Vacuum Casting

Why Vacuum Casting?

Vacuum casting is a tried-and-tested process for producing multiple high-quality models, prototypes and low-volume end-use parts for a full scope of applications, including form, fit and function testing. 

The vacuum-casting process allows for parts to be produced using a wide range of polymers (rigid and flexible), which, for prototype and low-volume production applications, can be selected to most closely mimic production material properties. Parts can be pigmented, painted or given a specialist finish, such as EMC shielding and fire-retardant coatings. They can also have threaded inserts. 

The process requires a master model from which to create the cast or mould. There are many ways of creating this, and one of the most successful methods is to use the SLA (stereolithography) process; which Ogle has extensive experience of, with a number of SLA machines in-house. The SLA process produces extremely accurate models – a prerequisite for vacuum casting – in a variety of resins that make them ideal for vacuum casting. The expertise and experience of the team at Ogle ensure that the very best results are achieved every time. 

For certain applications, where quantities, size and material requirements are appropriate, the process can also be used for small batch production runs. 

Benefits of using vacuum casting include:

  • Wide range of materials, which can be selected to simulate production plastic properties, including rigid plastics (such as ABS, PC, PP etc.), flexible rubbers, clear, UV stable materials and those with fire retardant properties 
  • Ability to add texture and colour to parts to not only look like the end product, but feel and behave like them, too 
  • End-use parts – suitable for use in the medical industry and other high-value, low-volume applications 
  • Cost-effective way of producing multiple copies of functional parts 
  • Low tooling cost when compared to traditional methods 
  • Ability to produce silicone parts, using 3D-printed tooling 
  • Wide range of post-processing options such as painting, applying graphics, assembly, incorporating threaded inserts 

Vacuum Casting at Ogle

  • Ogle has been vacuum casting parts since 1988. The skilled team can produce the most complex of parts that others shy away from. All parts can be hand finished to ensure an exceptional quality to the same standard as any one-off handmade model, but with greatly reduced costs and significantly shorter lead times. Ogle offers a wide range of materials, which include ABS and PP-type materials, as well as some with fire retardant and UV stable properties. With Ogle’s 35 years of experience using this process, we are no strangers to complex geometries and are able to achieve the highest quality parts with fast turnaround times. What Ogle offers: 
    • The human touch. We analyse each and every part we cast, ensuring the geometry works for the process and we can work with you to advise of any modifications required. We can advise of the best material, process and geometry modifications if required, including wall sections, draft angles and feature definition. 
    • Inspection facilities using calibrated equipment with various reports available, including CofC and FAIR. 
    • Post-processing by our skilled team – including surface finishes, graphics, painting, assembly, inserts, etc. 

    Variety of materials (not limited to): 

    • ABS-like
    • PC-like
    • PP-like
    • Clear, UV stable
    • Higher temperature
    • PU elastomers (rubbers) ranging from 20 Shore A to 90 Shore A
    • Range of silicones, including biocompatible and wet/dry food safe

Working with Ogle

If your project requires a different material, just ask the team and they will quickly source alternatives.

Our Work with Vacuum Casting

Our work with vacuum casting is as varied as the industries that benefit from the process. We have worked with the medical sector as well as in product development. 

Working with Ogle

If your project requires a different process or material, just ask the team and we will discuss