Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting  is a polymer casting  process that uses silicone  moulds  to create highly accurate  polyurethane parts.

This production technique  offers  a wide range of finishing choices,  which  are highly detailed. Vacuum casting is a great option for low volume production or it can give you a great idea of what the finished product will look like. 

Aesthetic Products

Finish Choices

How  Vacuum Casting  Works  

Vacuum casting is a  process whereby an SLA or SLS printed and finished part is used as a master then a silicone  mould  is created from it. Once the mould is created, polyurethane resin is poured into the mould under vacuum to produce the part.  

  1. 3D CAD file is reviewed by the AME-3D production team 
     
  2. CAD file is set-up in the  SLA or  SLS  system
     
  3. The master is completed to the specified  surface finish 
     
  4. A silicone  mould is created from the master pattern 
  5. Once cured the silicone  is cured  the mould is opened along a predetermined parting line 
     
  6. The polyurethane is poured in and the  mould  is cast in the vacuum casting chamber
     
  7. Any excess material is  skilfully  removed
     
  8. The vacuum cast product is finalised with the requested finish 

Low Volume Production

Easy Repeatability

Applications  and Uses 

  • Straight to end product  
  • Minimal  viable product for testing 
  • Functional  and visual  prototypes  for pre-launch testing 
  • Thermal and airflow testing  
  • Concept and appearance models  for marketing trade shows and presentations  
  • Suitable for  housings, covers,  automotive panels  and electrical  enclosures  
  • Ideal for colour matches and transparent elements

 Vacuum Casting  Details

Vacuum cast models are comparable to injection  moulded  parts.

Quantity Up to 20 parts per tool
Tolerances  + / - 0.3% geometry dependent

 

Wall thickness

Min. 0.5 mm - 1 mm

(Depending on the overall size. The larger the part, the thicker the wall must be)

Letters and logos Width = 2x height min.
Gap between raised and recessed letters  Min. 1.27 mm

 

Lead times 

  • Typical  vacuum casting lead times are 8-10 days; express work available from 3 - 4 days.  

If you require a part longer than 650 mm, please speak to our sales team. 

If the material you need isn’t listed, we  order material in for customers. Simply discuss your project specifications with our sales team.  

AME 95 All-Round Material

An ABS-like material that's highly versatile. Available in colourless or clear, and pigmentable in eight different colours.

Tensile Strength  Tensile Modulus Elongation Break 
54 MPa 2,521 MPa 12%
Flexural Strength Flexural Modulus Heat Deflection Temp. 
88.6 MPa 2,195 MPa 72°C
Shore Hardness
82D, 77D, 74D

 

AME 8891 Flexible Rubber 

Available in white and pigmentable in eight different colours. 

Shore Hardness Tensile Strength Elongation Break
20 - 90 A 2 - 7  MPa 230 - 330% 

 

AME 8051 High Temperature Resistant Material 

An ABS-like material available in white. 

Tensile Strength Tensile Modulus Elongation Break
55.9 MPa 2,150 MPa 8%
Flexural Strength Flexural Modulus Heat Deflection Temp. 
85.0 MPa 1,965 MPa 92°C
Shore Hardness
77D, 78D, 84D

 

AME 8263 Flame Retardant Material 

A white material similar to injection moulding components. 

Shore Hardness Tensile Strength Elongation Break
80D, 83D 68 MPa 15%
Flexural Strength Flexural Modulus  Heat Deflection Temp. 
93MPa 2,200 MPa 80°C

Vacuum Casting Material  Finishes  

  • Surface can be specified as textured, matt, satin or gloss
  • Clear or frosted
  • Rubber over mould
  • Matt Satin or gloss metallic finish
  • Specialised finishes available upon request
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JigTech vacuum cast prototype with final product zoomed in

 

Benefits

The vacuum casting process is an accurate production technique that can replicate detailed patterns, complex dimensions, and different textures. This range makes it an ideal choice for both rapid prototyping and low volume production of end-use products or parts.   

    • Fine detail and accuracy  
    • Elastomers have adjustable hardness  
    • Resistant to high temperatures  
    • Strong optical properties subject to material choice  
    • Repeatability  
    • Variety of colours. Colours can be matched to samples provided.  
    • Cost-efficient alternative to hard tooling  
    • Cost-effective for small batches of end-use product runs 

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