Technology

Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting is a fast and cost-effective copying technique for producing high-quality plastic parts that are comparable to injection-molded components. Using two-component polyurethanes and silicone molds created from a 3D-printed master, this technique is especially suitable for fit and function testing, marketing purposes, or short series of end-use parts. 

A red vacuum-cast housing on top of the silicone mold which was used to manufacture it

Why work with Materialise Manufacturing?

At Materialise, we can help you make a big impact with small series production. Our range of 26 carefully selected rubber-like, ABS-like, and PP-like polyurethanes provides an outstanding variety of properties. What's more, if you're looking for a specific finish, the teams at our dedicated vacuum casting center can match the exact finish you need for your parts.

Discover applications of vacuum casting

RHEA Compact, a compact airborne disinfection unit with a housing made from vacuum casting with a high-gloss painted finish
RHEA Compact, a compact airborne disinfection unit with a housing made from vacuum casting with a high-gloss painted finish
Vacuum casted housing for HOYA's Vision Simulator system
The housing of HOYA's Vision Simulator system is vacuum cast, allowing a fast initial time-to-market and cost-effective design upgrades.
Non-invasive PEEP mask with vacuum-cast components
Developed rapidly in response to COVID-19, Materialise's vacuum-cast NIP Connector offered an invaluable solution to overwhelmed hospitals.
Black ski pole handle, vacuum cast in a rubber-like polyurethane
Vacuum-cast RPU4, a rubber-like polyurethane with high elongation at break, was an ideal choice for creating this ergonomic ski pole handle.
Portable crack detector with vacuum-cast hand grips and cover
Designed for use in demanding environments, this ACFM testing device features vacuum-cast rubber-like bumpers and an ABS-like vacuum-cast cover.
Bottom side of a  skateboard deck made from PE/PP-like Polyurethanes using vacuum casting.
Vacuum casting is even used to create sports and leisure products, like this skateboard deck made from PE/PP-like polyurethanes and finished with four different kinds of paint: high-gloss, matte, texture, and metal paint.

Technical specifications

Maximum build dimensions

The size of the mold is limited by the dimensions of the vacuum chamber (1,900 x 900 x 750 mm) and by the volume of the product (maximum volume: 10 liters)

Standard accuracy

±0.3% (with a lower limit on ±0.3 mm on dimensions smaller than 100 mm)

Minimum wall thickness

At least 0.75 mm to ensure the mold is filled properly; for best results, wall thickness of at least 1.5 mm is recommended

Surface structure

High-quality surface finish comparable to injection molding

Materials

Choose from a broad selection of materials when you come to Materialise for your vacuum casting projects.

Get in touch

Would you like to ask a question or begin working on a project? We’d love to hear from you.

Talk to our team