Aria’s vacuum casting service is a reliable and versatile option for producing high-quality, low- to medium-volume parts at a competitive price point. We will manufacture the mold and produce the parts, typically within 10-15 business days.
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Aria’s Vacuum Casting Process
Vacuum casting is a manufacturing process involving creating a mold of the desired part and then using a vacuum to draw liquid material into the mold, resulting in a finished product. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how the vacuum casting process works:
Create a Master Pattern
First, create a master model of the part you want to produce using 3D printing, CNC machining, or other methods.
Make a Mold
Apply layers of flexible material onto the master model to form a mold. Cut the mold along a seam to remove the model, leaving a cavity that matches the part’s shape.
Prepare the Resin
Next prepare the resin or silicone material you will use to make the part. The resin is usually a two-part mixture poured into a container and mixed thoroughly.
Pour the Resin
Pour your resin into the mold, fill it completely, place it in a vacuum chamber, and remove air from the chamber for the resin to flow into the mold.
Cure the Resin
Cure the resin by heating and cooling the mold to the required temperature, which varies depending on the material used and can take hours to a few days.
Remove the Part
Open the mold once the resin has cured to remove the part. Depending on your desired outcome, you may need to clean, trim, sand, or finish the part.
After the casting process is complete, conduct additional post-processing steps such as trimming, sanding, and finishing
Conduct testing on the final product to ensure that it meets the required mechanical, physical, and chemical properties.
Why Choose Aria
Our vacuum casting allows for the creation of low-volume, high-quality plastic parts.
We uses high-quality materials and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that our vacuum casted parts meet the highest quality standards.
Our automated manufacturing platform allows for fast turnaround times, with typical lead times for vacuum casting ranging from 10-15 business days.
Vacuum casting can be a cost-effective way to produce small quantities of parts, Aria can minimize mold costs.
We has a team of experienced engineers who can assist with design optimization, materials, and more to ensure that the final product meets the customer’s needs.
Vacuum Casting Tolerances
At Aria, standard tolerances are controlled to ISO 2768 Coarse (C) for urethane casting. For features left unspecified, standard tolerances are used. Tighter tolerances can be achieved, but is only recommended for critical features.
- +/- 0.3mm
- +/- 1 °
- 1.6 ~ 12.5 microns Ra
- Up to .250” diameter +/- .003”
- Up to .500” diameter +/- .004”
- Over .500” diameter +/- .0005” per inch
Min Part Size
- 5mm (L) x 5mm (W) x 1mm (H)
Max Part Size
- 750mm (L) x 500mm (W) x 350 mm (H)
Max Part Weight
- Net weight 1.8KG
Minimum wall thickness
- 1 mm
- 20 pcs
- 10 – 15 working days
Vacuum Casting Materials
The material you use for your vacuum casting will depend on the application and desired properties of the final product. Some of the most common materials include:
Silicone is known for its high flexibility and temperature resistance. It is ideal for creating parts with intricate geometries and where high precision is required, such as in the aerospace industry.
PU is easy to work with, produces complex shapes with high precision and accuracy and is cost-effective and efficient in mass production.
This thermosetting resin is often used for creating high-strength parts resistant to chemicals and heat for industries such as automotive, aerospace and marine.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is resistant to corrosion, making it an ideal choice for parts that will be exposed to harsh environments. It produces high-quality parts with complex geometries and tight tolerances for automotives, electronic components, and medical devices.
Plaster is affordable, easy to work with, and is used to create both simple and complex molds.
Design Guide of Vacuum Casting
The minimum wall thickness for vacuum casting depends on the material used, but both thin and thick walls can be designed in the same part without affecting the final component. This allows for greater design flexibility. However, it is recommended to maintain consistency, and at Aria, we suggest a minimum wall thickness of 1mm as a good practice.
Boss Wall Thickness
Larger or heavier fasteners will require thicker boss walls to provide sufficient strength. Bosses should have a minimum height and diameter of 1mm, and their wall thickness should be no more than 60% of the nominal thickness to prevent sinking.
As a general rule, the height of the rib should be no more than three times the wall thickness of the part, and the thickness of the rib should be no more than half of the wall thickness. the distance between ribs should be no more than twice the height of the rib.
To avoid difficulties in removing the part from the mold in vacuum casting, it’s best to avoid undercuts whenever possible. If they are necessary, plan for them during the design phase by considering the direction of part removal from the mold and incorporating slides or lifters, if possible.
When designing for embossed details, it’s important to ensure that the details are large enough to be cast accurately, typically no less than 0.5mm in depth and width. The details should also be designed with draft angles to enable easy removal from the mold.
Vacuum Casting FAQs
A: The choice between the two methods depends on budget, production volume, and product complexity. Vacuum casting is better suited for producing small quantities of complex parts with fine details, while injection molding is ideal in large production runs for simple parts.
A: Centrifugal casting involves pouring molten metal or plastic into a spinning mold, which uses centrifugal force to distribute the metal evenly throughout the mold.
Vacuum casting is better suited for smaller and more intricate parts, while centrifugal casting is better suited for larger and simpler parts.
A: we can provide design assistance, tooling fabrication, and production services as well as post-processing and finishing operations. Additionally, we will work with you on material selection and help ensure that quality standards are met throughout the entire process.
A: It depends on your specific needs and budgets. Some popular options include Formlabs Form 3B, the Stratasys V650 Flex, and the Renishow RenAM 500Q.
Factors to consider when choosing a machine include accuracy, speed, material compatibility, cost and ease of use.
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