Vacuum casting is a polymer casting process that uses silicone moulds to create highly accurate polyurethane parts.
This production technique creates casting models with 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.
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.
- 3D CAD file is reviewed by the AME-3D production team
- CAD file is set-up in the SLA or SLS system
- The master is completed to the specified surface finish
- A silicone mould is created from the master pattern
- Once cured the silicone is cured the mould is opened along a predetermined parting line
- The polyurethane is poured in and the mould is cast in the vacuum casting chamber
- Any excess material is skilfully removed
- The vacuum cast product is finalised with the requested finish
Low Volume Production
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 casting models are comparable to injection moulded parts.
|Quantity||Up to 20 parts per tool|
|Tolerances||+ / - 0.3% geometry dependent|
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|
- 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 0095 All-Round Material
An ABS-like material that's highly versatile. Available in colourless or clear, and pigmentable in eight different colours.
|Shore Hardness||82D, 77D, 74D|
|Tensile Strength||54 MPa|
|Tensile Modulus||2,521 MPa|
|Flexural Strength||88.6 MPa|
|Flexural Modulus||2,195 MPa|
|Heat Deflection Temp.||72°C|
AME 8891 Flexible Rubber
Available in white and pigmentable in eight different colours.
|Shore Hardness||20 - 90A|
|Tensile Strength||2 - 7 MPa|
|Elongation Break||270 - 330%|
AME 8051 High Temperature Resistant Material
An ABS-like material available in white.
|Shore Hardness||77D, 78D, 84D|
|Tensile Strength||55.9 MPa|
|Tensile Modulus||2,150 MPa|
|Flexural Strength||85.0 MPa|
|Flexural Modulus||1,965 MPa|
|Heat Deflection Temp.||92°C|
AME 8263 Flame Retardant Material
A white material similar to injection moulding components.
|Shore Hardness||80D, 83D|
|Tensile Strength||68 MPa|
|Flexural Strength||93 MPa|
|Flexural Modulus||2,200 MPa|
|Heat Deflection Temp.||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
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
- 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