Axis has been producing prototypes in several 3D printing techniques since its inception. Vacuum casting is one of them and is a big part of our company’s know-how.
The vacuum casting technique is often favored to avoid or initiate more expensive productions by metal injection mold. Vacuum casting it first uses stereolithography in order to create a master model around which we will produce a silicone mold that will allow parts to be cast in polyurethane vacuum machines. Thanks to this 3D printing technique, we were able to make the Louboutin display with the brand’s iconic color relating to the red of the designer’s sole.
Christian Louboutin first launched into the world of cosmetics with the realization of a red varnish with a pointed cap reminiscent of the heel of the shoes made by the designer. The actual beauty part of the brand has been developed since March 2018 in collaboration with Puig (a Spanish brand specializing in the production of perfumes and cosmetics).
As this is a mini-series, we were able to produce this display for the release of the Iconic Rouge, although we are specialized in the realization of rapid prototyping.
To achieve this glossy red finish, it is first important to apply a glossy finish to the master cast created in stereolithography. It is when mixing Polyurethanes (known as PU) material that we will add a color to color the parts in the mass. Namely that the silicone mold used to perform the vacuum casting has a limited lifespan which can range from 10 parts (for the most corrosive PU materials) to a maximum of 30 parts for the elastomer parts.
This type of part with a lot of detail is particularly tedious to produce in vacuum casting because it is necessary to be very careful when demoulding the parts cast in the silicone mold to obtain the part. With this additive manufacturing process, we produce the parts one by one, unlike processes such as stereolithography or powder sintering, we can launch several parts simultaneously. Vacuum casting is therefore a technique which makes it possible to obtain parts with materials close to injection, with a finish and a rendering close to series parts but takes more time during production.
The vacuum casting mini-series is therefore at the heart of our business because it is an important step in projects that need to be tested before launching in injection and therefore in larger series. We have many materials ranging from silicone, to flexible materials or similar to injection materials such as ABS. Also, some prototypes must have specific technical properties such as fire resistance (ULV0) or food compatibility (Food safe), which is possible with vacuum casting.
If you have any needs concerning the production of mini-series, before going to injection or replacing it, do not hesitate to contact us!