Vacuum Casting with Rubber-like Polyurethanes

If you’re looking to manufacture small batches of parts, shells resembling grips, seals, and non-slip surfaces, Modo Rapid offers a rapid, cost-effective solution for producing high-quality prototypes or small series of end-use parts through vacuum casting with rubber-like polyurethanes and silicone molds.

Modo Rapid provides a diverse array of polyurethanes, offering a variety of properties and finishes. This selection allows for the customization of materials to closely match the characteristics of the original or final product.

custom grips prototype

Materials for Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting offers versatility in material selection, allowing for the production of products in various materials. Some common materials suitable for vacuum casting include:

  1. Polyurethane (PU) resins: These resins offer a wide range of properties such as flexibility, toughness, and impact resistance, making them suitable for a variety of applications.
  2. Silicone rubber: Silicone rubber is known for its excellent elasticity, durability, and heat resistance, making it ideal for creating flexible parts and molds.
  3. Acrylic resins: Acrylic resins provide transparency, high gloss, and excellent surface finish, making them suitable for applications requiring optical clarity or aesthetic appeal.
  4. ABS-like resins: Resins formulated to mimic the properties of ABS plastic, including strength, toughness, and impact resistance, are often used for functional prototypes and end-use parts.
  5. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) resins: These materials offer good chemical resistance, low friction, and excellent electrical insulation properties, making them suitable for various industrial applications.
  6. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs): TPEs combine the properties of rubber and plastic, offering flexibility, resilience, and easy processability, making them suitable for applications requiring soft-touch components.
  7. Epoxy resins: Epoxy resins provide high strength, chemical resistance, and dimensional stability, making them suitable for applications requiring durability and reliability.
  8. Metal-filled resins: Resins filled with metal powders such as aluminum or bronze can be used to produce parts with metallic appearance, weight, and thermal conductivity, suitable for prototyping or low-volume production of metal-like parts.

Refined Finishes: Elevate Your Vacuum Cast Parts

Discover the comprehensive range of post-production finishes available for parts manufactured through Vacuum Casting at Modo Rapid. Each finish is meticulously tailored to elevate your prints into refined products. The basic finish includes the removal of connection gates and flash, closure of holes on the A-side, and deburring to eliminate imperfections. Parts are pigmented black, with repairs executed as necessary.

For a sandblasted finish, the same meticulous steps are followed, with the addition of a sandblasted texture to enhance surface uniformity and aesthetic appeal. Opt for a natural finish if you prefer the original material’s appearance, with no pigmentation added. Normal A-side and Smooth A-side finishes offer variations in paint application, with black paint applied to the A-side for a matte texture or a smoother, texture-free finish, respectively.

If color customization is desired, the Colored in Mass option incorporates defined color pigments during casting, minimizing the need for extensive post-casting finishing. Additionally, Modo Rapid offers a range of additional finishes upon request, including milky/smoky translucent, frosted effect, spatter paint, and EMC paint, catering to diverse aesthetic and functional requirements.

From enhancing aesthetics to optimizing functionality, Modo Rapid’s range of post-production finishes ensures that every part meets the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship, ready to fulfill your unique needs and specifications.

What is a vacuum chamber for urethane casting?

A vacuum chamber for urethane casting is a device used in the casting process of urethane materials, primarily aimed at eliminating air bubbles by creating a vacuum environment. During casting, liquid urethane is poured into molds, which are then placed inside the vacuum chamber. Once the vacuum is established, air bubbles are quickly removed from the material, ensuring high quality and smooth surface finish in the final product. This method is particularly suitable for manufacturing parts or products requiring high precision and surface smoothness.

How accurate is vacuum casting?

Vacuum casting is known for its high accuracy and precision. By removing air bubbles from the material during the casting process, it helps ensure that the final product maintains tight dimensional tolerances and replicates intricate details from the mold with fidelity. However, the accuracy of vacuum casting can also depend on factors such as the quality of the mold, the properties of the casting material, and the expertise of the operator. Overall, vacuum casting is considered a highly reliable method for producing precise and intricate parts or products.

Advantages of Vacuum Casting

  1. Reduced Air Entrapment: Vacuum casting effectively removes air bubbles from the casting material, resulting in products with fewer defects and improved surface quality.
  2. Enhanced Detail Replication: By eliminating air pockets, vacuum casting ensures that intricate details of the mold are faithfully replicated in the final product, leading to high precision and accuracy.
  3. Consistency: Vacuum casting helps maintain consistency in the casting process, producing uniform parts or products with minimal variation.
  4. Versatility: This method can accommodate a wide range of casting materials, including various types of urethanes, silicones, and resins, making it suitable for diverse applications.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness: Vacuum casting can be a cost-effective solution for small to medium production runs, offering a balance between quality and affordability compared to other manufacturing methods like injection molding.

Exceptional Quality with Modo Rapid Vacuum Casting

Modo Rapid utilizes its state-of-the-art Vacuum Casting service to provide precision parts with exceptional quality and fidelity. Leveraging a maximum part dimension of 1,900 x 900 x 750 mm and a maximum part volume of 10 liters, Modo Rapid ensures the production of large-scale components with meticulous accuracy.

With a standard accuracy of ±0.3% and a layer thickness of 0.1 mm for master models, each part meets stringent quality standards. Additionally, Modo Rapid maintains a minimum wall thickness ranging from 0.75 to 1.5 mm, depending on material and geometry, guaranteeing structural integrity.

We also accommodates intricate details, with a minimum detail size of 0.5 mm, tailored to complex designs and finishing requirements. While interlocking or moving parts, as well as internal channels, are not supported, Modo Rapid excels in delivering parts with a high-quality surface finish comparable to injection molding, ensuring optimal performance and aesthetics for diverse applications.

If you’re in need of a vacuum chamber for urethane casting to produce small batch products comparable to injection molding, save time and money by reaching out for a quick quote today!