Vacuum Casting or Rapid Tooling?
Interior Car Door – Vacuum Casting
PROJECT – Front and rear car door sets. 35 different parts in total that require tooling. 28 sets in total for testing purposes by the client.
ISSUE – Tight time line of 8 days for first test parts with the rest delivered shortly after client review and approval. So, which of our rapid manufacturing options best matched the projects needs?
SOLUTION – The experience of both our client and ourselves pushed the project into the realm of vacuum casting (urethane casting) as we could make multiple low-volume silicone tools of the same part to speed up delivery.
RESULT – Vacuum casting results were a great budget, time line, & quality match.
Learn more below…
Rapid tooling is a great option to help get your product to market faster but it is not always the best option to line up with your ultimate project goals.
Final production parts for this project would be injection molding. So it was important to choose a rapid manufacturing method that gave useful feedback on how final production parts would present (form, fit, function, look, feel…).
Vacuum casting is a good mimic of injection molded parts and delivered tolerances that matched the needs off this project. Vacuum casting simply ticked all the boxes for this particular project…cost, time line, quality.
We have many projects that go this way…vacuum casting first, then rapid injection molding, then production injection molding.
SERVICES: Vacuum Casting
QUANTITY: 28 sets (35 components per)
MATERIALS: P+600 (similar to ABS)
FINISHING: Smooth, direct from tool.
LEAD TIME: 8 days for first 5 sets. The rest 10 days after our client
confirmed test parts.
On a different project rapid tooling may have won out. There is no ‘best’ rapid manufacturing technology. But there are ‘correct’ options for individual pr0jects.