Do you ever need more from your 3D parts than you can print? Amtech offer prototyping services which make your components ready for design review giving you many colours and or surface finishers? At Amtech Rapid Prototyping we have a solution in the form of Vacuum Casting. With the rise of 3D CAD and 3D printing there has also been a massive rise in Vacuum Casting, as a bridge to production solutions. From one-off to around 400, Vacuum Casting and Silicone Tooling offer functional components in days without, the capital outlay of an injection mould tool.
So how do we do it? We take your data or existing product and make a 3D master model. We paint the model to give the desired surface finish then add a split line and gate. The gate allows the resin to flow in and risers allow any air to escape from the tool. We place the model into a tank and pour silicone rubber around the part. Once the silicone cures we will cut to the split line, pulling the halves apart to reveal the master model. The master is carefully removed to make the next tool and the impression is left in the silicone. We then pour in the Polyurethane (PU) resin.
Using a Vacuum Casting machine, we can introduce a liquid PU resin into the cavity. These PU resins can be pigmented to your sample or an RAL Pantone or BS number. They are named to mimic real world injection moulded materials such as ABS PP or GFN. Comprehensive data sheets are available so the properties can be compared with the final production materials. PU rubber components are available in Shore A Hardness’s from 20 to 90, as well as several specialist materials such as high temperature and flame retardant.
The silicone tool typically can make around 25 casts before it is expired, once it has reached the limit of tool life, we simply take the existing master and make a new tool. For large run components we can make multi impression tools or run more than one tool in the Vacuum Casting chambers at once.
Amtech Rapid Prototyping has six vacuum casting machines. The largest of which can make casts up to 2m in length and 5kg at any single time. This makes it ideal for proving your design before you invest in costly injection tooling.
Company Details: Amtech Rapid Prototyping Ltd., Unit 2 Finlay Court, Simonside East Industrial Estate, South Shields, NE34 9QA.
Further info please call – Sylvia Dickinson 07947 845141