during vacuuming.
12.How 3D Printing Is Different From Vacuum Casting?
3D printing is used to make models for professional use, but when we compare it with vacuum casting, it does not work as well as it should be. Unlike 3D printing, where the casting accuracy level is not so high and the cost increases, but it is cost-effective and works fast.
If you have a deadline to achieve, it is way better than 3D printing.
13.Does Vacuum Casting Offer A Wide Range Of Material Choices For Production?
Vacuum casting provides you a wide range of materials from which you can choose your favorite ones. There are various options available for final casting like polymer resins, including stiff plastic and flexible elastomers and transparent materials.
It is also curable and cast-able resin including many well-known substances. This means that the Prototype produced by vacuum casting can have the same aesthetic and mechanical properties as a mass-produced component made from ABS polyurethane.
14.Can You Produce High Resemblances Prototypes Using Vacuum Casting?
It makes it possible and easier to manufacture the products of high resemblance to the final products. It is because it offers high accuracy in the production of parts. With Vacuum Casting, you also get a long list of materials to choose from.
This means that due to their close resemblance to the final product, the vacuum casting prototypes are the best for functional testing and validation. Because of this capability, the product developer can carry out quality assurance.
This will make him able to determine whether the product will be feasible for a particular application before preceding the final production. Thus, vacuum casting is a beneficial prototyping process for the validation of mechanical and aesthetic properties.
15.How Much Time Is Required For Vacuum Casting?
The reason to opt for vacuum casting for prototyping needs is the time it requires to produce a prototype. Vacuum casting can help to speed up the product development process to save your valuable time.
It has a conventional molding process because a silicon mold can be formed within a day and using single mold casts to produce parts rapidly. Time requirements matter a lot when you need to choose a method for producing prototypes.
Many people prefer techniques that can provide valuable results in less time. But with Vacuum Casting, whether you are about to close a deal or are near to the deadline or just have begun product testing, you can get the perfect final products within no time.
16.Why Choose Vacuum Casting Instead of Injection Molding?
For the manufacture of small plastic parts of prototypes businesses, two techniques are commonly used. These are injection molding and vacuum casting. Both of the methods have their own benefits and drawbacks.
But some of these points make the vacuum casting process worth using rather than selecting the injection molding. However, it is not always the case but sometimes, it is.
Factors that make vacuum casting more useful for businesses and other works than injection molding are as follows,
When a business does not require hundreds or thousands of parts, then vacuum casting can be a better option because the setup cost is meager.
Injection molding is a better option when it comes to producing delicate parts and complex structures. On the other hand, vacuum casting can be preferable for more specific details, particularly those needed to be produced in a smaller number.
Vacuum casting also offers an extraordinarily smooth surface finish to small parts, making them look more attractive and alluring.
- Speed and Iteration
The low-cost setup associated with vacuum casting is a great thing against this other technique because it costs a lot in the setup in the process of injection molding. Other than the fast speed of producing prototypes, the alteration process is easier in vacuum casting.
In injection molding, you would have to remake the molds and invest a ton of money again. While vacuum casting, it is super-easy. Not only easier but also cheaper because you don’t have to remake any molds or stuff.