Q. What is vacuum casting?

A. Vacuum casting, a manufacturing process widely applied in the rapid prototyping industry, produces plastic or soft rubber parts from silicone molds based on masters. The parts can be as same as the master.

Q. What is the process of vacuum casting?

A. Simply speaking, the process involves making the master, making the silicone mold, casting the parts, and finishing.

Q. What materials are available for vacuum casting?

A. The material for vacuum casting is called PU (polyurethane). The vacuum casting parts can be ABS-like, PC-like, PMMA-like, PP-like, POM-like, rubber-like, etc.

Q. What is the highest tolerance of vacuum casting?

A. The highest tolerance of vacuum casting is normally +/- 0.05mm. However, projects differ and we will let you know the specific tolerances when discussing your project.

Q. What finishing treatments are available for plastic prototypes for vacuum casting?

A. For plastic prototypes by vacuum casting, the finishings can be de-burring, polishing (PMMA-like parts), painting, electroplating, laser engraving, silk screening, etc. All those surface treatments available for plastic parts can be done to vacuum-cast plastic prototypes.

Q. What are the applications of vacuum casting?

A. Vacuum casting is used for rapid prototyping service and low-volume production. It is particularly commonly employed in the automotive and medical device industries. For instance, it is often used in the medical device development process to make medical device prototypes to verify the designs. Instead of medical device prototypes, after the medical device development is done, vacuum casting is also for the low-volume production of end-use medical device products.

Q. What kind of custom silicone molding manufacturer is X Rapid Technologies?

A. As a custom silicone molding manufacturer, X Rapid Technologies serves a world-class customer base. It is our shared ambition to deliver excellence for our customers. We understand your need to shorten the time to get working parts into the field. 

Q. When do I need vacuum casting for rapid prototyping manufacturing?

A. Consider the materials and quantities for rapid prototyping manufacturing. Vacuum casting can only make plastic and soft rubber parts. When the quantity is very low, for instance, just 1 piece, vacuum casting is not the most economical option because we need to make a master via CNC machining or 3D printing to make the silicone mold. And one silicone mold lasts 15-20 shots. The more you make, the more costs of silicone mold you can offset.

Q. What is the minimum order quantity at X Rapid Technologies?

A. There is no MOQ for X Rapid Technologies. As a prototype creator, we offer one-off prototypes and small-batch production. However, vacuum casting is more cost-effective when the quantity is about or more than 5 pieces. Don’t worry. We will help you make the choice based on your certain requirements.

Q. What is the average lead time of vacuum casting that X Rapid Technologies offers?

A. Compared to CNC machining and 3D printing, vacuum casting usually takes longer. Because it involves the process of making the silicone mold. As a prototype creator offering custom rapid prototyping services, we will calculate the specific lead time for each project during the quotation period. In case you want to make it faster, be sure to let us know.