One of the biggest industry segments we work with is the growing world of robotics. Often the clever software and mechanical components that make these things work need to be enclosed in large plastic housings. Vacuum casting, also known as Urethane casting, is one of the most popular choice for making these enclosures and housings. Here’s why:
As the volumes for these projects are often not massive, at least at the start, and the parts are quite large (especially life-size robots), vacuum casting is often a great choice for manufacturing. Nowadays, vacuum machines are designed to pop-out much larger parts than in the past. At HLH, we can easily cast 2m parts.
Lower Upfront Investments
It is cheaper and much quicker to make silicone moulds (which takes days) rather than steel or aluminium moulds (that take weeks). As such, vacuum casting has a lower upfront tooling investment compared to injection moulding, allowing you to get up and running for less.
As mentioned earlier, vacuum casting tooling is faster to produce and you can have parts in much quicker lead times. As you have not invested too heavily in hard tooling, that savings, in turn, can be invested in further product development or alternate design iterations. This is especially important, as robots tend to contain lots of complex internal components and need to constantly go through a trial and error phase.
Vacuum casting creates high quality copies of the master models with excellent surface details, often producing plastic parts with quality similar to that of injection moulded parts. Furthermore, colours and surface finishes can be easily added, making the process ideal in an industry where aesthetics are valued.
Vacuum casting is a versatile process with lots of positives for manufacturing parts for the robotics and other industries. Ready to start making your robot?