Nowadays, there are different manufacturing processes for making parts and prototypes. One of the processes is urethane casting that uses silicone molds to create parts. Ideally, products made have similar properties like rubber and plastic. This method is recommended for low-volume parts and has many benefits to offer. In some situations, Urethane casting is better than additive manufacturing and injection molding. That is because it is inexpensive, faster, and makes high-quality products. These are some of its benefits.
Urethane casting is a top process as silicone molds are widely used in making different parts. In addition, the products are made quickly, and it is cheaper than hard tooling that is common with injection molding. You will find it to be perfect for low-volume production whenever quantities do not justify the resources used in injection molding.
When parts are required immediately, you should consider urethane casting. That is because, with this method, you can make first-run parts before you can have production tooling. Also, you will find this manufacturing technique to be great for testing the product design and getting products to the market for testing and gathering feedback from consumers.
The truth is that silicone molds are cheaper than injection mold tooling. Ideally, casting products may require hundreds of dollars, but the injection molding process is likely to cost thousands of dollars. Your choice for CNC machining or urethane casting depends on the part quantity. For instance, if you are making low-volume parts and prototypes, then urethane casting is the best option. That is because it provides a lot of value as the cost is low, and the quality of parts is quite high.
You should note that urethane casting uses a wide range of formulations to make parts that are transparent, colored, and hard. That is because silicone molds provide a perfect finish detail and can mimic different production textures. Also, you can add inserts and carry out surface treatment processes such as painting.
This manufacturing process is perfect for making parts that have similar properties like those made through injection molding. Moreover, the parts can be better than those made through 3D printing. Although there are advancements in 3D printing, there are still structural and material integrity problems. In contrast, urethane casting can be used to produce quality parts.
You will find urethane casting perfect for making elastomeric products, such as over-molds and gaskets, for rigid parts. For instance, this technique is likely to be used in the future to make the steering wheel. With this method, it will be possible to add grip points.
For many years now, urethane casting has been used to make skateboard wheels. They are perfect material because of the ability to allow customization. Also, the simplicity of the market makes it easier to make several parts using a single tool. That also explains why cast urethane is used in making conveyor systems and screen wear products. Another reason to consider this method is the ability to add details to the part. For instance, you can have products with sharp corners that are impossible with CNC machining.