The prototype industry offers a wide range of different options for companies to choose from when it comes to deciding how they want their samples built and developed. In many cases it is best to leave the decision to the manufacturer as they have the knowledge and expertise to determine which technique will not only cost the client less money but also deliver maximum results. Experienced engineers will be one of the first points of contact due to their involvement in converting basic design to computer drawings.
Rapid injection, CNC machining and 3D printing are all top favorites and can do the job very well, especially if a large number of samples have been requested. However, there are still other techniques that can be used if only a small quantity is needed especially if you are using silicone or rubber to generate the required part. When this happens then vacuum casting is the preferred solution due to its ability to self-color and the flexibility in transparency.
Vacuum cast parts are just as durable and functional as parts made from other materials but one of the determining factors is the functionality required from the final product. The best manufacturers in the business are going to make sure that the client has the exact design and specifications that they ordered when determining material, building technique and finishing method. This is a solution that has been around for many years but has been perfected as technology has changed and evolved over the past few decades. It is also a method that works well within a wide range of budgets and industries because it can handle complex designs and different finishes.
When you need a prototype generated for a presentation or need to validate that a design on paper can actually perform as intended then you need to work with the top manufacturers in the business to get the job done properly.
The process is quick and can be accomplished in a short period of time but it is always best to give as much lead time as possible to ensure that the manufacturer can create, finish and deliver your vacuum cast parts for when you need it.