Low-pressure cast urethane molding can be a great entry-level option for creators new to manufacturing. This process offers many benefits that make it ideal for prototyping and small run production. However, it’s not a perfect solution for every idea, so it’s wise to discuss all options with a partner specialized in a wide range of production methods.
Urethane molding requires some use of advanced technology like 3D printing, meaning access to a prototyping expert will be necessary. With the right partnerships, the benefits of this process can help get a project completed under budget and on time.
Some of the benefits of low-pressure cast urethane molding become clear once the creator understands the process. Here are just a few features that make it appealing:
- Precision: Urethane molding can create incredibly detailed designs, with the male and female mold parts allowing for things like overlapping pieces, raised sections, and even embossed lettering.
- Versatility: Both soft, flexible materials and more rigid parts can work in a urethane molding process. The wide variety of materials makes this ideal for prototyping, where several different components can be tested to find the best, most cost-effective option.
- Durability: Adding ribs to a piece can significantly increase its strength – and this is an entirely possible option in urethane molding. By adding ribs, the creator can build a part much stronger than they would with other solutions like injection molding or stereolithography.
- Suitable for prototyping: Using lower-cost silicone, it’s possible to make many different molds for testing of various designs. This allows for rapid testing and updates seen in an iterative product development process. When a flaw is discovered in one mold, it’s simple to make a new one to eliminate that incongruity and build on the success of prior parts.
- Low-cost creation: Molds are affordable and easy to create, which keeps costs down once the process is in place. However, the machinery needed to develop these molds can be expensive, so a third-party partnership is necessary to control costs.