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vacuum casting or urethane casting cost per mould

How Much Does Urethane Casting or Vacuum Casting Cost?

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Is the price that I received what is should be? Why does it cost that much? What factors can help lesson the cost? In this article, we will answer these questions.


How much does urethane casting cost?

Vacuum casting is a cost-effective method for making a small series of parts around 10 to 50 units. You can expect a urethane cost project to cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The price can vary significantly depending on the nature, size, and complexity of your project.

The vacuum casting process has a number of distinct steps including master model creation, mould creation, casting, curing and finishing. When you get a price or quote for your vacuum casting part most suppliers will give a quote for the master model cost, mould cost and part cost, just the mould cost + part cost, or the grand total.


Factors that affect the cost of urethane casting

Master Model

Master model – this is required when the tooling is silicone, which is generally the case. First a master model is manufactured, often and increasingly via 3D printing but sometimes by hand, or CNC or other process. The master model must be processed to achieve a gloss or textured finish.


vacuum or urethane casting process master model cost


The cost of this master is basically the same as manufacturing a one off by whichever process is selected. For instance, for 3D printing it could be $x/g plus the cost of hand processing to achieve the desired finish. You can reduce costs at this stage by specifying which surfaces can be left rough and keeping the rest as simple as possible.


Mould Cost

You can typically expect competitive vacuum cast moulds to cost between $200 and $1000, the price can vary significantly depending on the nature, size, complexity and manufacturing location. The mould cost is essentially the cost of the silicone material needed to encompass the part plus the labour costs needed to make it. Depending on the part, the quantity and lead time the moulds can be one or multi cavity.

  • The larger the mold, the more it is going to cost.
  • The more parts you need the more molds or cavities (larger mold) you need
  • The more complicated the part, the trickier it will be to remove from the mold the higher the labour costs
  • The more undercuts and other difficult features there are, the more likely the mold will be damaged when removing parts and the quicker it will need replacing


vacuum casting or urethane casting cost per mould


In China there are two types of silicone, domestic and imported. The imported stuff is easy to spot as it is transparent, the China made silicone is a milky grey. The imported material is more robust, and produces a better quality of part in terms of accuracy and surface finish but it costs more. A Chinese silicone tool might be good for 10 parts in general, an imported silicone mold maybe up to 20.



These are the cast parts or the unit cost to make 1 piece. You can typically expect the per-unit price to range from $10 to $100. The cost is essentially made up of the part material costs plus the labour needed to cast and finish.


vacuum (urethane) casting services mould tooling for prototypes and low volume production


Materials are wide and varied with different PU materials representing different thermoplastics like ABS, nylon or PC like materials. There are a number of different brands international and Chinese and the prices are quite wide. Selecting the right type of material is important and depends on your requirements.


How vacuum casting costs compare to other processes

Based on the processes above, we can see that unlike automated processes such as 3D printing and CNC machining, there is a tremendous amount of manual work that goes into making a soft tool as well as the finishing. For this reason, soft tooling done domestically is often less competitive at prototype volumes than in countries like China.

Is urethane casting expensive? Depending on the quantity, vacuum casting is much less expensive than other rapid prototyping methods, such as CNC machining. When you want production parts in small batches of 20 to 100 pieces, urethane casting can also be much cheaper than plastic injection moulding, while achieving similar results.


Get a urethane casting quote now

Send us your 3D drawing and other project details, such as material, quantity, and surface finish, at or by submitting an enquiry on our site contact form to get a quote for your vacuum casting project.

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