RTV molding / Silicone molding / Urethane casting / Soft tooling. There are a lot of names out there to describe our rapid casting process; however, through years of experience, ProtoCafe has developed proprietary techniques to create the highest quality, accurate parts that closely mimic (if not surpass) injection molded, production parts in both aesthetics and material requirements. As a testament to our skill, ProtoCafe casts in color for true production parts, rather than painting afterwards to mask defects (although paint is a possibility if the client requests it for exotic finishes).
Rapid casting is ideal for applications that require quantities ranging from one to hundreds of parts, avoiding the expense of a machined injection mold. Because this process is inexpensive (compared to traditional injection molding), time and money are saved when changes in design are required during product development. Since our molds are flexible, difficult geometries such as undercuts or draft can be produced easily, which allows us to build parts that cannot be manufactured elsewhere.
ProtoCafe prides itself in helping our clients through the research and development phases of their projects and attempting to find a solution to the seemingly impossible. Along with our ability to cast incredibly complex parts, our speed is unmatched. With our rapid casting methods, we can produce parts within a matter of days that can be placed directly in the hands of consumers!
Our rapid casting process includes 3 steps:
- Master patterns are created from your 3D CAD file (either machined or rapid prototyped to the highest resolution) and finished to your specifications
- Molds are built from these patterns
- Parts are cast into the molds allowing us to rapidly produce high quality, production parts in a wide variety of colors and materials.
Parts can be created to mimic virtually any production plastic or rubber. Clients can either specify the material requirements or the final production material (ABS, Polycarbonate, etc.) and we will find an acceptable substitute. We don’t shy away from experimenting with exotic materials as it is important for us to find a material that fits your specific application! Below is a list of just some of the materials we have available.
- Elastomers (silicone/rubber)
- Water-clear / Tinted / Translucent
- USP Class VI (medical/food grade)
- Urethane resins
- UL 94 (flame-retardant)
- High impact strength
- Fiber-filled epoxies
- Production quality
- Exact color matching
- Parts are cast in color without a need for cosmetic paint
- Texture matching
- Overmolding onto substrates is possible
- Cost-effective for low volumes (up to a few hundred)
- Cast in threaded inserts
- Custom graphics can easily be applied