There are plenty of ways to produce prototypes, and one of them is vacuum casting. This manufacturing method is used for making top-grade rapid prototypes and parts in small volumes. It is a process that uses casting resins in a liquid state, and silicon molds repeatedly used to make duplicates of the master patterns.
The products from vacuum casting are used in different industries. Some of these are for product development, engineering testing, as display or models, and marketing or crowdsourcing campaigns.
Here is a quick look at how vacuum casting works and why you should consider it for your next rapid prototyping project.
How Vacuum Casting Works
The vacuum casting process starts with creating the master model. It uses CNC machining or 3D printing to make the model. This master model is immersed in liquid silicone, which is then cured to become the mold. This silicone mold is cut into half to remove the master model. The empty cavity left by the mold is where you will pour the liquid material for the part.
The second stage in the vacuum casting is when the casting resin is poured into the mold. It produces a smooth finish because the vacuum removes the air bubbles and pockets. When the resin is cured, it is ready to be removed from the silicone mold. In vacuum casting, the mold can be used for not more than twenty times. The result will be an exact copy of the master model.
The Benefits of Using Vacuum Casting
What can you benefit from using vacuum casting for your next project? LT Century, a company in China, has enumerated its benefits.
1. Quality. The parts made from vacuum casting have excellent quality with smooth surface details and an exact copy of the original. In this process, the critical step is to produce the master copy. Many people who used this method are surprised how the parts are closed to the original.
2. Speed. Vacuum casting is perfect for rapid prototyping because it takes less time to make compared with tooling that’s made from steel, which takes weeks to create. The silicon mold will only take days. It is a characteristic that is critical when working on a tight schedule on your project.
3. Versatility. In this process, you can use different casting resins to produce the same feel, mechanical performance, and feel of the model. It means that you don’t need to compromise the functionality of your product for convenience and speed to produce your product.
4. Cost-effectiveness. It is more economical to make high-quality duplicates when you use vacuum casting. The reason behind this is you are not investing much in tooling as in plastic injection molding or die casting. Also, you can have savings in other aspects like energy, materials, and labor cost.
For your vacuum casting needs, LT Century provides quality solutions for your rapid prototypes. Contact them for details.