The world is becoming modern each day in almost all the parts of the globe and so the inventions of electrical tools are needed in normal day-to-day times. These days all the industries like automotive, aerospace, electronics, engineering, manufacturing and more are indulged in making more and more modern equipment. But one of the factors because of which these industries are in the smooth swing is because of vacuum casting.
What does Vacuum Casting technique depict?
As the name depicts, vacuum casting is a technique that produces or manufactures a small volume of functional parts (vacuum cast parts), which are mostly made up of silicon mold. Vacuum casting is a type of prototyping process meaning-making specific parts of a particular electronic machine.
Vacuum casting is a three-step process that elaborates on making duplicate copies of a certain model. One of the benefits of prototyping is, it is the only fast, accurate and appropriate, and sustainable method of casting and duplication of a model.
Steps to make duplicate copies of a model
- Creating the master pattern
This is one of the important steps of vacuum casting, which involves making a structural framework and networking the model. Creating a master pattern is the initiating step of the vacuum casting wherein the CAD files are converted into three-dimensional representations.
This conversion is done using three-dimension printing like SLA or SLS. The same conversion can be performed by simply using CNC machinery.
- Making the mold
After the structural framework of the model is done, the next important step in making the duplicate model is to make the mold. As mentioned earlier, the mold will be made using silicon. For this step, liquid silicone is used.
The master pattern which was designed in the first step is then injected into the box. When the silicon casting is covered with the master pattern, it creates an impression. After this process is done, this mixture of mold and master pattern is kept in the oven for around sixteen hours. This sixteen-hour is called the curing process.
After the curing process, the liquid silicone mold which is now set and shaped like the master pattern, the master pattern is then removed from the vacuum cast part, leaving behind the empty cavity with the shape of the master pattern.
- Producing copies of the cast
This is the last step of vacuum casting. To make copies of the original mold made, resins are used. The solution of resin is poured on the mold of the master pattern and thus the replica of the original is cast.
The vacuum chamber is used after the resin pouring step to prevent any formation of air bubbles. The silicon model can make twenty copies of the model from one master pattern. After this last step, the vacuum cast part is used in or as proof of concept, product testing, and low volume manufacturing
Vacuum casting, a type of prototyping technique is the most durable and promising method, because of which many industry-related prototypes can be easily and conveniently made.