Posted on: Aug, 25, 2017
Finding ways to create a small production run is always a challenge. Sometimes, small runs of products or testing prototypes can be expensive, so businesses feel discouraged from utilizing them. This was before urethane molding, of course. If you are looking for a budget friendly way to produce a short, quick prototype or product, this technology is helpful in several ways.
In a few words, this process greatly lowers tooling costs while speeding up turnaround time. Composite materials also closely mimic that used in a final production of a tool or part, meaning you have lots of choices to work with. Urethane molds have been used for everything from medical devices to household appliances. The applications, really, are endless. Your part or tool may be made using SLA or other patterning processes, then cast with industrial urethane materials for the final product.
Urethane molding does have a few drawbacks. If you have a complex part, the master pattern will not necessarily capture all of those intricacies. Soft tools also simply cannot compete with hard tools, and it is important to keep this in mind. How long will you be using this tool before it needs to be retired? Generally, you will have at most 50 uses before you need to bring in a different mold.
How can you determine whether urethane molding is right for your product? Here are some tips. If you need a very limited run, urethane soft tooling can help you keep your costs low. If you have a very tight deadline, a cast urethane tool can be delivered in a matter of days. If you feel uncertain about whether you are ready for serious production and still want to test functionality, then this application is one of your best bets. Contact Wayken to determine how we can help you identify whether urethane molding is right for your idea.