Vacuum casting: a technology to create your prototypes

3D Printing by Vacuum Casting:

Manufacturing of 3d prototypes

The 3d prototypes resulting from this technology come from the creation of a silicone mold which results from a master model made inStereolithography.

The tool imprint is then filled with Polyurethane resin, using a specific vacuum castingmachine.

The tool life can range from 6 to 30 pieces; it depends on the geometry of your parts and the polymer used.

Uses of vacuum casting

  • Pre-series
  • Realistic 3d pieces (appearance, color, material, transparency …)

Vacuum casting materials

  • Elastomer: from 35 to 95 Shore
  • Rigide : near ABS, PA, PP, PC, PEHD

vacuum casting Axis

For more information, consult the attached material sheet or follow this link

vaccum casting Axis MCP

Production machines (mm)

  • 2 MCP 5/01 : 400 x 400 x 400 mm

  • 1 MCP 4/01 : 400 x 400 x 400 mm
  • 1 MCP 003: 560 x 600 x 600 mm
  • 1 MCP 4/04 : 900 x 750 x 600 mm
  • 1 MCP 4/05 : 1 300 x 750 x 800 mm

Finishes of the vacuum casting

  • Complete deburring of parts and assembly validation
  • Painting finishing

Lead time : rapid prototyping thanks tovacuum casting

4 to 6 working days for tools, then 2 to 3 pieces per working day

Our strong points

  • Large panel of technical resins
  • Flexible / rigid bi-material moldings
  • Overmolding or fitting of metal inserts
  • Transparent parts
  • The vast majority of these materials can be mass dyed (single or multi colors)
  • Realistic surface finish: shiny, satin, grainy, frosted …
  • CEM Painting
  • In the case of sub-assemblies, we ensure functionality and assembly

The advantages of vacuum casting

  • Possibility of using flexible, transparent, rigid materials, with mechanical and thermal characteristics similar to materials used in series
  • Finishing
  • Possibility of overmolding and addition of inserts
  • 3d part tinted in the mass

prototypage coule sous vide axis limogesDSC02316-1-min-1






How does vacuum casting work?

For the production of part (s) in vacuum casting or duplication there are several stages:
  • Step 1: First, you need to create a master model or master in Stereolithography. For more details on the manufacturing process of this 3d part, see the page “How does it work?” »From Stereolithography.
    • After reception of your 3D file, we process it, program it to launch it in production while applying or not a withdrawal depending on the material ordered.
    • The master model is launched in production using the Stereolithographyprocess
    • It is cooked to be hardened.
    • The 3d part is cleaned, sanded, sanded. The necessary finishes are provided by our prototypists, because the molding will have to do with the appearance of its master (graining, transparency, etc.).
    • Our mold makers stick a mark along the joint plane to facilitate the opening of the silicone mold.
  • Step 2:Making the mold
    • The Master in Stereolithographyis installed in levitation in a wooden box using a carrot (recycled feed carrot, which will allow the material to circulate in the mold cavity) and vents (allowing to make remove air from the material)
    • Once the part is installed, the silicone is then poured into the box to take the impression.
    • When the silicone has hardened, our mold makers open the wooden box along the joint plane.
    • After fully opening the silicone mold, the Stereo master is gently removed to avoid damaging the silicone.
  • Step 3: Performing the duplication
    • The casting operator in charge of the project carefully closes the mold manually, while avoiding leaving any space which could allow the polyurethane material to be released soon into the mold.
    • He installs it in his machine, prepares the two materials to be mixed separately and places them in the machine in the high position.
    • The machine is closed and put under vacuum while mixing material A (isocyanate) and material B (polyol). The two materials are incorporated into each other under vacuum and then poured into the silicone mold using gravity.
    • When material comes out of all the vents created, the air is returned to the machine, and the filled mold is placed in a hot oven for several minutes while waiting for it to harden.
    • Once the material is hard, the casting operator demoulds the mold and takes out the molding.
  • Step 4: Finishing
    • The project pilot then proceeds to the deburring stage of the molding.
    • He sets the inserts or transfers (if ordered), and brings any element corresponding to your specifications.

Video of Vacuum casting at Axis