Specialized in prototyping making, Shenzhen Industrial Man are good at vacuum casting. Active in the prototype filed over 12 years, we are very glad to share our experience with all of you.
Silica gel mold is a important tooling to make small batches in prototyping filed. It can save much more time and be a good budget. Also, we can improve the success rate.
What kind of cases will be better to choose vacuum casting?
RE: There are some conditions for vacuum casting. Such as the thickness should be lower 4.00mm or the copies will shrink or out of shape. Also, the parts what we are making should be plastic, while not metal. It will be economic only when the quantity arrive more than 5 pieces. Or it will be the same as CNC milling or SLA laser cutting.
What is the material of Vacuum casting?
RE: Obviously, we know the mold material is silicone. As for the material pour in the silica gel mold, we have couples of choices, such as ABS, PP, PC, POM, PMMA, PX100, 8150(similar ABS), Silicone, Rubber, etc.
What is most important in vacuum casting?
RE: If there are some bubbles inside the silica gel mold, they will mess up the copies. So, expel out all the bubbles by vacuum pump before cool down. Also, it will be much more important to control the holes size where pour in the material.
The follows is the vacuum casting manufacture details:
Firstly, make the first sample by CNC or SLA. The material to be plastic ABS will be muc h more economic. With the help of first sample, the next step is to make silica gel mold. Prepare a closed box fixed the first sample(no touch the box walls), then pour into the silica gel liquid. At this moment, the most important step comes out that we should try all best to expel out the bubbles and ensure the best quality of copies. After cooling down the silica gel mold, take out the first sample and there will be a model shape inside of the silica gel mold. The silica gel mold is created! Finally, pour in the material what you want for the copies and expel the bubbles. You can take out the copies once the whole silica gel surface are cool with low temperature.
There is also some limitations on silica gel mold. It can be used continuously below 10 times. Or the silica gel mold will be out of shape and without use.