Urethane Casting

Posted on May 20, 2021 by Cullen Hikene

Today, we would like to introduce you to 3Diligent’s extensive range of urethane casting options…

Urethane casting is a low-cost, high-quality way to create parts. It is recommended for detailed designs, creating a high standard product quickly and on a low budget compared to other methods. Its use is very versatile; you can create both flexible parts that are almost soft, and very rigid plastics.

A key advantage of casting over injection molding is that the molds for urethane casts can be made for much less. This commonly makes it a better solution than injection molding for low-volume batches. As a result, cast urethanes and silicones are commonly the better choice for prototypes, low quantity production, and as a “bridge production” solution while heavy duty injection mold tooling is built. Molds for urethane casting are commonly created with 3D printing, reducing lead times and helping you get your product to market quicker.

Casting urethane can be tricky.  If you have the time, it’s never a bad idea to request a first article part before authorizing a big casting order. You’ll be able to get to get a deeper understanding of the process and assess how well urethanes can replicate the experience provided by an injection molded thermoplastic.. The cheaper up front costs and quicker lead times will always make urethane better for prototypes.  Injection molding for prototypes is only appropriate when you need a material that can’t be cast, machined, or printed.

A summary of urethane casting benefits:

• You can make low-volumes of high-quality, production-grade parts
• It can cure a variety of finishes, from very rigid to incredibly flexible
• The shrinkage rate is very little as compared to other processes
• Urethane castings parts can be FDA approved, making it viable for the food and medical industries.

If you’re still not sure, we recommend taking a look at other options available and seeing how they compare – as we did here with plastic injection molding. Once you’ve compared different processes, we should be able to match your needs to the right ones.

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The ProdEX Team

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