ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Urethane & Metal Castings

In both urethane and metal casting, a liquid material is poured into a mold containing a hollow cavity in the shape of the part, then allowed to solidify. Both techniques allow for the creation of small quantities of production-ready parts without the added expense of machine tooling.

Our Casting Work

About Urethane Castings

Urethane casting (or polyurethane casting) is ideal to rapid prototype short-run production of pieces made from a plastic injection molded resin. Often performed after an RTV mold (also called a room temperature vulcanization mold) is made from a stereolithography (SLA) prototype, urethane casting is a cost-effective way to reproduce production-ready parts in small quantities.

After a mold is created, urethane casting material – synonymous with polyurethane casting material – is injected into the mold’s “void.” This allows for near-perfect copies of the original prototype to be created. We have low durometer urethanes that can be very soft, but we can also make stereolithography molds and inject silicone rubber into it.

Urethane casting provides:

  • Accuracy: A high degree of accuracy is maintained in the copy – including surface finish.
  • Versatility: Parts without draft, or with undercuts, can be reproduced. Likewise, different materials can be used with the same mold, making it possible to test designs with a variety of material properties.
  • Speed: Several parts can be created per shift once the mold is complete.

About Metal Castings

Metal casting techniques at ProtoCAM include investment casting, sand casting and plaster mold casting, and are far faster and less expensive than conventional tooling and machining methods. This process is idea for the rapid creation of short-run metal parts with a high degree of accuracy, durability and quality.

Investment casting is also called “lost wax casting” and uses a 3D printed wax pattern, a cast wax pattern or an SLA QuickCast pattern. Parts can be created from steel, Everdur (bronze mix), aluminum and ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

The investment casting technique is excellent for:

  • Fast creation of multiple metal parts without the expense of conventional tooling.
  • Low-quantity (10-50) requirements.
  • Rapid prototype turnaround, with metal parts being created in 2-4 weeks or less, depending on foundry capacity.
  • Highly accurate, high-quality projects. Parts require little post-casting machining and processing to remove flashing and surface preparation, and ProtoCAM’s proprietary investment casting methods allow for walls as thin as .012 inches.

Sand casting, also called sand molded casting, is a metal casting process that uses sand as the tooling material. Mold sands that are used in sand casting include silica sand, olivine sand, chromite sand, zircon sand and chamotte sand.

The sand casting technique is excellent for:

  • Smaller-budget projects. Sand casting is the least expensive way to create short-run metal cast prototypes and products.
  • Rapid prototype turnaround, with metal parts being created in 2-4 weeks or less, depending on foundry capacity.

Plaster mold casting is extremely similar to sand casting. The key difference is that the molding material is plaster of paris, rather than sand.

The plaster mold casting technique is excellent for:

  • Projects that require a higher level of surface finish and accuracy than sand casting can achieve.
  • Rapid prototype turnaround, with metal parts being created in 2-4 weeks or less, depending on foundry capacity.

Typical Casting Use Cases

Small-batch manufacturing Engineering design verification Alpha and beta builds
Pre-production parts Functional prototypes Click here to see available finishes.